Moosewood’s Tomato-Bean Soup
I don’t know if I’ve ever made an easier soup. And, oh yeah, it’s absolutely wonderful. Thick, rich, loaded with protein and flavor, and lots of fresh, local ingredients.
Just think…tomatoes I harvested from the garden last September. Fresh oregano growing in a pot in the office. Dried basil from last year’s crop in the herb garden. Just a little vegetable stock from the freezer–have we talked about stocks yet?
Anyway, the world’s simplest tomato soup. With a shout-out to Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates. A wonderful cookbook.
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 teaspoon chopped or dried oregano
1 teaspoon chopped or dried basil
2 cups vegetable stock, reduced to 1 cup
4 1/2 cups pinto or Roman beans (3 15.5-oz cans)
4 1/2 cups diced tomatoes (or 1 28-oz. can and 1 15.5-oz can)
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or more or less, to taste)
Grated Parmesan cheese and whole oregano leaves to garnish
Rinse and drain the beans. Warm the olive oil in a heavy-bottom soup pot. Add the onions and saute on medium-high for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until they just begin to brown. Stir in the oregano and basil, add the stock, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer about 5 minutes, until the onions are very soft.
Add three cups of tomatoes, 3 cups of beans, and the salt, and mix well. In batches in the blender, puree the onion, bean, and tomato mixture, and return to the soup pot. (Alternately, use an immersion hand-blender–a newly acquired but ridiculously invaluable tool–and puree in the soup pot). Stir in the remaining tomatoes and beans, and add the black pepper. Return to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and heat about 10-15 minutes longer, storring often.
Serve topped with a sprinkle of whole fresh oregano leaves and a tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese.
And a fresh, hot bread.
If you wish to play with this recipe, you could blend all the tomatoes and beans and add a half-cup of whole milk or half-and-half to make a thick, creamy soup. Or you could add 3 tablespoons of dry sherry or Cognac.
But do try it. It’s so simple on a night that promises several inches of snow.