I’m going to tell you a little story that doesn’t really relate to this Easy Tomato Florentine Soup Recipe. Except that in the end you’ll see how the two are related after all. If you don’t care about the story, skim to the end. This Easy Tomato Florentine Soup is definitely worth a try!
One of the (many) things I’ve learned through motherhood is that my plans will never always go as planned. More often than not something throws a kink in the plan and changes our course. It can be as simple as the dinner plans or as major as a move you’d planned on for the last year not working out.
For someone who’s a planner at heart these situations are always kind of a bummer. It’s a difficult thing to have your heart and mind set on something, no matter how small or large, only to take an unexpected turn in another direction. Sometimes those changes end up being for the best, but you never know until after the fact.
Eric and I have been planning for the last year that we’d be moving in the Fall of 2011. One thing lead to another and Plan A didn’t pan out, so we went with the flow and moved on to Plan B.
Then Plan A was on again but we were already committed to Plan B. And then Plan B fell through. So here we are. Still in New Mexico for at least another year and not really understanding why.
Because one of these days I’m going to realize that I shouldn’t rely on my plans too much, I’m always glad to have a few more back ups in my reserves. I have to thank my aunt for this recipe. I had given her a copy of Soups, Stews and Chilis for Christmas because she loves soups.
Every time we talk she has another list of recipes that they have tried and loved. I knew I had to try this Tomato Florentine Soup Recipe when she mentioned it during our last conversation.
There are so many recipes in this book such as this Easy Tomato Florentine Soup, that I want to make and I’m sure I would have made this one eventually, but the recommendation couldn’t have come at a better time. Diced tomatoes are something I always have on hand which makes this soup a great pantry meal.
For days when the plans are thrown by the wayside I like to have a few pantry meals, like this Easy Tomato Florentine Soup, up my sleeve. It’s a comforting thing to still be able to put a healthy, enjoyable meal on the table at dinner time even if other aspects of the day have been crazy. Three cheers for a well stocked pantry!
What was your last “plan” that didn’t go according to plan?
Easy Tomato Florentine Soup
adapted from Soups, Stews and Chilis
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium yellow onion
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
3 - 14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes, drained and juice reserved
1 tablespoon minced garlic, about 3 cloves
2 tablespoons flour
2 bay leaves
3-5 cups vegetable or chicken broth (or a combo)
2 cups mini penne, cooked
10 ounces baby spinach, chopped*
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
*Frozen spinach may be substituted. First, thaw the spinach and then squeeze excess water until the spinach is dry.
Another alternative is to use 3/4 - 1 cup Freeze Dried Spinach, which I prefer because I have all the ingredients at any time and I don't have to fuss with thawing frozen spinach. Just stir it directly into the soup before serving.
Heat the butter and olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute for 3 minutes. Add the brown sugar, tomato paste, and diced tomatoes (reserve juices for a later use). Cook until the tomatoes begin to dry, about 13 minutes.
Add the garlic to the dutch oven, stir, and cook for about 1 minute. Stir in the flour and continue to cook for another minute.
Stir in the reserved tomato juice and bay leaves. Add 1 cup of broth at a time, whisking after each addition, until desired consistency is reached. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes.