This hearty Tomato Florentine Soup is one of the few soups the kids seem to enjoy, and along with grilled cheese sandwich, it makes a quick and easy weeknight meal on cold nights. And considering we were a bit under the weather, what with it being stormy and all for a few weeks now, this Tomato Florentine was begging to be made.
For a quick recipe, I use canned tomatoes, but, when in season, fresh tomatoes stewed and strained would be great, even if a bit elaborate and tedious.
1 can stewed diced tomatoes
2 garlic cloves finely minced
1 small onion, finely minced
2 or 3 tsp dark brown sugar, adjust to taste
1 to 2 tsp smoked paprika
1 cup cooked pasta shells (or more if preferred)
2 cups fresh spinach leaves, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 to 2 tsp corn starch or arrow root powder for thickening
water as needed
salt and black pepper as needed
Italian Spices: basil, marjoram, oregano, thyme, or any other favorite combination; about 2 tsp each or adjust to taste. I prefer more basil and marjoram, and not as much oregano and thyme, as kids find oregano overpowering.
Garnish: chives, spring onions
- If using canned stewed tomatoes, run in the blender briefly and strain to get a smoother soup, without chunky pulp
- Sauté the onions and garlic in olive oil, add the tomatoes, spices, spinach, some water, cover and allow to simmer
- Adjust salt, brown sugar, and black pepper to taste, toss in the cooked pasta shells (or other favorite pasta), and simmer some more
- Make a solution of corn starch and water, add to simmering soup, while stirring constantly, to thicken as needed
- Garnish with whatever is handy; I like chopped chives and spring onions as they are readily available in the garden, as are the fresh spinach leaves :)