This Simple Provençal Tomato Soup with Goat Cheese Tartines is a family favorite and gives a South of France spin to the American Classic. Adding basil pesto (or fresh basil if it is in season) to the soup at the last minute brings a brightness to the dish that harkens Provence. Paired with a thick slice of garlicky grilled baguette, slathered with creamy, tangy goat cheese and you have the perfect morsel to dunk, over and over again.
For the Soup:
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves chopped garlic
2 sprigs of fresh thyme (or one teaspoon dried thyme)
4 cups chicken stock ( or vegetable for a vegetarian version of the soup)
1 can of crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
2 medium sized carrots, chopped
2 teaspoons French Salt & 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup of heavy cream
3 tablespoons of Pesto
Goat Cheese Tartines:
8 thick slices of French Baguette (or any crusty bread that you have on hand – if it is sandwich loaf use 4 slices)
3 cloves of garlic, split length-wise
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
4 oz soft goat cheese
For the Soup:
Heat the olive oil over medium heat
Add the onions, garlic and thyme. Let cook for 5 minutes until onions are translucent. Stir in the chicken stock (0r vegetable stock), tomatoes, carrots, salt & pepper. Bring the soup to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for for 15 minutes.
Turn off the heat. Remove the sprigs of thyme (if you used fresh thyme) and discard. Add the cream and pesto. Mix with an immersion blender. Serve.
For the Goat Cheese Tartines:
While the soup is simmering on the stove, slice a Baguette into 8, 3/4 inch slices.
Rub each slice, back and front, with the halved garlic cloves.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the used garlic cloves and bread slices to the warm oil. Let the slices get golden brown (about 2-3 minutes) then drizzle the remaining olive oil over the bread and flip over to brown the other side (another 2-3 minutes). Your kitchen should smell amazing now!
Remove the bread from the pan and allow to cool a few minutes while you finish the soup.
Slather each slice with goat cheese and serve. The tartines are perfect for dunking in the soup!
- Allow your onions and garlic to soften in the olive oil at medium heat with the thyme. This will add a delicious richness to the soup
- I like to add a couple carrots for extra nutrients ( a habit formed while feeding a toddler!) They also bring a little sweetness to the soup.
- Add the cream and the basil at the very end, just before mixing.
- For the baguette slices, rub both sides with garlic before browning, it brings so much more flavor to each bite.
- Make as many baguette slices as you can fit in your pan – they are highly addictive!
Keywords: tomato soup, tomato Basil soup, soup recipe, comfort food, provençal