Even though this easy Tomato Florentine Soup recipe is ready in under 20 minutes, it’s infused with flavor from a Parmesan Cheese rind that simmers along with the pasta. Make extra to freeze!
Florentine is my latest twist on classic tomato soup because I just looooove tomato soup. 🙂 You?
It’s based on a basic recipe that stands alone. It can be made “creamy” by adding a little milk. For another version, stir in fresh basil. It’s like a blank palate ready for experimentation. (You might want to check out Roasted Tomato Soup with a Spider Web Topping if you have a similar passion.)
Anyways, it was the basil variation that got me thinking…
I like to chiffonade baby spinach leaves, just like I do for basil leaves, to pretty up dishes and sneak in some extra vegetables. The result?
Tomato Florentine Soup has been added to our soup rotation.
This was just the right time for yet another tomato soup recipe on The Dinner-Mom blog too because I have a little trick to share that I have been using in my soup recipes lately and it is just bursting to come out…
Parmesan Cheese Rinds
Yep. I know it’s not earth shattering and I certainly didn’t discover it.
But, owed to the fact that I put fresh Parmesan cheese on just about any plate that crosses my path, we end up with a lot of rinds. These go directly into the freezer when it’s too much trouble to grate any more off. (FYI – You can grate and eat the rind too if you’re up for a little arm work!)
If I’m making Hearty Vegetable Soup, Pasta Fagioli or any other dish where it would be appropriate to sprinkle Parm over the top, I toss the rind into the pot when bringing things up to a boil. As it simmers, a wonderful, cheesy flavor infuses the dish. (Depending upon the size of the rind, it will dissolve or else just fish out what’s left with a spoon.)
In order to inch closer to a complete meal, I added whole wheat pasta shells. The pasta doesn’t have to be cooked first. Just stir it in once the soup is brought to a boil. Easy. If you add a little protein (like chicken or chick peas) then dinner is done!
To chiffonade the spinach leaves, stack 6-7 leaves, roll them and cut them into strips with kitchen scissors. Also, be sure to make a double batch of tomato florentine soup, because it freezes beautifully.
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Butter or Margarine
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1-2 pressed garlic cloves
- 1 box (26.46 ounces) chopped tomatoes (unsalted)
- 1½ cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth)*
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Rind from a Parmesan cheese wedge (optional)
- 1 cup pasta (I used whole wheat)
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves, julienned
- Parmesan cheese to sprinkle over top
- Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add olive oil to pot and stir to combine.
- Add onions and garlic to pot and saute for about 5 minutes or until softened.
- Add tomatoes, broth, salt and pepper to pot and stir to combine.
- Puree soup mixture using an immersion blender or a food processor.
- Add rind from Parmesan cheese wedge to mixture, if using.
- Bring mixture to a slow boil.
- Add pasta shells to soup.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Remove undissolved rind from soup.
- Stir in spinach, reserving some spinach for topping.
- Top with additional Parmesan cheese.
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