I didn't feel like going to the grocery store on Sunday and wanted to use up some of the random veggies and an open container of chicken stock in my fridge. This is what I came up with and it actually came out really good!
If you can't find cans of fire roasted tomatoes (Muir Glenn and Hunts both make them), you can roast your own by spreading out diced canned tomatoes, drained or sliced fresh tomatoes on a cookie sheet and roasting them with olive oil, salt and pepper around 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
And if you don't have a Parmesan cheese rind lying around (I save all of mine in the freezer, they add a ton of flavor to soups quickly!), just buy a good block of Parmesan (Parmigiano-Reggiano if you've got the extra pennies!) and cut off the rind end. Save the rest of the cheese for something else. I have plenty of recipes that use the stuff (here, here, and here for starters!).
Makes about 6 cups of soup
1 14.5 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes
4 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken stock/broth*
1 onion, diced
one carrot, diced
1 medium sized zucchini, diced
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 head of garlic
1 Parmesan cheese rind
1 tablespoon olive oil
Roast an entire head of garlic (recipe can be found here). Cook the onion and carrot in 1 tablespoon olive oil until soft, stirring occasionally, then stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste and vegetable or chicken broth. Add seasonings: basil, oregano, bay leaf, and salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes, then add the Parmesan cheese rind and zucchini and continue to simmer. Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins and add to the pot. Cook until the zucchini is soft, stirring occasionally.
Remove cheese rind (will break down a bit but you should be able to remove the biggest pieces) and the bay leaf. Separate the liquid from the solids with a sieve, putting the liquid back in the pot. Puree the solids in a food processor, blender or hand blender and then return to pot. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. You're all done!
Serve with crusty bread and a dollop of sour cream if you like. It tastes even better the next day!
*If using chicken broth, the recipe is no longer vegetarian.*
All text and photographs (except where noted otherwise) © 2008, 2009 Food is to love / Andrea Quigley