With fall upon us officially this weekend, and with the thunderstorms we just had, I felt myself in the mood for some fall/winter fare. A solid standby in the comfort food category is tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches. I usually have a bunch of canned tomato soup on hand, but we ate it all up and never replenished it at the end of spring. Luckily, I have a tomato problem. By that, I mean, I love tomatoes in all shapes, sizes, colors, and formats. And I tend to buy interesting looking tomato products when I see them – especially if they are on clearance. So, I went searching through my canned food stores to see if I could make tomato soup without having to go out to the store.
The answer was yes, yes I could! I modified a recipe I found online to fit what I had on hand and the result was a yummy tomato soup adventure. More on why it was an “adventure” later.
What you need:
1 14.5 oz can of Muir Glen Fire Roasted Crushed Tomatoes
1 14.5 oz can of Muir Glen Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles
1.5 cups of Pacific Natural Foods Free Range Organic Chicken Broth
Chopped dehydrated onion to taste
1 Tablespoon of oregano
1/8 teaspoon of cayenne (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon of rosemary (I used dried because I was lazy today, but if you have fresh, use it more sparingly to taste)
2 teaspoons of Emperor’s Kitchen Organic Roasted Garlic (4 cloves)
1 Tablespoon of minced parsley (again, I cheated and used dried)
salt and black pepper to taste
a heavy bottom pot that can hold 6 cups
What you do:
Start your pot heating and add the tomatoes, onions, chicken stock, oregano, cayenne, and rosemary. I rinsed the tomato cans with a bit of water and poured that in too. Stir well and start a timer for 10 minutes when you achieve a low simmer. You don’t want it to be overly bubbly/pop as tomatoes are want to do.
At the 10 minute mark, ladle half of your soup into your blender. This is where the “adventure” comes in. If you’re like me, your blender may not have been tightened down all the way after its last cleaning. This could be bad. I don’t know if it was that or the fact that I’m not used to dealing with hot liquids in my blender, but I held the blender lid down and STILL ended up with a fountain of tomato soup in my kitchen. Try not to lose too much soup in this part of the process. Blend your soup until it is a smooth purée. If you want a smoother soup, set this aside in a container of some sort and blend the other half. If you want a chunkier soup, just pour this back into the pot and continue on. As pictured, we only blended half of it.
Add the salt and pepper and parsley. Simmer the soup for another 10 minutes or so while you make your sandwiches. This will allow the flavors to blend.
We went with cheddar on some of our sandwiches and Muenster on the others. Be forewarned, if you have not worked with these ingredients before. This soup had a lot more kick than I anticipated. Some of it was the cayenne (I did more than 1/8 teaspoon but less than 1/4) and the rest I believe came from the green chiles in the diced tomatoes. It was a bit more kick than my husband and daughter wanted to deal with, but I LOVED it. That said, my mouth is still a bit warm as I type this. They solved the problem by adding a bit of yogurt to the soup, but that did change the flavor a bit because we had vanilla, not plain. It was still yummy! Overall, this was a tasty, warming soup that I am sure I will want to make again. It made a refreshing change from the typical tomato basil and tomato cream soups that are out there.
If you want to see the original recipe that I modified, head on over to Fat Free Vegan Kitchen and check it out. Susan Voisin has some great instructions there on how to make your own fire roasted tomatoes from regular canned ones. It’s certainly quite a bit cheaper that way!