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Alphabet Tomato Soup

Alphabet Tomato Soup

The quest for alphabet pasta started when I found a cute recipe for tomato soup with pasta letters. However, over the span of 6 months I searched high and low for alphabet pasta, to no avail. I checked all my local grocery stores, and didn’t see any. I checked online, where I thought I found a bag at Target, only to find out they don’t sell it anymore. My imagination started to take hold: why did stores stop selling alphabet pasta? Are people not making soup at home anymore? Are the pieces of pasta too small? Has the war against gluten actually become the war against alphabet pasta?

When I had almost given up hope, I found a generic brand box tucked away on the bottom shelf at our local Giant! Hooray! I was so excited I bought all but one of their boxes. (I secretly hoped there was someone else like me out there, who would find the last box and treasure it as much I would.)

So I finally got to make homemade alphabet tomato soup yesterday, and it was worth the wait. With the piles of white fluffy snow outside, it felt like the perfect time for hot homemade soup.

Unfortunately, the original recipe I was going to use called for fresh basil and vine ripened tomatoes. While I did have a mountain of basil growing in my garden this summer, these ingredients were no longer in easy supply during the winter. However, I made a simple modification to use canned tomatoes with basil, and it still tasted pretty good. This is an easy recipe, and perfect for a cold winter day. Enjoy the tomato soup plain or with a bit of crème fraîche on top.

Alphabet Tomato Soup

Ingredients

1 red onion
2 carrots
olive oil
4 cloves garlic
2 28-oz cans of plum tomatoes (preferably seasoned with basil)
1 350g box dried alphabet pasta
salt to taste
Optional: crème fraîche or cheddar cheese to top

Instructions

1
Peel the red onion and carrots and chop into half inch cubes. Heat a large metal pan on medium high heat with 1 Tablespoon oil. Add the onions and carrots. Then squash the garlic cloves using the flat side of a chef’s knife, and add to pan. Saute for about 10-15 minutes, or until onions are translucent.
2
Open the two cans of tomatoes, and pour into pan. Add 8 cups of water (or chicken stock, if you prefer). Bring to a bowl, and simmer for 40 minutes. Stir occasionally.
3
Now you’ll want to blend the soup to make it smooth. I scooped about half of the soup into our blender and blended until smooth. Then pour into an extra bowl or pan. Then blend the rest of the soup until smooth.
4
Add the blended soup back into the original pan, and add salt to taste. Bring to simmer. Add alphabet pasta and cook for 7-9 minutes (follow box directions). Serve hot, with crème fraîche or cheddar cheese as a topping.

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