Tomato Stelline and Escarole Soup with Anchovy Toast. Kiddie Soup with a Grown Folks Taste.

by Courtney on April 24, 2012

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Life is frantically busy these days. A co worker asked me today , what was wrong, and why I’m so quiet lately. I snapped back and told her to walk in  my shoes the past few weeks and try being fun and sociable. I think she wanted something more to be wrong, and was taken aback. You can’t be everything to everybody, and I’m not even going to try.  By the time I come home from my varied schedule and commute, I force myself to cook something decent.  Because I owe  myself that.The thought of what I’m going to create that night takes the edge of of crazy day.It centers me. The dish need not be elaborate, as most times I’m doing a mental inventory of whats on hand. If I have to, I make a quick stop at the store for extra ingredients. Sometimes I just want a soup. I’m very picky about soup, and am never really satisfied with the offerings around me when out to lunch. I like to be creative with soup and have good clean, yet strong flavors. I whipped up this soup in my head and knew it would be a quick easy pantry type of meal for Certain Someone and myself  . One bite of it took me back to those cans of Chef Boyardee, when I  was a kid. Granted it tastes better, but the childish tiny Stelline pasta was a very Proustian moment for me. The childhood flavor was ramped up with adult tastes and textures of escarole. And then the clincher was toast rounds with a divine anchovy butter. Can you say heavenly satisfying. If your not a fan of anchovy’s, be pedestrian and make plain old garlic toast ( Certain Someones option). That will leave more anchovy toast for the connoisseurs.  Give yourself about 45 minutes to prepare .I cheated a bit with  a chicken soup base. But of course homemade stock is better, if you have it laying around. It’s worth the little extra effort, after a hard days work.

Tomato Stelline and Escarole Soup with Anchovy Toast. Kiddie Soup with a Grown Folks Taste.
Author: 
Recipe type: soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
A childlike tomato soup, with grown up tastes.
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup of diced carrots
  • ½ red onion minced
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp of Vegeta ( optional seasoning mix)
  • Dried Italian Herbs
  • 1 28 oz can peeled stewed tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp chicken soup base and 6 cups of water or
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 head of Escarole washed and chopped
  • 1½ cups Stelline Pasta
  • salt and pepper to taste.
  • Baguette cut into rounds about ½ inch thick
  • 4-5 tbsp of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp of anchovy paste
  • dried parsley
Instructions
  1. In a large stock pot, add the olive oil. Heat on medium high.
  2. Add the chopped carrots, onion, garlic. Saute on medium heat for a few minutes until softened.
  3. Add the Vegeta (optional) and dried Italian Herbs . Stir.
  4. Add the tomatoes and the liquid. Pulse with a immersion blender until pureed.
  5. Add either the chicken soup base and water or the chicken stock.
  6. Pulse again with the immersion blender until completely pureed.
  7. Bring up to slight boil, and then reduce heat to simmer.
  8. Add the escarole. Simmer until wilted.
  9. During the last 10 minutes of cooking add the Stelline pasta.
  10. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper or more Vegeta.
  11. While the soup is simmering , preheat oven to 375 F.
  12. Cut the baguette into rounds.
  13. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  14. Mix the butter at room temperature with the anchovy paste until spreadable.
  15. Spread butter onto bread .
  16. Sprinkle dried parsley flakes.
  17. Bake , watching carefully until golden. You may raise the temp slightly to 425 the last few minutes to ensure golden crispness.
  18. Serve with the soup while hot.