Another week of super cold temperatures and a weekend filled with a lot of fun in the city makes me want to curl up with comfort food that will not make me feel guilty. One of the ways I organize my week of cooking is always making something that will last a couple of days. Whether it is something that I can eat for lunch the next day or can be reheated and added to another recipe, I try to stretch what I make into multiple meals. It is a huge time saver and I promise to share more of these tips this year. Soup is always a great way to stretch a meal because you can make a huge pot of it, save some for lunches and even freeze some for a time when you don't feel like cooking, but want something homemade. Soup also tends to be healthful and light (as long as you stay away from lots of cheese and cream!), but also filling and comforting. What I like about this tomato soup is that it does not have too many ingredients, takes little time and is a lot more filling than your average tomato soup. You use white beans to give this soup more body, fiber, protein and flavor. Most of the ingredients in the soup are pantry and fridge staples, so it can be one of those meals that come in handy when you don't feel like making a grocery run. The whipped cream that you place on top is the indulgent part of the meal, but with just a small dollop and the super healthy ingredients in the soup, no guilt is necessary! You could also substitute the heavy cream with light sour cream, just skip the whipping step. This was also my attempt at a Meatless Monday, which is hard to do with a husband that appreciates his protein. It was all gobbled up and no one missed their meat!
Hearty Tomato Soup with Lemon and Rosemary
Adapted from Giada's Kitchen 2008
makes 6 small bowls
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans (white), drained and rinsed
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
3 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (this makes it really spicy, so use less or none if you do not like spice)
3/4 teaspoon salt (I ended up using a bit more, taste and add more if necessary)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2/3 cup heavy cream (can substitute light sour cream, skip step where you whip the cream)
zest of 1 lemon
In a large soup pot, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrot and garlic and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the beans, tomatoes, stock, bay leaf, 1 teaspoon of the rosemary, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and sugar. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes covered.
Puree the soup in a blender (or use immersion blender right in the pot if you have one) in batches, being careful to remove and discard the bay leaf. Also be careful when blending, as liquid expands when blended. Do just a couple of ladles at a time, hold the top tightly and pulse slowly. Return the soup to the soup pot and keep warm over low heat. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
In a medium bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks. Fold in the lemon zest and the remaining teaspoon of rosemary. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and dollop each bowl with the lemon-rosemary whipped cream. Serve immediately.