This is, quite possibly, the perfect soup for october. Yup, i said it. Why? Well it uses canned tomatoes *gasp!* which is good, since for a lot of us, october means no good fresh tomatoes. It manages to capture that transition from summer bounty to smoky autumn bonfires, fitting between those warm days and cool nights, it’s comfort food but not heavy, like a nice jacket.
2 - 14.5oz cans of fire roasted chopped tomatoes
80g | 1/2 cupred bell pepper, chopped
65g | just under 1/2 cup shallots, chopped
12g | 1 Tbsp garlic, chopped
30g/ml | 2 Tbsp dry white wine (we used dry vermouth) or water
15g/ml 1 Tbsp oil
170g/ml | 3/4 cup vegetable broth
55g | 1/4 cup cooked white beans, drained (cannellini, navy, etc)
5.5g | 1 Tbsp firmly packed fresh basil, finely chopped
6g | 1 Tbsp firmly packed fresh italian parsley, finely chopped
0.7g | 1/2 tsp dried thyme
0.3g | 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
.8g | 1/2 tsp italian seasoning
.8g | 1/4 tsp sweet smoked paprika
.4g | 1/8 tsp chipotle powder
sautee shallots, garlic and bell pepper with oil over medium to medium-high heat until they start to brown a little and soften (about 5 minutes)
Add in wine (or water) to help deglaze the pan, then add 1 can of the tomatoes and the beans, cook, stirring, over medium heat for 5 minutes
Blend until smooth (add broth as needed to help blend), then pulse in remaining tomatoes to desired texture
Return to pan, along with remaining ingredients over medium heat. once it begins to simmer, turn the heat down to low and simmer for 10 minutes
Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving, adding water or broth if you want a lighter body
In addition to the lovely fire roasted tomatoes (we have a love affair with the Muir Glen ones, but you can use whatever brand YOU like, or even make your own, if that’s your thing) we have red bell pepper to bring in some sweetness, garlic and shallots (if you don’t have shallots on hand, you can sub an equal amount of onion, as long as they’re not “sweet” onions) for some liveliness and depth, white beans (we used cannellini, but you can use any white bean except chickpeas) to bring in some creaminess, reduce acidity, and add a nice little protein boost. Fresh parsley and basil bring some fresh summeriness to the table, helping to create that whole transitional season feeling i mentioned before, and enhancing the flavor of the tomatoes, while an assorted bevy of dried herbs help to round things out.
This recipe actually comes together quite quickly and easily, peppers, shallots and onions are sauteed, half the tomatoes and the beans are added and cooked for a bit, then they get pureed in a blender until smooth (you’ll be surprised at how creamy the beans make this), you pulse the rest of the tomatoes in to the texture you want, and then simmer for a bit with the herbs to fuse all the flavours together. Ç’est voila!
I recommend using a wide pan for this if you have one, it will allow for more steam to escape and give you a thicker, richer soup. OR, if you’d prefer it a little thinner, you can use a taller, narrower pot and simmer with the lid on to keep the moisture in. Totally your choice.
Of course grilled cheese is an obvious accompaniment to this one, and i highly recommend topping it with some garlicky crostini and a little shredded fresh basil and/or parsley. Also, this soup is best enjoyed while comfortable on the couch, possibly with a throw over your legs and a fire burning, or watching your favorite show.
Now, go forth and create some comfort! [you deserve this, you are worthy]