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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Like a warm hug on a cold day!

My boyfriend and I used to frequent this little Greek family restaurant in town on cold winter nights just for a bowl of their Tomato Pasta Soup.  It was savory, filling and would warm you from head to toe.  After my diagnosis, of course I could no longer enjoy this soup and after a whole winter without it, he suggested that I could figure out how to make it myself.  I was doubtful, but willing to try just about anything.

So... off to Google I went in search of my favorite restaurant's soup recipe.  I combined my findings from a few to make what I felt was in the soup and ~ Voila!  He declared that it was better than the restaurant soup (which may have been kind, but I think it was at least as good as the restaurant's soup) and we have been enjoying it ever since.

There is some work to this soup, with removing the skins and seeds from the tomatoes, but if you love a hearty tomato-based soup, this one will not disappoint (and it makes a huge batch, so you can freeze a bunch for another time)!

Tomato Pasta Soup

1 large spanish onion chopped
2 stalks of celery chopped
2 large carrots chopped
3 tbsp margarine
8 large tomatoes peeled, seeded and chopped (see directions below)
900mL tetra pack of Campbell’s Veggie Broth 
1 19oz can of Heinz Tomato Juice
1 tbsp salt
pepper to taste
1 tsp thyme (to taste)
1-1/2 cups of cooked brown rice pasta shells
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

Soften the carrots, onion and celery with the margarine in a large pot. 

In a separate pot, boil water and drop the whole tomatoes (pitted) into the boiling water.   Wait a few minutes (until you see the skins starting to split) then remove the tomatoes and plunge into very cold water. The skins will peel off very easily, right in your hand!.  Chop tomatoes and remove the seeds.  Add the tomatoes to the softened veggies in the other pot and let simmer for 10 minutes with salt and thyme. 

Add the tomato juice, soup stock and parsley. 

In a separate pot, boil the brown rice noodles until el dente.  Rinse in cold water to remove excess starch, and then add to the soup.  Let simmer for about 1 hour on low heat, stirring often.  Season to taste with additional salt, pepper and thyme. 

Freezes and re-heats nicely.

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