Friday, August 5, 2011

Tomato Florentine Soup

I know it is summertime and above 90 degrees outside, but I still like to have soup for dinner. A food blog that I follow called Goodlife Eats has some amazing soup recipes. One recipe that is super easy and a real winner in our household is Tomato Florentine. I pretty much follow the recipe as written and make small changes here and there.

Since our garden has been producing a tremendous amount of Roma tomatoes I decided to make this soup with Roma's instead of canned tomatoes. It does require more work than the original recipe, but tasted so fresh. Here is my version:

Tomato Florentine Soup with Spinach Rolls


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium yellow onion
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
32 oz of peeled and diced Roma tomatoes
1 tablespoon minced garlic, about 3 cloves
2 tablespoons flour
2 bay leaves
3 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 cups shells pasta, cooked
6 oz baby spinach, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Place Roma tomatoes into boiling water (must completely cover tomatoes) for about 60 seconds. Immediately remove from boiling water and place into a bowl of ICE cold water. Wait about a minute and then begin to peel tomatoes with your hands. The skin of the tomatoes should peel right off.

Cut or dice tomatoes to the size your family prefers, reserving any juices. My family likes their tomatoes pretty small, so I had to dice them in little chunks. Set tomatoes aside. (This is were I added about 1 teaspoon of salt to the tomatoes)

Cook pasta shells according to package.

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute for 3 minutes. Add the brown sugar, tomato paste, and diced Roma tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes begin to dry, about 13 minutes.

Add the garlic to the pot, stir, and cook for about 1 minute. Stir in the flour and continue to cook for another minute.

Stir in any reserved tomato juice and 2 bay leaves. Add 1 cup of broth at a time, whisking after each addition, until desired consistency is reached. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes.

Remove the bay leaves. Stir in the spinach and balsamic vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with fresh Spinach Rolls.

Spinach Rolls

I have adapted the recipe for Spinach Bread on Allrecipes to make fresh spinach rolls.


1 cup water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup fresh baby spinach, finely chopped
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

Place all ingredients into bread machine pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle.

Once dough cycle is complete, remove and place on a lightly floured surface. Gently roll and stretch dough until it is about an inch thick.

Flour the top of a small juice cup and press into the dough to make rolls. Spray 9 x 13 baking pan with non-stick spray. Place rolls into pan cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise for 30 mins.

Place into oven for 10-15 mins at 375 degrees (oven times may vary)