Thursday, February 2, 2012

Sandy's Favorite Italian Tomato Soup

Yesterday when I was leaving the grocery store I got to talking with the woman parked next to me, and before I knew it the conversation had worked its way around to a recipe I'd invented for Italian tomato soup. (This soup has become so essential to my happiness that I get uneasy if there's none in the freezer, and I serve it to nearly everyone who shows up for lunch during the winter.) I started to tell her how I made the soup, but a parking lot isn't the best place to share a detailed recipe, so I gave her my card and promised to write it down for her if she'd send me her email address.

Today she wrote to me, and then I realized that if I was going to take the time to transfer something from my mind to the written word, I should share it with you, too.      


1. In a very large stock pot, saute the following together until translucent:

  • 1 cup Bella Sun Luci oil packed, sun dried tomatoes with Italian herbs (from Costco), drained and rinsed to remove excess oil
  • 2 medium or 1 large onion, medium dice
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2-3 carrots, medium dice
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 1 tsp Italian herbs, salt and pepper to taste

2. Add

  • 1 35 oz can Nina San Marzano tomatoes (also from Costco)
  • 1-2 roasted red bell peppers, peeled, seeded and chopped (I prepare them in advance and keep batches in the freezer)
  • Cover with chicken stock (about 3 boxes of 32oz Costco Organic Chicken Stock ) 

3. Cook over medium low heat about 30 minutes, or until all vegetables are completely cooked, then stir in 3-4 tbsp pesto, or to taste.

4. Cool off the heat for at least fifteen minutes.

5. Blend with an immersion blender until smooth.

6. Add more chicken stock to thin the soup to the consistency you like, and adjust the seasoning with more salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, pesto, etc.

I probably should call this my Costco Italian Tomato soup, but although the Costco products are delicious and well-priced, they're not essential. Equivalents will work just as well.

Carol, thank you for giving me the nudge to do this. I hope you in particular enjoy the soup. Please let me know what you think!

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