Done in under a half hour, this lusty (I almost said perky, but perky it isn’t) soup just about jumped out of the pot, put its arms around me, and begged me to eat it.  Wonderful for the I-ate-too-many-chocolates post-holiday cooking time,  you can skip the fresh basil, if you still haven’t gotten to the store, and add Herbes de Provence or a combination of dried oregano and basil.  Easily vegan and gluten-free (with a few changes or lack of a garnish), this meal will heat everyone up despite the weather.  It’s sunny, but snowy …

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I’m not eating bread at lunch today, but this would be awesome with a baguette broiled with olive oil, grated Parmesan, and lots of black pepper.   Or, naturally, with the proverbial grilled cheese sandwich. Here’s how:

LIGHT AND LUSTY TOMATO SOUP
  serves 4 

  • 1 small yellow onion, quartered
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 carrot, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, sliced (use a little more celery if you have no fennel)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Generous pinch each:  crushed red pepper and Herbes de Provence (see above for substitutions)
  • 4 whole garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine*
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon honey          
  1. Place onion, celery, carrot, and fennel in food processor fitted with the steel blade.  Process, pulsing, until vegetables are diced.  (Or dice by hand.)
  2.  Heat a 6-quart heavy pot over medium low heat with the olive oil, pepper, and Herbes for a minute or until fragrant.  Add the whole garlic cloves and cook for a minute or until golden; turn and let cook another few seconds before adding the vegetables from the food processor.
  3. Stir in the fresh basil leaves, kosher salt, black pepper.  Cook for five minutes, stirring, until vegetables are beginning to soften.
  4. Pour in water, wine, broth, and tomatoes.  Stir in honey.  Bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for 15 minutes or so until all vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.
  6. Taste and adjust seasonings.  Puree using an immersion blender, in batches in the food processor or blender, or mash with a potato masher.  Alternatively, eat as is.
  7. Serve hot garnished with one of the following: chopped fresh basil, croutons, or chopped pistachios for vegan version.  Grated Parmesan cheese or a spoon of plain Greek yogurt for Gluten-Free version.  If you’re ok any way at all, choose what you’d like, though just the Parmesan and a little fresh basil are perfectly perfect.

*Replace the wine with water if need be.

For a vegan version, use  granulated sugar in place of the honey.

For a gluten-free version, be sure any purchased ingredients are labeled “gluten-free.”

PRINTABLE VERSION OF RECIPE:  LIGHT AND LUSTY TOMATO SOUP

Happy Meatless Monday

Alyce

soup recipe originally on my dinnerplace.blogspot.com blog