Love the simplicity of this late-summer soup. Tomatoes, onions, white beans, a little cheese, and basil. That’s all, folks.This is a soup that spans the seasons from late summer to early fall. Add a grilled cheese sandwich and everyone will be full and happy.


For Soup:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced

3 pounds plum (Roma) tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 sprig fresh rosemary

4 cups water

6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan

For Garnish:

12 cherry tomatoes, sliced or quartered

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper, to taste

12 basil leaves, thinly sliced

Special Equipment:

Blender or immersion blender


Cook the onion and garlic: Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until softened.

Add the tomatoes and beans: Add the tomatoes, rosemary, beans, water, salt, and pepper to the pot. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes are very soft. Remove the rosemary sprig. Stir in the Parmesan.

Puree the soup: In 2- to 3-cup batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth, or use an immersion blender. (Warning! The soup is hot! To puree hot liquid in a blender, only fill it 1/3 full. Cover the lid with a folded dishtowel and hold it down with your hand. Start on low speed, and increase the speed gradually.)

Transfer the soup to a pot and taste. Add salt and pepper, if you like. Reheat over low heat until hot. Make the garnish: In a bowl, stir together the tomatoes, oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Just before serving, stir in the basil.

Serve the soup: Ladle the soup into bowls, and top each bowl with the fresh tomato garnish.