Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sharing a Bowl of Tomato Soup With Friends

The shadows are getting longer and the days are getting shorter and cooler.  Mighty oaks are showing a softer side as they put on their fall color.  Orangish red maples snuggle up beside the now yellow oaks.   Leaves are skittering about lawns and sidewalks.

I met my dear friends Diana and Jane for lunch last week.  We had hoped to enjoy one more meal this fall sitting outside at one of our favorite restaurants and we weren't disappointed.  Lucrezia's has a tree-shaded patio and when the weather is nice, dining al fresco is a perfect way for us to enjoy a delicious meal and catch up.

The area is protected by hedges and large pots of flowering plants.  We settled cozily into a corner and ordered three bowls of minestrone soup--the long-standing house favorite.  The salad of the day was a hearty broccoli, tomato and thick pieces of crispy bacon on a bed of greens and topped with a four-cheese (or was it five?) dressing.  It looked like fall on a plate and tasted so good that I failed to get a photograph!!

Sunlight dappled down on us through an umbrella of leaves.  It was a perfect few hours.

Last month, we had lunch together at my house.

I'd seen a recipe for a rustic tomato soup over at Once Upon a Plate and thought it sounded delicious.  It was!!  I made a few slight changes to make use of what I had in the pantry.   If you haven't visited Mari, you are in for a beautifully delicious treat!  

Tomato Soup inspired by Mari at Once Upon a Plate

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 slices of bacon cut in 1/2 inch pieces
1 medium onion, in small dice
1 large clove garlic, peeled
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp each minced fresh rosemary and thyme
1 quart chicken broth
1 28 ounce can of whole tomatoes, slightly pureed in a blender or processor
2 cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1.  Heat oil in large pot and add bacon.  Saute until just crisp.  Remove and reserve.  Drain all but 1 tablespoon of oil from pan and add onions.  Saute until just translucent.  Add garlic and stir for one minute.
2.  Add broth, tomatoes, bay leaf and herbs.  Simmer over medium heat for about fifteen minutes.  Add beans, reserved bacon, salt and pepper and slowly simmer for about fifteen minutes longer.


French bread sliced about 3/4 inch thick on the diagonal
Grated asiago cheese, enough to thickly top the sliced bread

Place into a 325 degree over so the cheese will slowly melt as the bread toasts.

Place steaming soup into bowls and top with the cheesy bread.



  1. I guess the weather is inspiring tomato soup, because I made pot of tomato macaroni soup yesterday. Yours looks real good. We have had rain and cold weather for the past 5 days; fall is here.

  2. Yes, tomato soups must be in the air! I just made one, too! This looks perfect. And sounds -- and looks -- like a perfect day with friends. Great days this time of year are a treat!

  3. sounds wonderful to me, i love eating under trees with dappled sunshine. we have a place here that has tables on a deck under huge trees, it is so wonderful to sit there. tomato soup, yum

  4. I sure with everyone were closer So we could all get together have a great time Soup looks gooooood

  5. What a cute resto:) I agree Mari's blog has been a special treat of mine for years..Always perfect recipes..presentations.. photos..:)
    Love her!

    I made minestrone yesterday:)

    Your place looks pretty much like here at the moment..

    I made that tomato soup also and we enjoyed it a lot.

  6. I do love the addition of the cannelini beans in this hearty soup. We can still hope for one more day to sit outside and enjoy!

  7. Your meal location looks delightful! I love tomato soup, and eat it with a grilled cheese sandwich, of course.

  8. Love this blog, recipes and methods I'll be using for sure. And, I enjoy the food photogrpahy, a niche unto itself.

  9. Yummy soup and love the ambience it is served....

  10. Oh, yummmm!

    I absolutely love good tomato soup!

    And any meal, even a piece of bread, with cheese and a glass of wine always taste better when shared with friends at a table set....

    What a wonderful treat on this fall day.

  11. It sounds like a wonderful time! Beautiful pictures!

  12. Rustic Tomato Soup sounds lovely. Glad you got to go enjoy more meal in such a nice space!

  13. Both lunches sound wonderful. I also love the photo you are using in your header. It is perfect! I hope all is well. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  14. This looks so good. I may have to sneak it in on my hubby under another name. He is such a Campbell's tomato soup and Velveeta grilled cheese sandwich kind of guy. Farmers... what do you do with them? ;-)

  15. Sounds like you're enjoying fall and eating very well! Both soups sound great:@)

  16. This is the BEST time of year for soup! I love a grilled cheese sandwich with my tomato soup! YUM!!! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  17. Ooh, Bonnie, this sounds fantastic. While the days are still lovely here (high 60's), as soon as the sun gets to a certain point (about 4:00 in the afternoon), it starts getting quite cool...which means, by dinnertime, soup is a welcome thought. I will definitely be adding this to our dinner schedule...and soon.

    I've pinned this recipe to my Pinterest soup board.

    Have a lovely evening.


  18. Your day out sounds lovely; and, the tomato soup looks yummy. Loving these fall days. Bonnie

  19. It sounds like you all had a delightful lunch in such a beautiful setting! So perfect for a fall lunch before it gets to cold! This tomato soup sounds wonderful, especially with the cheese crouton on top! Yum!!

  20. One of my favorites: tomato soup and I'm so glad soup season is here, along with all the other blessings of fall. The restaurant looks like autumn as well --love the color scheme!

  21. Tomatoe soup is always a winner.And having it with friends is double win:)

  22. Looks yummy! Dining outside is one of my favorite things to do. Carla

  23. I love part fall, part summer meals like this. And really, I just love tomato soup...what a great meal!

  24. Looks like a beautiful place to have lunch with friends. Soup, soup, soup - we love it and eat it lots in the wintertime.

  25. There is nothing better than tomato soup and friends in my book. What a lovely recipe...and an inspiring post. I hope you have a beautiful weekend, my friend. Blessings and joy from Austin.

  26. Looks so yummy, I will have to make this!


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