Hearty Tomato Soup and a Hug
Sometimes you just want a hearty bowl of tomato soup, maybe a real hug, followed by a cozy nap. That's how I've been feeling these days. This soup is the perfect dish to make when you're feeling like nourishing your body and soul completely. The comfort of tomato soup with the addition of power spinach greens and chewy chickpeas is a delicious combination and so good for you too.
I modified my "go to" basic tomato basil soup to create this hearty soup that I think you'll love too. Serve this along with a grilled cheese and a nice glass of a Tuscan red wine (Chianti is my favorite) and you've got a real winner (especially according to Vincenzo).
Be well everyone!
Tomato, Spinach, and Chickpea Soup
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 stalks of celery (chopped)
1-2 carrots (chopped)
1 small onion (chopped)
1 clove garlic (minced) optional
8 ounces (1 cup) chopped frozen spinach (chop again if needed so that it is quite small pieces)
½ cup white wine
1 large can peeled San Marzano tomatoes (794 g/12 oz)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
8 ounces water
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
1 cube or 2 teaspoons liquid concentrated vegetable bouillon (I love the vegetable based “Better than Bouillon” brand)
2-3 tsp. dried, crushed basil (can also use 4-6 leaves of fresh torn basil)
2 bay leaves
Add salt, black pepper to taste.
To finish – drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and finely grated parmesan cheese.
Sauté the celery, carrot, onion, and garlic with the olive oil over medium heat in a 4-5 quart stock pot until tender. Add the chopped spinach and continue over medium heat. Once the spinach has lost most of the water, add the white wine and continue cooking until most of the wine has evaporated.
Next, break down the peeled tomatoes by squeezing them by hand as you add them to the sauce pan. Add the tomato paste and water and stir well. Then, add the drained chickpeas, vegetable bouillon, basil, and bay leaves. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Cook over medium heat stirring often for about 20-30 minutes. You can also make this early in the day and let it sit on the stovetop until you are ready to eat. Simply warm through and enjoy. The longer the flavors can sit together, the better! Retrieve the bay leaves prior to serving.
Serve into soup bowls and finish with parmesan cheese with a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil.