One of my favorite pasta recipes is penne with vodka sauce and one of my favorite comfort foods is homemade tomato soup. Recently I figured, why not combine these two awesome recipes? Since it’s the first day of Fall I figured it would be appropriate to share a cozy soup recipe. While I recommend using fresh tomatoes in this recipe you can use canned tomato sauce if you’re in a pinch. The roasted tomatoes broiled in the oven in olive oil do offer a little extra something to the flavor. The soup really does taste like a perfect combination of penne vodka and tomato soup! It offered great flavor but wasn’t overly rich or heavy. When I first started brain storming this recipe I was wondering how to incorporate the pasta into the soup. Penne Rigate is way too cumbersome to have in soup but after some searching I found the solution–mini penne! It’s about an inch long even after fully cooked which makes it a perfect size for soup. I don’t add the penne all at once but rather cook to order for each bowl, that way the noodles don’t sit over night in the fridge and soak up all that good broth! I recommended garnishing this one with grated mozzarella, parmesan and fresh basil.
Penne Vodka Roasted Tomato Soup
- 1 medium yellow onion diced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 8 oz pancetta diced
- 4 celery stalks diced
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 9 lb tomatoes yields about 11-12 cups sauce
- 1 cup vodka
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup water or chicken stock or thin to desired consistency
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 2 handfuls fresh basil plus more for garnishing
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 8 servings mini penne pasta
- fresh mozzarella grated for garnish
- parmesan grated for garnish
- salt and pepper to taste
Halve the tomatoes and put cut side down on several baking pans. Drizzle with a little olive oil and broil in the oven until the skins are charred and peeling, about 10 minutes. I work in batches and set them aside to cool.
In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil and add the onions and celery to the pan. Cook until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes.
Add pancetta, garlic and red pepper flakes to the pot and cook for a minute or until fragrant.
Pour in the vodka. At this point you can choose to light the vodka on fire (flambto burn off quickly or let the vodka cook down for about 10 minutes. If you choose to let it cook down, leave the pot uncovered and let the vodka fumes burn off at a simmer.
Stir in the tomato paste and when the paste has started to melt, stir in the heavy cream.
Remove skins from the tomatoes by pinching them off (they should come off easiland working in batches, blend the tomatoes in a food processor until they are all pureed.
Transfer each batch of tomato puree into the pot. Stir until everything is well incorporated.
If the soup is a bit thick add a cup or two of water or chicken stock to get it to desired consistency.
Turn up the heat to a low simmer and cook uncovered for about 25-30 minutes. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, stir in several handfuls of fresh basil.
Prepare the pasta as directed on the package.
Place a serving of cooked pasta into each bowl and ladle the soup over the pasta. Stir to combine and garnish with mozzarella, parmesan and fresh basil.