Warming Up With A Bowl Of Savory Soup

Hawaii Pops director Matt Catigub PHOTO COURTESY MATT CATINGUB

Hawaii Pops director Matt Catigub

Matt Catingub, artistic director and founder of Hawaii Pops, is multitalented — a saxophonist, woodwind artist, conductor, pianist, vocalist, performer, composer and arranger. He is well-known in Hawaii and popular across the nation, serving as artistic director and conductor of Glendale Pops in Los Angeles and Macon Pops in Macon, Ga.

This Hawaii Pops season’s lineup includes smooth jazz master Dave Koz April 4, and pop star Taylor Dayne May 9. Catingub is trying to turn pops into a more fun and available format by encouraging dancing and using informal settings such as historic Hawaii Theatre and Sheraton Waikiki.

He performed regularly with his mother, great jazz vocalist Mavis Rivers, and is an expert in fusing musical influences. Each Hawaii Pops concert incorporates a blend of Polynesian, Hawaiian and American musical cultures with Catingub’s incomparable jazz influences.

Catingub, a Grammy nominee, has written symphony charts for some of the most celebrated entertainers in the world, including Rosemary Clooney, Pat Benatar, Michael McDonald and Natalie Cole.

For more information about the concerts, visit hawaiipops.com.

This recipe is dedicated to Catingub for bringing fun and music to Hawaii audiences.

Try this tangy soup on a chilly winter evening. It goes great with a toasted cheese sandwich or a crusty loaf of French bread.

When choosing tomatoes, choose fruit that has a deep-red color with no wrinkles. The tomato should yield to light pressure from the fingers and have a pleasant aroma.

Tomatoes can be kept for about a week at room temperature, if not exposed to direct sunlight. If they are very ripe, store in the refrigerator; for the best flavor, remove from refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving.

Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin C and potassium. They also contain folic acid and vitamin A. Lycopene is a pigment that gives tomatoes their characteristic red color and is said to be a cancer-fighting antioxidant.


• 1 14-ounce can whole tomatoes, strained and drained well, save juice
• 3 fresh Roma tomatoes
• 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 1 stalk celery, diced
• 1 medium carrot, diced
• 1 sweet onion, diced
• 2 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
• 1 cup vegetable or fat-free chicken broth
• 1 bay leaf
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
• 1/2 cup low-fat or fat-free half and half
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spread the strained tomatoes and plum tomatoes on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with half the olive oil, stirring to coat. Roast until caramelized (about 20 minutes) and remove from oven.

In a large saucepan, heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Add celery, carrots and onions. Cook until vegetables are slightly softened (about 10 minutes). Add garlic, roasted tomatoes, the reserved tomato juice, vegetable stock and bay leaf. Simmer until vegetables are very tender (about 45 minutes). Remove from heat. Remove bay leaf. Add basil and half and half. Puree until smooth, using an immersion hand mixer. Serve with your favorite croutons. heartychef@hotmail.com