Tomato Soup and Pastina with Grilled Cheese

7 09 2011

I’ve been away from the kitchen for the past few days, and Ohio for that matter – missing the intense near 100-degree heat and humidity that was here over the weekend. I came back to cool, crisp fall-like weather….a 30-degree temperature drop from day-to-day can be norm in Cleveland! So what does that mean for dinner? Some sort of soup of course!

I have a few different ways of making tomato soup, but this recipe was a new one I discovered in Cuisine For Two. I made a few tweaks to the ingredients based on what I had in the fridge, as well as how my Italian fam likes to eat pasta in soup. We tend to use “pastina” which in Italian means “little pasta” and is the smallest pasta you can find. This meal is simple, fast and delicious along side some gooey grilled cheese.

Tomato Soup and Pastina with Grilled Cheese

This recipe is great if you’re in a hurry, simply follow these steps to make this soup in 15 minutes (serves 2). If you have a few more minutes to spare, check out my tip below for how I did it.

  • 1/2 cup diced onion (I used shallots instead)
  • 1/4 cup diced celery (I used green bell pepper instead)
  • 1 heaping tsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup dry orzo pasta or pastina (meaning “little pasta”)
  • Salt and red pepper flakes to taste
  • Minced lemon zest
  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • Grated parmesan cheese

Saute garlic, onion and celery in oil in a saucepan over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Add tomatoes, broth and pasta. Bring to a boil and simmer until pasta is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper flakes. Serve with zest, parsley and parmesan garnished.

This Girl’s Way: Saute bell pepper in oil in a saucepan over medium heat for a minute or two. Add the shallots, garlic and dash of red pepper flakes and saute for another 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes and broth, bring to a boil and then simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Mash the tomatoes a little with a potato masher to help break up the chunks. Add the pastina and cook through, about another 10 minutes back over medium heat. Season with salt and zest. Garnish with parsley and parmesan.

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