Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hearty Tomato Soup


 I've been on the hunt for some new, lighter recipes to make for my family.  I found this recipe at Foodnetwork.com and thought the addition of white beans to tomato soup sounded interesting.  Instead of using canned beans, I used dried beans that I soaked and cooked myself. This way I save money, and control the amount of salt in the cooking liquid.  I didn't have any fresh rosemary, so I substituted dry.  I also substituted vegetable broth for chicken, but you could use either.  I was going for a completely vegetarian dish.  My "secret" ingredient was the addition of a splash of balsamic vinegar.  I like to add it to my marinara recipe, so I figured it would be just as good in this soup.  I was right.  The original recipe also calls for serving with creme fraiche and lemon, but I didn't have them.  I served it with some homemade croutons instead.  Enjoy!


Hearty Tomato Soup
adapted from FoodNetwork.com recipe by Giada DeLaurentiis

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 15-ounce can cannellini (white) beans, drained and rinsed
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
3 cups vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup Half-n-Half 

Directions:

In a large soup pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, and garlic and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 4 minutes. Add the beans, crushed tomatoes, broth, bay leaf, dried rosemary, red pepper flakes, and balsamic vinegar.  Bring the soup to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, covered.
Puree the soup in a blender in batches, being careful to remove and discard the bay leaf.  Return the soup to a soup pot, season with salt and pepper.  Stir in half-n-half and warm through. 

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