Up until a couple of days ago, we were enjoying above normal temperatures. When the mercury dips below freezing, I crave soups and stews. What I don’t crave is the effort and time involved to make these. I recently posted a curry dish ready in 30 minutes. This made me think about making a simple tomato soup.
I always have Italian canned whole peeled tomatoes on hand; they taste better than any North American brand – IMHO! By the way, pre-crushed tomatoes are made from bits and pieces of lower quality tomatoes. The other day I purchased sliced fennel salami but, when I opened the package, found the slices were thick and rather tough. Slightly miffed and wondering what to do with the salami other than discarding it, I decided to chop it up and add it to the soup. That did the trick! Not only did it add some flavour but also softened the meat.
796ml (28 oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes (from Italy)
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup chopped fennel salami (or bacon)
1/4 cup sliced green olives
splash Marsala wine (can use a good balsamic vinegar)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Use an immersion blender to help break up the canned tomatoes. Alternatively, use kitchen scissors and cut up the tomatoes. Or, feeling adventurous? Well then, use your hands and squish the tomatoes to break apart; it’s very therapeutic. In a large pot over medium heat add a splash of olive oil. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add salami and cook until softened. Stir in garlic, basil, and oregano.
When garlic is aromatic, add the paste and combine. Then add tomatoes and give it a good stir. Just after the tomatoes start to bubble, add marsala wine and stir. Then add olives. Let bubble away for 15 to 20 minutes – if you can wait that long! Serve with freshly chopped parsley and a splash of extra-virgin olive oil. I love serving tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich…yum!
the culinary chase’s note:
I like my soups to be on the chunky, rustic side. Add water or broth to thin out if that’s how you prefer your tomato soup. Enjoy!