Even though it’s spring, there’s a chill in the air for the next few days. So what can be better than tomato soup? Comfort food, the summeriness of tomatoes, and the freshness of spring.
With some freshly made bread and cheese, grilled on a waffle iron to make some delicious grilled cheese Paninis, you can’t beat this comfort food on a chilly day. With no tomatoes to peel (that is, of course, if you don’t want to), this soup is easy, filling, and satisfying.
One key component of my food philosophy has always been that if you can make it yourself, and avoid getting it out of a can or a jar, you should. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule. We cannot all grow and can our own fruits and vegetable (though that would sure be nice). But canned tomatoes, maple syrup, herbs and spices, nut butters, and a few other items are essentials in the pantry. So for this soup canned tomatoes work just fine. If you add some of our oven dried tomatoes, you will get a little more intense tomato flavor since much of the water has been cooked out of them.
So it’s your pick-canned tomatoes, fresh tomatoes or our oven dried tomatoes, or any combination you wish or have on hand.
If you’re like me, you probably have a busy schedule in the evening. I’m usually out taking my kids to their sports activities, so if I can make a soup during the day, it’s nice to have something to come home to that is easy to heat up, quick, and makes a satisfying meal. Soup is one of those things. It’s also so easy to double the batch size, and put what you don’t eat in the freezer for another day.
Always in search of new recipes and ideas, I recently picked up Cooking from the Heart of Spain by Janet Mendel from the library, where I found this lovely recipe.
It’s not unusual, but it hadn’t occurred to me to use breadcrumbs as thickener for this soup. By toasting them in your pot before adding the tomatoes or stock, it adds an extra element of flavor to the soup. Using Spanish Pimenton adds additional depth and flavor.
Do be sure that when you add your bread crumbs, they don’t sink to the bottom and burn like mine did! You’ll need to be sure to keep the heat low as you simmer everything, and stir it regularly.
This soup is easy and delicious. And if you want to make it vegan, it’s easy enough to leave out the bacon.
- 1/4 cup chopped bacon
- one large yellow onion roughly chopped
- two garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs I used Panko
- 1 teaspoon sweet smoked Pimenton or smoked spanish paprika works too
- pinch of hot smoked pimenton or cayenne
- each one can chopped tomatoes or 10 peeled fresh plum tomatoes, chopped
- 6 cups chicken basketball, or meat stock
- 2 teaspoon to 3 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/4dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves finely chopped
- Saute the bacon gently in a deep pot until golden, remove.
- Add onions and cook gently in bacon fat until translucent. Add garlic and cook 1 minute.
- Add bread crumbs and cook over low heat until golden brown.
- Add pimenton and cayenne, tomatoes, thyme and stock. Bring to a low simmer, stirring gently.
- Cook over low heat 20 minutes.
- Blend in a hi-speed blender to two minutes in small batches.
- To serve, garnish with chopped bacon and parsley leaves.
Make it vegan and leave out the bacon if desired. Just saute onions and garlic in your favorite vegetable oil.