Thursday, April 5, 2012

Tomato-Carrot Soup for Easter or Passover--A Light and Easy First Course

Up next in the blog is a simple, yet incredibly tasty soup I made out of on-hand ingredients to preface a meal of steak with oven-browned potatoes accented with burnt onions and roasted asparagus. If your meal is easy and nearly instant, as was this, or is a holiday meal elsewhere,  what a good time to make a first-course soup. Get ready for, “Oh, you made SOUP?!” 

Bowls: I served this soup in small, square off-white china bowls made by Mikasa; these bowls could be used with almost any everyday dishes or china and I bought them just for first-course soups. At one time, many china patterns were available with “cream soup” bowls, which were tiny bowls with small handles on each side that typically had matching saucers. Now available mostly in antique or consignment shops, we must buy our china there or improvise. Lotus bowls are mostly too small and the typical bowls that come with dishes today are for cereal, green salad or chili.

Wine: If you’re having a separate wine with a first course, by all means serve an Italian Falanghina or a Spanish Albarino. An un-oaked Chardonnay might be a dog that would hunt here. We made do with a California Petite Syrah we were having with the steak—and loved it, but could imagine a light Italian red as well if you’re an only-red-wine-drinker.

For a soup/ sandwich meal: Grill Swiss, Gouda or Brie on ciabatta.

Bread for first course: This soup is lovely with a salt and pepper and/or parmesan crostini; I include directions.

tomato-carrot soup
Serves 4 as a first course

  • 1T butter
  • 3 medium carrots, minced
  • 4 stalks celery, minced
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ c parsley, chopped finely
  • ¼ c fresh basil, chopped finely
  • ½ 28oz can Italian (Cento is good) tomatoes
  • 3 c low-sodium chicken broth (Use vegetable broth for Vegetarian/Vegan option)
  • 1/2t Kosher salt
  • ¼ t freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 c feta cheese, crumbled (in bowl at table)  Skip for vegan option.

  • 4 ½ slices baguette for salt and pepper crostini  (Skip this section for Passover meals.)
  • 2t olive oil
  • 4t freshly-grated parmesan, opt. (Skip cheese for vegan option)
  • Kosher salt and pepper

In four-quart saucepan, melt butter and add carrots, celery and onion. Sauté five minutes, adding garlic half-way through. Stir in fresh herbs and tomatoes, breaking up tomatoes with fork or knife. You could food-process the tomatoes beforehand if you'd like. Cook briefly, one-two minutes to marry flavors. Add broth and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce to simmer until veggies are tender, 10-15 min. Add extra broth or water if soup becomes too thick. Check seasoning. Ladle into small bowls and pass feta cheese at table. Serve w/ salt and pepper crostini if serving for Easter; skip bread for Passover meals.

Directions for crostini: slice French baguette into ½ in slices and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Top with a dusting of kosher salt, freshly ground pepper and/or grated parmesan cheese if desired. Bake at 350 F on a cookie sheet about 10 minutes or until toasted through.
To make one day ahead and bring to a holiday dinner:   Cook as above.  Remove from  heat and cool to room temperature before refrigerating overnight.  Day of the dinner, heat a crock-pot full of water on high.  Just before dinner or before leaving for a  meal elsewhere, heat pot of soup on stove top.  Pour water out of now hot crock-pot and pour in soup.  Place lid on top and secure firmly with large, thick rubber bands.  Wrap crock-pot in old towels and place in cardboard box for transporting if you don't have a crock-pot carrier.  Bring feta in a separate container.

Happy Spring,

First published on More Time at the Table in May of 2009


  1. The soup recipe looks great. This is a little thing not did you know youcan use crumpled up newspapers instead of towels to insulate your crockpot inside thebox.Light and easy.

  2. Gosh, what a great idea! Thanks, Rhonda.


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