Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mmm...Mmm...Good. Rediscovered and Remastered.

A mother's hug. A warm blanket. Tomato soup and grilled cheese. Pure comfort. On a rainy Spring afternoon when there is still a chill in the air, and you're soaked to the bone from running errands (or in my case, waiting outside in line at an audition for several hours), what promises a more comforting lunch than that familiar soup can with the red label? That is, until you flip the can around and actually look at the ingredients and scream in horror at the amount of sodium, which rivals your favorite chinese take-out.

Little, golden, buttery babies. 
This, my friends, is one of the symptoms of adulthood, when you start caring about things like... sodium. And thus began my quest for a better tomato soup, one that warms and comforts the soul, yet takes it easy on the blood pressure.

Today we had friends over for a casual evening of food, board-games and TV reruns. We usually order delivery on lazy days like this, but I was feeling ambitious and offered to cook. Two people simultaneously exclaimed, "grilled cheese!" Who am I to argue with a jinx? And this soup is the perfect companion. [Side note: the grilled cheese recipe is super-simple and requires very little ingredients or prep so I chose to focus here on the soup. For more on homemade grilled cheese baked in the oven click here: Grilled Cheese (*Girl From Scratch modification: I added black forest ham to the grilled cheese)].
Tomato Soup From Scratch
Cast of Characters
Drain 3 large cans of diced tomatoes in roasting pan. Reserve the juices. Add olive oil, salt and pepper to tomatoes and roast for 15 minutes at 450 degrees.
In a soup pot drizzled in olive oil add celery...
... carrots...
... and onion. I like to use a grater for the onion so there aren't huge chunks of it in the soup.
Sweatin' to the veggies! Richard Simmons-style!
Once roasted, add tomatoes to the softened root vegetables and simmer.
Add tomato paste to make it less watery.
Add chicken stock (to make it more watery).
Freshly chopped basil. 
Blend until smooth. An immersion blender is easier, but you can also use a normal blender (it just takes a little more time to transfer back and forth).
Add a splash of half-n-half or cream.
Nail Color: OPI Funky Dunky
My inspiration/guidance came from this recipe: MichaelChiarello'shomemadetomatosouprecipe.
*Girl From Scratch Modifications: I changed it to fit my needs and tastes. For starters, I didn't measure anything (one carrot more or less doesn't make a difference) and used extra cans of tomatoes to yield more soup. This original recipe only makes a few small servings, so I basically quadrupled it with more tomatoes and chicken broth. I added 2 tablespoons of sugar to take away some of the tanginess and a can of tomato paste to take away the watery-ness. In general, I used less cream and less olive oil than recommended, and no butter. It turned out great and my guests were delighted. Now... on to sitcoms, Scrabble, and of course, soup!

This is the second time I've made this recipe, and have modified it a little each time. I'd love to hear your experiences, thoughts, and suggestions. What do you think of this recipe?


  1. Try adding a splash of sherry vinegar. It amplifies the whole dish and balances out the flavors!

  2. I want some now!

  3. Diced tomatoes are on my grocery list! I'll let you know how it turns out.

  4. I freeze several tomatoes from my garden for winter use for soups, sauces, and chili. It adds a nice fresh-from-the-garden taste for my lovely brood.

    Freshly ground pepper also is nice.

  5. Lindsay, I enjoyed this on Sunday, and it was DELICOUS! I just expected a few Campbell soup cans or something. Instead Lindsay whipped up this delicious meal! I love the step-by-step pictures. It makes it sound so easy that I might even try it sometime! Thanks Lindsay!!!

  6. Thanks for the advice! Sherry vinegar is a great suggestion to add another layer of flavor.

  7. Lindsey, Sounds dee-lish, you are one multi-talented young lady!

  8. Love your blog! I'm a friend of your dad & Kathleen's. We hung out in the 80's before I moved from Cincinnati to Arizona. I've been a Pampered Chef Consultant for 19 years & love to cook too! Can't wait to try your tomato soup! Now if I could only NOT burn grilled cheese....

  9. I love Pampered Chef! I appreciate you checking out my blog debut:-) I will post a new recipe weekly. Thanks for reading!

  10. the lindsanator strikes again

  11. Wow! That looks like super amazing tomato soup. I don't think I've ever made tomato soup any other way except out of a can. You've really shown me up. :)

    PS. Do all your photo ops feature hands with purple nail polish? I'll have to check out your other posts. So far 2 for 2.