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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tomato Soup - Mm Mm Good!

It is soup season. When the weather turns cooler and life gets crazier I love to have soup. Well, I love soup anytime but my family - not so much. They will indulge me though when it is COLD out.

Awhile back I made cream of mushroom soup - a delicious alternative to the stuff in a can. So, I was encouraged to try tomato soup again. "Red soup" as Sylvia calls it is her absolute favorite lunch. And she really only likes the stuff in the can. Last night I decided that I needed to come up with a healthy homemade version of tomato soup. I have tried in the past but haven't been thrilled with my results.

I decided to go to the Go To book - How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. (Amazon link at the bottom of my blog) I hoped he could help me and he did - he had a cream of tomato soup recipe - along with 5 other versions - I made it with just the little addition of baking soda.

The last few times I have tried making tomato soup I ended up with curdled, cheesy milk in it - kinda weird. Edible but weird. I have a  couple tips to help you not make that mistake.
  • - add a bit of baking soda to the pot before you add your milk. It will foam up a bit, but it evidently neutralizes the acid. 
  • warm your milk or cream up before adding to the milk 
Mark has a great tip that helps the soup taste - well more tomato-ey he uses a bit of tomato paste to give the soup depth that you just don't get with straight up tomatoes.

Tomato Soup
2 TBS real butter
2 TBS tomato paste
1 large onion, sliced
1 carrot diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large can chopped tomatoes, including the juices (or 4 cups fresh, peeled, seeded and chopped)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 cup cream or whole milk (raw if you can get it)

Melt the butter in a large deep pot over medium heat. Then add the tomato paste and let it cook for a minute and then add the onion and carrot, add salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes - you want the onion to begin to soften.

Add the tomatoes and thyme and cook stirring occasionally, until the tomato breaks up, about 15 minutes. Puree carefully with an immersion blender or a regular blender. Let it cool just a bit and then add your cream or milk stirring to combine.

This was really good. Sylvia ate it but I think it will be awhile until she forgets the "other soup".
I do think it is a bit much work for a quick lunch though so,  I will also be making this in a smaller portion - 1 small can of tomatoes, still 2 tbs of tomato paste, 1 tsp onion powder, pinch of thyme, salt, pepper, 1/8 tsp soda and 1/2 cup of raw milk - warmed.

I am linking this to the Hearth and Soul Hop!



  1. Hi Christy! I am always so glad when I can find a recipe that I can replace the "canned stuff" with for my kids. I never had much of a problem converting myself because I know what is best for me and what will taste BETTER! LOL glad you got some red soup out of it and bittman never ever fails ya does he? Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and remember, YOU are a blessing to me! Thanks for hosting, posting, listening and loving on the hearth and soul hop! Alex

  2. Aw, Red Soup, how sweet! I bet a lot of people at the Hearth and Soul hop will love this one. Thanks for hosting, babe!

  3. This sounds like a great alternative and maybe it'll grow to be the new red soup! Great tip about the baking soda...I had no idea!! Thanks for hosting the hearth and soul hop, Christy. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving :D

  4. YUM, beats Grandma Campbell's any day! Thanks.

  5. I have to agree with your fam on the cold weather soup eating. There is nothing like a good "Red Soup" on a cooooold day. Thanks for hosting the Hearth and Soul hop....and listening, answering, commenting and putting up with me... You're awesome.

  6. This soup sounds wonderful. I'm a huge fan of tomato soup, but have never had the courage to make it myself. However recently I've noticed the stuff in the can doesn't taste as good as I remember - perhaps I'm eating better and my tastes are changing! So it is lovely to have this yummy sounding recipe to try because I've been missing my bowl of tomato soup - especially when I have a grilled cheese sandwich! I was intrigued by the addition of the baking soda as well - that is such a good idea.

  7. I'll try this recipe tomorrow :-) I've got a hankering for some red soup and a peanut butter sandwich! I've been making tomato soup on my own for several years now but I never follow a specific recipe and it turns out different every time.

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