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Winter Tomato Soup

January 5, 2009

I had to share this one immediately with you guys. We just ate this tonight…the soup pot is still soaking in the sink…and it was stupendously good.

The soup itself is a great use of winter ingredients…canned tomatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, and oranges. It’s fragrant and smooth and bright. And then there’s the crostini. Goat cheese by itself would be great, but mix in lemon zest, fresh thyme, and olive oil, and it’s amazing.

You know, I’ve never been let down by a recipe by Peter Berley. I borrowed The Flexitarian Table from the library, but I think I’m going to have to buy it soon. I made another recipe from this book last week, which I’ll share here on the blog soon. It’s also seriously delicious.

On to the recipe!

Winter Tomato Soup with Goat Cheese Crostini

Soup

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt or sea salt
  • 1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Large pinch of red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes or diced tomatoes in juice
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 (2-inch) strips orange zest (removed with a vegetable peeler; leave the white pith behind)
  • 1 sprig fresh sage
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Crostini

  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 baguette

For the soup: In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until the onions are softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic cloves, carrot and pepper flakes, lower the heat, cover and cook until the vegetables are sweet and juicy but not browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Check, stirring occasionally, and add 1 tablespoon water if the vegetables appear dry.

Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until the olive oil turns reddish orange, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice, the broth, orange zest, and sage and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove pot from heat and discard the orange zest and sage. Puree the soup with an immersion blender (or, working in batches, in a regular blender or a food processor) until smooth. Season with salt and black pepper. Transfer to a saucepan and reheat before serving.

For the crostini: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small bowl, use a fork to beat together the goat cheese, olive oil, thyme, lemon zest, and a few grinds of black pepper until smooth.

Slice the baguette on the bias into four to six 1/3-inch-thick slices that are 2 to 3 inches long. Lay the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Spread the toasts with the goat cheese mixture. Ladle the soup into four bowls; float a crostini on each (I served the crostini on the side, as Justin is not a fan of soggy bread).

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Adapted from The Flexitarian Table by Peter Berley.

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6 Discussion to this post
  1. kickpleat says:

    yum! i never really liked tomato soup as a kid and i haven’t had it since. this, however, looks really delicious. i love the addition of orange!

  2. weezie says:

    i’m SUPER excited about both these recipes together–can’t wait to finish my black eye peas so i can make it… and if it ever gets cold enough here!

    also, i think THE FLEXITARIAN TABLE is a new one for me, but sounds ideal for my eating preferences. your choices often do, you fill a unique food niche. thanks, PC.

  3. Sicilian says:

    Not fond of tomato soup, however it is not your normal tomato soup. . . . I will try this one.
    Ciao

  4. Crystal says:

    Hope you guys like this one…we loved it. And thanks, weezie, you’re always so sweet!

  5. Hallie says:

    I love making soups during winter. This one looks great, a must make.

  6. Lindsay says:

    I am SO making this tonight! Thank god they make pasteurized goat cheese now – not sure I would have gotten through the last 9 months without it. :)

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