Winter is a great time to make big pots of soup; healthy, soothing, and so easy to make. One of our favorites is tomato soup. It tastes terrific on its own, or with a grilled cheese alongside for dunking. However, plain tomato soup can get boring after a while so I like to think of new ways to change it up. It doesn't have to be about crazy new recipes, just a few tweaks here and there.
First, sometimes I add cheese plus cheese tortellini to it for an extra delicious pasta twist. This makes the soup heftier, so it is really is a meal all on its own.
Second, for a healthier twist I add a 1/2 cup of quinoa and a 1/2 cup of water, plus two or three whole canned tomatoes. This creates a tomato soup with terrific texture and flavor. Plus, the added protein from the quinoa is always welcome.
Lastly, to get my winter greens I like to add baby spinach and let it wilt into the soup. I look at this is a new way to eat my salads in the winter. Sometimes spinach with dressing just gets too boring! Plus, if I finely chop the spinach my daughter will eat it without even realizing she is eating spinach.
Tomato Soup: 3 Variations
Doctor up your basic recipe for tomato soup! Our 3 favorite ways.
- chicken or vegetable broth: 32 ounces
- crushed tomatoes with juices: 1 28-ounce can
- Kosher salt: to taste
- black pepper: to taste
- freshly chopped basil: 1/4 cup
- cheese tortellini: 1 1/2 cups, optional
- Parmesan: to taste, optional
- 1/2 cup quinoa (optional)
- Whole canned tomatoes (optional)
- 2 cups coarsely chopped baby spinach (optional)
Step 1: Add the broth, tomatoes, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper to a large pot and bring to a boil for one minute.
Step 2: Reduce the heat so the sauce returns to a simmer. Use an immersion blender or a regular blender to blend the soup until completely smooth.
Step 3: Stir in the basil.
Option 1: Tomato Soup with Cheese Tortellini
Simmer the soup for 15 minutes. Then stir in the cheese tortellini and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Bring to a boil and cook until the cheese tortellini floats to the top. Serve.
Option 2: Chunky Tomato Soup with Quinoa
Simmer the soup for 15 minutes. Then stir in the quinoa and 1/2 cup of water and 2 or 3 whole canned tomatoes. Simmer the soup for 20 minutes or until the quinoa is completely cooked. Gently mash the whole tomatoes, but not too much.
Option 3: Tomato Soup Florentine (even kids will love!)
Add the spinach to the soup and simmer the soup for 15 minutes.