Fresh tomatoes are not only so much more appealing and flavorful when compared to canned ones, but they are also more nutrient rich and free of harmful chemicals. Making your own creamy tomato broth from scratch doesn’t take very much time or effort, and adding in protein-packed beans and fiber-filled veggies turns it into a hearty, healthy, meat-free one-pot meal that you can whip up in advance and serve proudly to your family on any day of the busy week.
Rustic Tomato Basil Tuscan Soup
2 lbs fresh tomatoes, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 onion, cubed
2 carrots, peeled and cubed
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 540mL can navy beans, or 2 cups cooked navy beans
2 cups fresh kale, washed and chopped
1 handfuls fresh whole basil, leaves separated and finely chopped, stems separated and finely chopped
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup water
Salt & cracked black pepper, to taste
½ cup grated parmesan (optional)
In a large soup pot, heat some olive oil. Add in the basil stalks and sliced garlic, and sautee for 1 to 2 minutes. Then add in the chopped tomatoes, squeezing them down to release their juices, and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and allow the tomatoes to simmer, break down and release more liquid, squishing them down occasionally, for about 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a separate pot, heat olive oil and sautee onions, carrots and celery for 3 minutes. Add broth, water and beans, bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in kale and continue simmering until the kale is tender, about 5 more minutes.
Once both the tomatoes and the vegetables are finished cooking, shut the heat off both pots. Using cooking mitts, carefully lift the vegetable soup pot and pour off just the broth into the tomato pot, trying to avoid pouring in the vegetables (if some vegetables spill in to the tomato pot, its fine). Using a hand immersion blender, puree the cooked tomatoes with the vegetable broth, creating a fresh tomato soup. Then spoon in the rest of the cooked vegetables into the tomato soup base, stirring to combine. Sprinkle in chopped basil and seasonings.