Sunday, May 2, 2010

It Was MMM MMM Good, Now It's MMM MMM Bad; So Make It MMM MMM Better - Tomato Soup

Do ya ever get the hankerin for somethin, and your not really sure what it is? It happens to me a lot. But in this case, I discovered the root of my craving while watching my 2 nephews one afternoon.

It was a cold and rainy day (there are a lot of those during the spring in Western Oregon), and I had just returned from retrieving one of the said nephews from the bus stop. (He's in Kindergarten) Now before I go further, I should explain that I am from a cheese loving family. When I say "Loving", I really mean obsessed. So when I asked my nephews what they wanted for lunch, I received a unanimous "Grilled Cheese Sandwich!" for an answer. Which kind of surprised me, cause it's usually "Quesadilla!"

Then the eldest (he's 6) said "Can we have orange soup too?". This perplexed me a little at first. I paused a few seconds, mulling it over, trying to decide whether he was talking about some sort of Cheese soup or a Fruit soup. And why would a 6 year old know about fruit soup? Then an old memory began creeping across my consciousness. Something about cold winters and being chilled to the bone after spending 2 hours cleaning the barn. Ah yes, coming inside and sitting down to a grilled cheese sandwich and that most perfect of companions -- Tomato Soup. Yep, that must be what he's talking about. Thank goodness I was right, for I did not fancy the idea of having to juice enough oranges to make a soup.

I love tomato soup, but I had forgotten all about this humble preparation amidst the plethora of culinary pursuits I have embarked upon over the last few years. I guess the old adage is true "Out of the mouths of babes, comes wisdom". So we dined on Tomato Soup sprinkled with a little shredded cheddar, of course, and grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch.

After consuming said soup I made a fatal mistake and read the back of the can. I mean, I had eaten Campbell's tomato soup as a kid, so I didn't think to much of it. But there, in small print, was the name of my nemesis. That artificial enzymatically created evil. Responsible, regardless of the propaganda the corn council promotes, for all sorts of health issues and even brain chemistry alterations in the American public. The addictive sweet substance that currently pollutes the processed food supply. High Fructose Corn Syrup!

Tomato Puree (Water, Tomato Paste), Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Wheat Flour, Salt, Vegetable Oil (Corn, Cottonseed, Canola and/or Soybean), Flavoring, Ascorbic Acid, and Citric Acid.

And to be honest, what is that ambiguous "Flavoring" anyway? Sheesh! Even my good ol' childhood memories of tomato soup are now sullied. I feel so dirty!

So, I set out to create my own. The main ingredient is simple enough. I mean, lets start with Tomato Puree. OK, well, I already have a puree of sorts in my freezer. My Slow-Cooked Tomato Sauce is pretty thick. That means I don't have to add water and probably not any salt or oil, since it's already in the sauce. So here is my uber-simple ingredient list for a pretty darn tasty Tomato Soup.

Tomato Soup

2 Cups Slow Cooked Tomato Sauce
6 oz Light Cream or Heavy Cream
1/4 tsp White PepperOptional - 1/2 tsp Brown Sugar
Optional - Pinch of Salt (only if Needed)

Simply pour the thawed tomato sauce into a pan...

If you have left your Slow Cooked Tomato Sauce a little on the chunky side, you may need to hit it with a stick blender.

Add Cream and place over low heat, until heated through.

Stir in the Brown Sugar, if necessary, and the White Pepper.

To ensure you have a lack of any chunks, you might want to run it through a strainer. (it just depends on how well you have pureed it)

Serve as you like. With shredded cheddar or even Pepperridge farm goldfish crackers. Personally, I like a dollop of Crème Fraîche and a few sliced scallions. (
a little Shee Shee Poo Poo, I know; but what can I say)

Now if I only had a grilled cheese sandwich! Alas, I am out of Cheese (which is a travesty of the highest order; soon to be rectified when I go to the grocery store)



Dajana said...

I really love tomato soup, recently I made it with the addition of roasted red pepper, a delish no matter how you prepare it.
For my husband it brings back the memory of a high school trip to Germany and the "tomaten" soup that ended up in flower pots in the hotel dining room. I've managed to get him eat all kinds of soups (from chicken to vegetable ones), but tomato soup is still not on his list.

Patti T. said...

You go Shane, wasn't that so much better than the canned soup? I have started making my own tomato soup also. If I leave some chunks in I call it tomato bisque, not sure if that is correct or not, but nobody hear would know that it is not. I like mine with some nice fresh basil chiffonade and a dollop of fat free greek yoghurt.

Danielle said...

what? orange soup without a grilled cheese? what kind of uncle are you? LOL...looks wonderfully satisfying