Monday, September 23, 2013

Rustic Tomato Florentine Soup

I've been working on this recipe for quite a while now.  It's inspired by my favorite soup at a local cafe/bakery.  I can not go to this place and not order this.  It is so good.  I really wanted to make this at home and with a little help from a friendly waitress, I think I've finally got it right. It certainly is the most delicious tomato soup I've every made.

Part of what makes this soup so wonderful is the rustic flavor that comes from leaving the vegetables chunky and not pureeing the soup, which seems to be common practice among tomato soups.

I was lucky enough to have a bumper crop of grape tomatoes this year.  I need to make another batch and freeze it ASAP! I could figure out how to can tomatoes, but I'm pretty certain I'd rather stock up on this soup!

Go ahead and pin this one now! I am absolutely positive if you like tomato soup, you will love this one in all it's chunky goodness.

Rustic Tomato Florentine Soup

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, sliced
2 celery ribs, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 cup white wine
2  bay leaves
3 tablespoons corn starch
2 cups tomato juice
2 28 oz cans of whole tomatoes with juice
OR 1 can and 4 cups of grape tomatoes sliced
2 tablespoons dried basil or 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
5 oz frozen spinach thawed OR equal amount fresh
1 1/2 cup half and half
2 tablespoons butter

 1. In a large stockpot or dutch oven, heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the chopped onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Then, season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stirring occasionally until the vegetables are just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.

2. Carefully pour in white wine, simmer until almost completely evaporated. Pour in the cans of tomatoes with their juices, or 1 can and sliced grape tomatoes.  Add tomato juice, basil and bay leaves. Increase heat to medium-high and bring soup to a boil for 1 minute. Then, reduce heat and simmer soup for 10 minutes until vegetables are tender crisp.

3. Then stir in the sugar and vinegar. Add spinach and allow it to begin to wilt.

4.  Add the half and half.  Stir in a slurry of corn starch dissolved in about a 2 tablespoons of half and half and let cook on medium low for a few minutes to thicken. 

5. Stir in butter and once it's melted it's ready to serve. Remove bay leaves. Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh basil and grated Parmesan cheese.

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  1. I found this on Pinterest and had to check it out, this soup looks absolutely delicious! I'd love it if you'd link this up to my Show & Share Wednesday party today. Have a great day!

  2. This looks really delicious! trying it tonight :)