During a recent trip to visit family in the Twin Cities area, we stopped in at a cafe called D’Amico & Sons for a quick lunch. Too much heavy food and greasy fast food on our trip had left me with an upset stomach so all I wanted was a light and veggie-laden soup. When the server brought my bowl, I immediately knew I had picked a winner.
This soup is a tomato-based broth with just a hint of creaminess without being a full-fledged cream soup. It is thick with veggies and teeny tiny pasta but still brothy enough to be a soup and not a stew. It might possibly be the most perfect vegetable soup I have ever had. The little bits of chicken give it that nice savory taste but it is truly the carrots and zucchini that are the heroes of this dish.
I could NOT stop thinking about this soup for days. I’m not exactly a soup fantatic but it hit the spot and kept me wanting more even after I returned home. In total desperation, I hunted the internet for a similar recipe. I found nothing that came close until I finally decided to just search for the restaurant’s name and the name of the soup. Sure enough, an employee who’s grandmother’s recipe is used for the basis of the soup posted it on their blog last year! Score! I literally yelped with excitement.
My version of the soup was not a dead-on match but it is my own fault. Next time I’ll take the time to dice my veggies smaller. I may consider adding more tomato and more broth (or less pasta). I added too much pasta in my original attempt and it soaked up too much of the broth. (The recipe below is adjusted with that in mind, no worries!)
Serve this with some fresh warm bread and butter and it is total cold winter day heaven. Even the Peanut gave it two thumbs up. She practically licked her bowl clean and I couldn’t feel better about the ingredients in it.
1 medium yellow onion (medium dice)
4 carrots (peeled, washed, and medium dice)
4 stalks celery (washed and medium diced)
2 zucchini (washed and medium diced)
3 cloves fresh garlic (chopped finely)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
28 0z can crushed tomatoes
6 cups chicken stock
Kosher salt-to taste
Fresh ground black pepper -to taste
1/2 cup Acini de pepe pastaMethod:
In a large pot add 2 tbsp olive oil and saute onions, celery, and carrots over medium high heat for 8-10 minutes. Add zucchini and garlic. Saute until tender about 4-6 minutes.
Add chicken stock, tomatoes, basil, oregano, chicken. Simmer soup for 20 minutes, vegetables should be tender. Add the pasta and cook right in the soup for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add heavy cream if using and allow to simmer for 6-8 minutes.
NOTE: I let my soup set in the fridge overnight and the pasta absorbed far too much of the liquid. I just added a few more cups of chicken stock when I reheated it to make it more brothy and soup-like.