March 2, 2014

A Taste Of Summer: Tomato Soup

We've had a pleasantly dry winter here in the Pacific Northwest and have lucked out with a handful of early spring days...the sky has cleared to blue, the air has turned a bit sweet and flowers have begun to bloom.  However lately it seems that the chill won't quite bid adieu as the rain and perpetual gray have teamed up for a traditional maritime winter. 

Tomato soup suits this fickle time of year...sun-ripened tomatoes plucked from their vines preserving the warmth of summer days make for a cozy wintertime meal.

If you are in need of a little sunshine during this soggy time of year then reach for a jar of preserved tomatoes.  I prefer the fruity and sweet flavor of the Italian San Marzano, it is less acidic than other varieties that line the shelves.  Of course homemade preserves are even better!

Buon Appetito!

Victoria's Winter Tomato Soup
28 ounces preserved chopped tomatoes (If not your own then preferably San Marzano)
2/3 cup evoo, divided
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 small fennel bulb, diced
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
2 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 Parmesan rind 
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 425 F.
Strain the chopped tomatoes, reserving the juice and spread on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with 1/3 cup of evoo and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Roast in 425 F oven until caramelized, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.  Saute the onion, celery, fennel, garlic and thyme until softened and transparent, about 10 minutes.
Add the roasted tomatoes, reserved juice, chicken stock, bay leaf and Parmesan rind.
Season with salt and pepper and simmer gently until the vegetables are tender about 20 minutes.
Remove the remaining Parmesan rind and using an immersion blender puree the soup until smooth.  You can also use a traditional blender, make sure to only fill the blender half full of the hot soup otherwise you will have a hot mess splattered all over your kitchen.

Season to taste and garnish with grated Parmesan, a glug of evoo and fresh fennel fronds (if your bulb had any attached).


  1. This soup sounds delicious! I could use a bowl right about now :)

    Becca | Ladyface Blog

  2. Thanks Becca! It's delicious served with GF toasted multigrain bread w/ melted brie or any gooey cheese.