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Sicilian Autumn Tomato Soup Print E-mail

makes 4 to 5 main course servings


1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 red onions, chopped
2 yellow onions, chopped
1 bunch scallions, minced
1/2 cup minced carrot
1/2 cup minced celery
1/4 cup minced garlic
1 cup parsley, chopped coarsely
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 1/2 pounds fresh spinach, washed and stems removed
18 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
Grated zest of 1 orange
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup small fresh basil leaves
Salt and ground pepper to taste

1. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the red and yellow onions; sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the scallions, carrot, celery, garlic, parsley, cinnamon, plum tomatoesnutmeg and tomato paste. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.

2. Drop the spinach into boiling water for 15 seconds. Immediately plunge it into ice water to stop the cooking. Drain well; coarsely chop.

3. Add the tomatoes, spinach, sugar, orange zest and orange juice to the onion mixture, along with the stock and wine. Bring to a simmer, then cook for 12 minutes. Stir in the basil.

4. In batches, puree the soup in a blender leaving some chunks. Return soup to pan, and season with the salt, pepper and cayenne. Reheat.

5. Divide soup among warm bowls and serve.

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