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Tomato Garlic Soup with Parmesan Croutons

Photography: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Lydia DeGaris-Pursell
Yield 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups soup and 2 croutons)
Peel the tomatoes for this delicate soup, since the skins can become tough and chewy. Serve with a Caesar salad and a crisp white wine for a light meal.


  • 4 large tomatoes, cored (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 quarts ice water
  • 1 1/4 cups uncooked seashell pasta
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 (1/2-ounce) slices diagonally cut French bread baguette (about 1 inch thick)
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh thyme sprigs (optional)

Nutrition Information

  • calories 335
  • caloriesfromfat 27 %
  • fat 9.9 g
  • satfat 3 g
  • monofat 3.8 g
  • polyfat 1 g
  • protein 15.3 g
  • carbohydrate 46.6 g
  • fiber 4.1 g
  • cholesterol 11 mg
  • iron 2.7 mg
  • sodium 695 mg
  • calcium 227 mg

How to Make It

  1. Score bottom of each tomato with an "X." Bring 2 quarts water to a boil in a Dutch oven. Add tomatoes; cook 30 seconds. Remove tomatoes with a slotted spoon; plunge tomatoes into ice water. Drain and peel. Cut each tomato in half crosswise. Push seeds out of tomato halves using the tip of a knife; discard seeds. Chop tomatoes.

  2. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain. Toss pasta with 1 teaspoon oil. Cool completely.

  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add onion; cook 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 3 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring frequently. Stir in tomatoes, 1 cup water, parsley, chives, oregano, thyme, and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add pasta, vinegar, and pepper; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated.

  4. Preheat broiler.

  5. Place bread slices on a baking sheet, and top each slice with 1 tablespoon cheese. Broil 1 1/2 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve with soup. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.