One winter day in 2007 I came home from work at 11 a.m., displaying all the symptoms of approaching upper respiratory ailment. I intended to make chicken soup and take a nap.
I didn't make chicken soup at all.
Instead I made a very tomato-y soup with a dash of orange rind and lots of thyme. It was inspired by a similar recipe at Epicurious, adapted to my taste buds and to the ingredients I had on hand. I did nap, and felt much better the next morning. I think of this as a sort-of sunshine soup for sick days, and often keep it in the freezer - because who feels like making soup when they are sick?
Zesty Tomato Soup with Herbes de Provence (makes 6 servings)
- 4 cups chicken, turkey or vegetable stock
- 1 can Italian-style diced tomatoes
- 1 large celery rib, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 strips of fresh orange zest, minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- dash red pepper flakes
- one bay leaf
- 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
- additional water as needed
- 1 tablespoon parsley
- dash or two herbes de Provence to taste
Options: Rice, chicken, a dash of fennel seeds. The original recipe calls for saffron, but I had none.
Cook onions, celery, garlic, orange zest and pepper flakes in olive oil for about five minutes in a stock pot.
Add soup stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, herbs and bay leaf. Bring to a low boil, then simmer uncovered for about 30-40 minutes Taste frequently and add water as needed. You may need to add some sugar at this point. Remove bay leaf before serving.
I also tossed in some leftover cherry tomatoes, chopping them to a paste first.
Like most tomato soups, this pairs well with a cheese sandwich. Grilled ham and cheese and a bit of coleslaw would be perfect.