Mamma’s Tomato Soup

Simple & delicious

My momma makes some of the best soup on the planet. Whenever I was sick as a child or recovering from surgery, she would make a new and exciting soup.. Her rustic tomato soup, or Papa al’ Pomodoro with a grilled cheese sandwich is one of my most favorite meals.

The recipe is incredibly simple and inexpensive. Fresh or canned tomatoes will both work beautifully, depending upon the time of year. For this batch I used a mixture of both. Fresh basil is a must, however, because dried basil is not very flavorful.

The best thing about soup is that it can be made in big batches, frozen and enjoyed whenever you need a quick meal. Even when I’m cooking for just myself, I’ll make a enough soup to serve a family and freeze the excess in little single-serve containers to enjoy later. This recipe should make enough to feed 5-6 people or one person for several meals.
tomato soup

Ingredients

  • 1 white or yellow onion, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 4 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 lbs. tomatoes (canned or fresh), pealed
  • 4 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
  • 4-5 bunches of basil leaves, removed and chopped and divided into two parts
  • Bay leaf
  • Parmesan cheese rind (optional)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

To remove peal from fresh tomatoes drop them into a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds and remove, the skin should peel off easily.

A rind of Parmesan imparts a delicious richness to any soup, but if you don’t have one on hand, this recipe tastes delicious without it.

Directions

Over medium heat, cook onions and celery in the olive oil until the onions begin to brown. Add garlic and cook for about 1-2 minutes, be careful not to let the garlic get too brown. Add the tomatoes and broth.

Puree the soup contents using either an immersion blender, or by carefully portioning the contents into a traditional blender.  If you are using a traditional blender, carefully hold down the lid using a tea towel to prevent the hot liquid from leaking.

Add bay leaf, cream, half of the basil and Parmesan rind and let simmer for at least 30 minutes.

To serve, sprinkle some fresh basil on top and drizzle with a bit of olive oil.

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Italian Sausage & White Bean Soup

A quick & hearty soup

I tried a version of this soup at a local restaurant and decided to replicate it. I lthink my version turned out better though because I added more herbs and sausage, a good soup should have a little bit of everything in each bite.

Although I never jumped on the kale bandwagon, I do think it holds up better in soups than spinach, which is what I used when I made this the first time. If you are not a kale fan, spinach is also delicious. If you don’t have fresh Rosemary, dried will be just fine

Ingredients

  • 1 white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch of fresh Rosemary, minced (or 2- Tbsp of dried Rosemary)
  • 1 package bulk Italian sausage
  • 1 bunch of kale, chopped
  • 3 cans of cannellini beans
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 1/2- 2 cups dry white wine
  • 64 oz. chicken broth

In a large soup pot, cook onions over medium heat in olive oil until they begin to turn brown brown. Add garlic and fennel seeds and cook for 1-2 minutes more until the garlic just starts to brown then add the sausage. Using a big wooden or plastic spoon, break the sausage up into bite-sized pieces and cook until browned.

Deglaze the pan with white wine and add kale, Bay leaves, beans (including the liquid) and chicken broth. Simmer for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Tastes best when served with the rest of the wine!

Active cooking time: 30 minutes

Total prep time: 50 minutes