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
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
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.