Tomato Soup for the Soul

24 Mar

So, I make a lot of soup.  What can I say?  I’m obsessed with single pot meals.  They’re easy to clean up and since I’m the wife in this relationship (ie head housekeeper) the easier to clean up the better!  I hate cleaning the kitchen and doing dishes!  Therefore?  Soup it is.  Though, I’ve got to tell you, this Chicago weather is zig-zagging from hot to cold so fast I can’t get out of my winter soup making phase.  Seriously.  Two days ago I was outside jogging in shorts.  Today?  Snow flurries.  Who can keep up with this mess?  It’s best to just pretend that the snow is here to stay (at least in the kitchen).  Say what you want about snow, it inspired me in the cooking department today.  Is there anything better than tomato soup?  Yes!  The grilled cheese, tomato and avocado sandwiches you make to go with it!

Today I got all fancy and pulled out my Barefoot Contessa cookbooks for inspiration.  I found what looked to me to be a cure for my “why won’t the winter go away blues.”  She calles it pappa al pomodoro.  I call it the best damned tomato soup I’ve ever made.  Please give this one a try.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.  It’s super simple and beyond delicious.  Besides who doesn’t want a soup made with bread?


1/2 cup olive oil

2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)

1 cup medium-diced carrots (3 carrots)

1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cored, and medium-diced (1.5 cups)

4 tsp minced garlic (4 cloves)

3 cups diced ciabatta bread

2 28oz cans Italian plum tomatoes

4 cups vegetable broth

1/2 cup dry red wine (I used Cabernet)

1 cup chopped basil leaves


Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, fennel, and garlic and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until tender.  Add the ciabatta cubes and cook for 5 more minutes.  Place the tomatoes in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process just until coarsely chopped. Add the tomatoes to the pot along with the vegetable stock, red wine, basil, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1.5 teaspoons pepper.  Bring the soup to a boil, lower the heat, and allow to simmer, partially covered, for 45 minutes.  Once the soup is nearing the 45 minute mark?  Get out your whisk and let out your frustrations.  Give her a good whisking.  You’ll break up some of the tomatoes and bread. I hope you have some parmesan handy because you’re going to want to sprinkle it generously in your bowl.

Seriously, y’all.  This one is a keeper.  As for your grilled cheese sandwiches?  You’re on your own!


One Response to “Tomato Soup for the Soul”

  1. misty March 24, 2011 at 7:16 am #

    First and foremost- holy deliciousness!!! Can’t wait to try it, tomato soup and grilled cheese are staples in our house 🙂

    Second, thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you. I absolutely LOVE that you actually put how many onions, carrots, fennel and garlic constitute the measurement. That is SO helpful when doing grocery shopping I wish EVERY recipe book did this!!!!!

    ❤ MDL

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