Friday, February 14, 2014

Foodie Fridays: Tomato Basil Soup with Ricotta Dumplings

I've really been on a roll with soups lately, and I can't stop now!  This week I made Tomato Basil Soup with Ricotta Dumplings.  I changed very little about the recipe, although I did stir in about 1/2 cup of whole milk.  The vegetable broth I used was very dark and intensely flavored, and the milk helped to lighten and mellow the soup a bit.  This beautiful red soup is just the right color to serve on Valentine's Day, and if you really want to get fussy, try shaping the ricotta dumplings into little hearts!  Of course, this dish would be good any time, so enjoy it whenever you crave a good tomato soup.

Tomato Basil Soup with Ricotta Dumplings

4 garlic cloves, minced
red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
1 T. olive oil
1 large can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
3 C. chicken or vegetable stock or broth
1/2 C. basil leaves, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. whole milk (optional)
1 C. ricotta cheese
1 C. grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1 1/3 C. flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the garlic and the pepper flakes and cook about one minute, until just starting to brown.  Add the tomatoes, stock or broth, basil, 1/2 tsp. salt, and black pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 7-8 minutes.  Taste the soup and stir in the milk if needed.

While the soup heats, combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl.  Stir until a dough forms.  Roll the dough into small balls (I got 32, but the number can vary depending on their size).  After the soup has simmered, add the dumplings to the soup and cook for about two minutes until the flour in the dumplings is cooked.  Serve garnished with more grated Parmesan and some shredded basil, if desired.  Serves 4.

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