Tomato Soup With Spinach Cheese Dumplings
There is something about tomato soup that just makes me so happy. You too? My version has chunky tomatoes, a savory broth, and lovely pillows of cheese and spinach delightfulness. What could be better? Let's get started.
You'll need a pretty big pot or Dutch oven to start. I really like a Dutch oven for homemade soups. It provides a consistent heat all around the pot, and the lid keeps in the moisture for a perfect simmer.
Melt one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and one tablespoon of butter over medium heat in whichever pot you have chosen.
We need to dice up an onion. I explained in depth how to slice an onion in my Spinach and Artichoke Lasagna recipe. The difference with a dice is that you cut along the indentations before you slice across. Leave just a little bit of the onion in tact at the back, so as you slice across the onion doesn't slip apart. This will help reduce your chance of a potential accident. You can either chop the ends after you have finished your dice or just discard them.
The more cuts you make, the smaller your dice will be. Keeping a consistent cut is most important when you are using your diced onion in a raw preparation. Since we are going to cook this down quite a bit, it will work fine if the dice is not precisely uniform.
Add the diced onion to your pot, season with a large pinch of salt and pepper and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups broth, chicken or veggie
- 28 ounce can whole tomatoes
- 14.5 ounce can stewed tomatoes
- 6 ounce can tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- black pepper
- Add butter and olive oil to Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat. Add onions, salt and black pepper and brown for 15 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook an additional minute.
- Add broth to pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Scrape the bottom of the pot. Add all tomato products and sugar to pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Break up whole tomatoes, season to taste and adjust acidity with additional sugar if needed.
- Chop spinach. Mix eggs, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, spinach, flour, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and black pepper in a bowl until just combined.
- Scoop mixture into 1/2-1 inch dumplings and drop into soup. Submerge, increase heat to medium and simmer soup covered for 5 minutes.
- The soup is ready when the dumplings are floating and cooked through. Enjoy!
Once the onions are translucent and a little bit browned, add two minced garlic cloves. Here is a great shortcut! You can purchase jars of minced garlic in the produce section of your local grocery store. Each teapoon of this neat little timesaver is equal to one clove, so you can use two teaspoons of pre-minced garlic if you'd prefer. Let the garlic cook for about one minute.
See all that brown goodness on the bottom of your pot? That is pure flavor my friend, and we are going to take advantage of that right now. Add four cups of chicken or veggie broth to your pot and turn the heat to high. Once it starts to boil, scrape the bottom of your pot to bring up all the brown bits into your soup. This brings a rich homemade tastiness into your broth, which makes sense as this IS a homemade soup.
So, what are we missing....hmmm...tomatoes, people. It's definitely tomato time.
Add a 28 ounce can of whole plum tomatoes juice and all, a can of stewed tomatoes, and a can of tomato paste. You can substitute diced tomatoes for the whole, as we will be casually breaking them up later. I enjoy the taste, texture and rustic look of varied tomato pieces in this soup.
With all this acidic tomato product, we need to balance our soup with at least three tablespoons of sugar. You can add more after your taste test. Stir everything together.
Bring your soup to a boil again, reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
While your soup is simmering we have time to put our dumplings together. First we need chopped spinach.
Pile a packed cup (or large handful - it doesn't need to be exact) of spinach on your cutting board. We kept all your fingers safe during the onion dice, let's do the same now. Hold your knife in your dominant hand and put your other on top of the knife. Life the handle up and down over the spinach to chop it. As it spreads out, use your knife to bring it back into a pile and continue to chop until it is roughly the size shown in the photo below.
Beat two eggs in a bowl. Add one cup of ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, all the chopped spinach, 1 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon onion powder and 1 teaspoon garlic powder in a bowl. Mix everything together until it is just combined.
You don't want to over mix or your 'pillows of cheese' dumplings will turn into tough hockey pucks.
After your soup has simmered for 15 minutes, remove the lid and inhale the tangy tomato aroma. You might draw a crowd in your kitchen.
Using your spoon, break apart your tomatoes, stir and take a taste. Adjust your salt and pepper accordingly. If it tastes too acidic add sugar one tablespoon at a time until it is perfect.
Now we are going to add the dumplings. The easiest way to make dumplings is with a small scoop. You can also use two spoons to make 1/2 to 1 inch dumplings and gently place them in your soup.
Submerge them best you can, turn your heat to medium, cover and let cook for another five minutes.
The dumplings should now be floating and cooked through. These delectable morsels will have a texture a little more dense than ravioli filling.
It is time to dive into your pot of homemade delicious tomato soup. Ladel it up already, your family is anxiously waiting to taste!