Back in the day, when I was working in neuroscience, my labmates and I used to frequent this quaint tiny cafe in our building called Suzie's. Their specialty - soup. Their soups were so delicious and popular, you had to get there by 9 am to order them otherwise they'd be sold out. I was particularly in love with the soup dujour: Tomato Florentine - a hearty yet creamy tomato soup with spinach and basil. They would have in once every couple weeks until they stopped making it! Ah! Apparently it was a seasonal fall item, so when I left that summer, I really missed that soup. Last week I tried making it (fifth times the charm, right??) and I think I've got it. Bye george, I've got it (cue My Fair Lady).
TOMATO FLORENTINE SOUP + AVOCADO GRILLED CHEESE RECIPES
KITCHEN INSPIRED BY SUZIE'S CAFE + THE GREY DOG
INGREDIENTS TOMATO FLORENTINE SOUP (SERVES 4-6)
- 1 (28 oz) can San Marzano tomatoes
- 6 large basil leaves (chopped into long strips)
- 1 cup fresh spinach (chopped)
- 2 celery stalks (diced)
- 1 yellow onion (diced)
- 4-6 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 4 tbs butter
- 2 medium carrots (diced)
- 1/2 c chopped leeks
- 1/8 tsp lemon pepper
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 tsp chili powder (optional)
- salt to taste (or himalayan pink salt if you have!)
- water to desired consistency
INSTRUCTIONS TOMATO FLORENTINE SOUP
- Melt butter over medium heat in a medium pot.
- Saute the garlic in the butter until slightly golden.
- Add the diced onions and cook until translucent.
- Add the chopped leeks and cook until translucent.
- Add the diced celery and cook until translucent.
- Add the diced carrots and cook until tender.
- Add the juice from the canned tomatoes. Bring to a simmer.
- Add 2/3 of the tomatoes from the can (set aside the remaining 1/3).
- Let the mixture cool slightly and then blend until completely smooth.
- Add the mixture back to the pot, and continue to cook on medium heat. Add the chopped basil and spinach, remaining tomatoes and all spices. Stir until blended well.
- Bring to a simmer again before serving.
INGREDIENTS HERBED AVOCADO GRILLED CHEESE (SERVES 1)
- 1 tsp boursin garlic and herb cheese
- 1/4 celery stalk (diced)
- 1 piece of lettuce
- couple slices of onion
- 1/4 avocado (long slices)
- 2 slices toasted whole wheat bread