Many of us have pleasant memories of growing up with Tomato Soup (Campbell’s) and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. I don’t remember my Mom ever serving us canned tomato soup, but for some reason, I have never been a fan of Tomato Soup. However, this recipe was very popular at D’Amico’s Café and is one of my family’s favorites.
A light soup with amazing flavor, perfect for after the holidays when most of us have overindulged. It doesn’t require a lot of time to prepare – yay for that! Since most of us are spending more time in the kitchen than pre-pandemic, this is an excellent recipe for a quick and satisfying meal. It can be topped with Toasted Cheese Croutons for even more deliciousness.
Italian Tomato Soup
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small yellow onion (about 1 cup), finely chopped
- 2 small carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- ½ fresh jalapeño seeds removed and finely diced (if you use Spicy Marinara, you might not need any more heat)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ cup white wine
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 or 6 grinds black pepper
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 jar prepared Spicy Marinara or 1 (28-ounce) can Italian style tomatoes in purée
- ½ cup heavy cream (optional, add if a creamier bisque-like soup is preferred)
- Fresh parsley and basil, finely chopped for serving
- Sauté onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and jalapeño in butter for about 5 minutes.
- Add tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add wine and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients except fresh parsley and basil. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes (up to an hour if you have time).
- Taste and adjust seasonings – salt, pepper, spiciness.
- The soup can be served as is at this point. But I prefer to purée it with an immersion blender, food processor, or blender, which transforms it into a velvety, rich tasting soup.
Toasted Cheese Croutons for Topping
- Cut ½ to ¾ inch slices from a loaf of Italian or French bread – Ciabatta works great!
- Brush with olive oil and “toast” in a skillet on the stove top or broil until nicely browned.
- Rub one side with a clove of garlic (optional).
- Sprinkle with cheese of your choice (I use Parmigiano).
- Broil briefly to melt the cheese.
- Cut into croutons.