Friday, May 29, 2009

South of France Tomato Soup

It's not quite tomato season yet, but we can give ourselves a sneak preview with good quality canned tomatoes. If you prefer to hold off on making this until you can get some beautiful fresh tomatoes, by all means, please be my guest!

This is another variation on tomato soup, that oh-so-varied meal. This one is more brothy and elegant than your typical tomato soup. It features a delightful mix of dried herbs, so hit up your storecupboard for this recipe. Normally I'm not a huge fan of dried herbs, but it's important that you use them here, however tempted you may be to go to your herb garden instead. Trust me.

Serve this alongside a grown-up version of grilled cheese with a mild but interesting cheese of your choice - I went with Manchego, which is far from French, but it worked nicely.

South of France Tomato Soup
adapted from The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper
serves 3


1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 medium onion, finely chopped
salt and fresh-ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons dry white wine
14 oz. can of whole tomatoes with their liquid, crushed
12 oz. low sodium vegetable or chicken broth + 4 oz. water
pinch of ground cinnamon


1. In a small bowl, combine basil, fennel, oregano, and thyme, and crush them together until fragrant. Set aside.

2. Film the bottom of a soup pot or Dutch oven with EVOO and heat over medium-high heat. Add onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the dried herb mixture and garlic, and cook about 30 seconds, until fragrant.

3. Stir in tomato paste, then add wine and tomatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in broth and water, and bring to a boil again. Reduce heat to a bare simmer, and put a tight lid on the pot. Cook for 18 minutes. Stir in cinnamon, test for seasoning, and serve.

Nothing fancy, but it's wholesome and just different enough to keep things interesting. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. There's that cinnamon again! Womderful. It looks "souper" in your photo - a definite addition to the file.