Even though this easy Tomato Florentine Soup with pasta is ready in under 20 minutes, it will taste like it cooked all day. 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. 🙂 (Not only is it healthy, but it easily rounds out so meals!)
It is a based on classic version that stands alone. Make it “creamy” by adding a little milk. For another version, stir in fresh basil. It’s like a blank palate ready for experimentation. Check out Roasted Tomato Soup with a Spider Web Topping if you have a similar passion for jazzing up your soups. It’s also nice with a few Parmesan crisps scattered over the top.
But, it was the basil variation that got me thinking…on a day when I was out of fresh basil but had plenty of spinach on hand.
To pretty up dishes and sneak in some extra vegetables, I like to chiffonade baby spinach leaves, the same way that I slice basil leaves. So, for this recipe a heaping amount of fresh baby spinach leaves are sliced thin and mixed into this soup made even better with a little whole wheat pasta and an infusion of extra cheese. (See my tips on easily slicing spinach leaves thin below.)
Easy Tomato Florentine Soup Tips
This was just the right time for yet another tomato soup recipe on The Dinner-Mom blog 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…
Add Parmesan Cheese Rinds To Soup
Yep. I know it’s not earth shattering and I certainly didn’t discover it.
But, owed to the fact that we put fresh Parmesan cheese on just about any plate that crosses our paths, we end up with a lot of rinds. The one shown is quite a bit bigger than I usually use. Leftover rinds 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.)
Add Uncooked Pasta Shells
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!
Easy Way to Chiffonade Spinach or Basil
To chiffonade the spinach leaves, stack 6-7 leaves, roll them and cut them into strips with kitchen scissors. It makes quick work of this task and is so easy to do. It’s a bit of an obssession. Although the taste is completely different basil, a dish is quickly prettied up with a sprinkling of thinly sliced spinach leaves.
Also, be sure to make a double batch of tomato florentine soup, because it freezes beautifully.
Easy Tomato Florentine Soup with Pasta
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1-2 pressed garlic cloves
- 26.46 ounces 1 box chopped tomatoes unsalted
- 1½ cups vegetable broth
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Rind from a Parmesan cheese wedge
- 1 cup whole wheat pasta
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves julienned
- Parmesan cheese to sprinkle over top optional
- 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.
- Garnish with additional Parmesan cheese and spinach.
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