All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2014





Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Martha's Tuscan Tomato soup - with one (big) change







My sister gave me Martha's first book "Entertaining" back in the 80's, and it was a revelation. I still cook from it, and bake her cookies, but I often make some changes to her original recipes, which, by the way, are flawless.

Her Tuscan Tomato soup is a splendid soup, bright and pretty in the dead of winter, but over time I added more and more herbs,  resulting in a very tangy soup that matched its lovely colors.  And for those of you that dislike tarragon, just add a little more basil, oregano and thyme, though I think you're missing something:)   The other change I made was to cut the celery into chunks ( instead of finely chopped), and not to mince the carrots, making for a heartier soup.  It's perfect for today, when the temperature has plunged to -2 degrees. Brrrrr.

This makes about 4 medium bowls of soup, which I serve with crusty bread and a bowl of shredded parmesan to pass around.

I grate the carrots using a Cuisinart attachment, but you can use a box grater just as well - just watch your fingers!

Tuscan Tomato soup

1 T. plain olive oil 
1 T. unsalted butter
2 stalks of celery, washed and sliced into even pieces (about 1 cup)
1 large onion, roughly chopped
4 carrots, peeled and grated (about 2 cups)
One 28 oz can of Italian plum tomatoes
1- 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock as needed
1/2 t. dry basil
1/2 t. dried thyme
1/2 t. dried oregano
2 t. dried tarragon
kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste

Heat the butter and olive oil in a soup pot on low heat.
Add the onions and celery and braise, covered, on low heat for 20 minutes, stirring often.
Add the carrots and the tomatoes, which have been sliced into chunky piece, the juice from the tomatoes, and the chicken or vegetable stock.
Add the herbs, cover the pot, and simmer for 25 minutes.
Taste before serving, adding salt and pepper as needed.

Serve with a bowl of shredded parmesan and crusty, warm bread.

Hope you're staying warm - but getting out for a quick walk on these pretty, sunny days!

8 comments:

La Table De Nana said...

I have some of her books..
I was so excited the first time I bought one..100 yrs ago..I loved her show..100 yrs ago..and we taped some on our trusty VCR..:)
The soups looks grand:)
Guess what?
-20 F when we got up this am.

katrina said...

Nana - minus 20?!!!! No idea what it was this morning, but at 3 pm, it is cold, even with the sun out. Oh, you poor thing.
I never watched her show until I got cable 5 years ago, and then was disappointed there was so much promotion of brands, I turned it off. But I love her cookbooks! Try to stay warm!

elizabeth said...

I've been making a soup like this every week for a couple months. I do a variation of Alton Brown's Winter Vegetable Soup. I use fresh frozen rosemary from my Mom's CA garden, but next time I'll have to try your version with tarragon.

katrina said...

Elizabeth - I'll have to look up Alton's soup -thanks for letting me know about it. I adore tarragon, but be warned, many people loathe it - a total mystery to me. Which is why I offered an alternative to tarragon in this recipe.

elizabeth said...

A co-worker of mine used to make a salad with fresh spinach, scallions, olives, feta, fresh tarragon from his garden and a warm garlic vinaigrette. Very delicious. I grow french tarragon in my garden here in the summer in MT, one of the few herbs that comes back in the spring, but I really don't use it enough.

Barb said...

Mmmmm - I love tarragon - what about tarragon chicken salad? Delicious! This soup looks perfect for this time of year.

I hate to even tell you how cold it is here and it's supposed to get even colder next week :-).

Oh, and this is now the snowiest January on record for us. *sigh*

I'll stop complaining now :-).

I do hope you are staying warm & toasty!!

katrina said...

Elizabeth - that salad sounds wonderful! So happy to hear you also love tarragon - it is loathed by so many people I am shocked....

katrina said...

Oh, Barb - love tarragon chicken salad! I don;t think I can talk about the cold anymore - today had a high of 35 degrees - pathetic how thrilled I was at our tropical weather:) Stay warm and cozy and hope that Polar Vortex goes away for good next week - and wishing you an early Spring thaw....
I worry so much about folks who can't afford to heat their homes in this weather....