A colorful and comforting one-stop soup for all seasons…
This homemade tomato soup is a standby in our household, no matter what the season is. Not only are the ingredients readily available all year long; the soup is also nutritious, easy to make and absolutely scrumptious – four excellent reasons to serve it on a regular basis.
In the summer, I love to make it with my homegrown heirloom tomatoes. When fresh tomatoes are out of season, I use canned organic plum tomatoes. The results are slightly different, but equally delicious.
The baby spinach, thrown in right at the end and barely wilted, brings shots of color and flavor. The beans, on the other hand, add a marvelous creaminess and heft to the soup.
…with one very special ingredient.
But the secret ingredient here is the garlic confit! Made into a spread and spooned over the soup just before you serve it, the confit imparts its delicate yet absolutely enchanting flavor to every spoonful.
So here’s to a bowl of soup that’s as satisfying and delicious as can be… Bon appétit!
Food & wine pairing: Piedmont, Barbera with tomato and garlic confit soup
A red wine is quite at home with this hearty soup! Pour a Barbera from Piedmont or a Sangiovese from Tuscany. The high acidity in both of these wines is in perfect balance with the acidity of the tomatoes, while their bold flavors pair equally well with the robust soup.
Tomato soup with cannellini beans, wilted spinach and garlic confit
active time: 30 min
- 3 lbs (1.4 kg) very ripe tomatoes – peeled, seeded (seeds strained and juices reserved) or one 28 oz (795 g) can whole, peeled plum tomatoes
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large Vidalia or sweet onion – skinned and cut in 1/4″ pieces
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes to taste
- 4 large garlic cloves – skinned and finely chopped
- 6 cups cooked cannellini beans (or other white beans)
- 3 cups reserved cooking liquid from the beans (or spring water)
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1 3/4 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar
- 10 oz (285 g) baby spinach
- 2/3 cup garlic confit spread as garnish
- finely grated Reggiano Parmesan as garnish
- Step 1: Place the tomato pieces and juices in a food processor and pulse until the tomatoes are finely puréed, but still have some texture. The purée shouldn’t be too liquidy.
- Step 2: Heat a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, onions and chili pepper flakes. Stir well and sauté for 6 to 8 minutes until golden, stirring only from time to time. Add the garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds, stirring continuously, until the garlic releases its flavor – but don’t let it take on any color. Add the puréed tomatoes, beans, reserved cooking water, stock and salt and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover the pot, reduce heat to medium/medium-low and simmer for 25 minutes. Add the vinegar and adjust the seasoning if needed. Turn off the heat and add the spinach. Stir until the spinach is wilted, about 1 minute. Ladle the soup in bowls. Garnish with the garlic confit spread and finely grated Parmesan. Serve immediately.
- Cook’s note: The soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month. But omit the spinach! Only add the spinach to the soup once you’re ready to serve it; otherwise, it will lose its bright green color.