Sunday, December 16, 2007

From Sweet to Savory

As much fun as I am having posting all these cookies - and sweet treats always get the most comments and attention - it's time for something savory.

Canned tomato soup is a staple at our house for nights when we want something really fast but somewhat nutritious. We pair it with grilled cheese or maybe some frozen pierogies and onions sauteed in a bit of butter. However, I've been wanting to find a basic tomato soup recipe that I could make on my own, avoiding the high fructose corn syrup found in the canned varieties.

Creamy Tomato Soup
The Jack Bishop cookbook that I took out from the library - A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen - has a recipe for Creamy Tomato Soup. Only there's no cream. So I'm not really sure why he calls it Creamy Tomato Soup at all. In any case, I tried it and loved, loved it.

This recipe calls for roasting canned tomatoes to intensify their flavor. This step is not hard, but it takes a bit of time - especially since I once did a double batch - which probably keeps it from being a true quick and easy recipe. The tomatoes are paired with leeks, tomato paste, a bit of freshly grated nutmeg and butter. While I did cut the butter down by one tablespoon, I would not recommend skipping it entirely - I think it is responsible for some of the lovely flavors that shine through in this soup.

And lovely it is. It's a simple soup with only a few ingredients, but it ends up tasting more complex than you might expect. Each time you take a bite, it seems like a new flavor surprises you. I overdid the cayenne a little bit the first time - tomato soup is not generally something I expect or want to be spicy - but did keep it in the second time in lesser amounts just to give the soup a little punch - not heat really, just an added dimension.

I was able to JUST barely fit a double recipe in my Dutch oven - it very nearly overflowed the top. I have one batch tucked away in the freezer but I'm not sure how long I'll be able to resist bringing it out for dinner.


  1. Oh this sounds great! My kids LOVE tomato soup with grilled cheese, but I cringe every time I have to buy "that can".

  2. I know. Canned tomato soup really is a relatively healthful convenience food item, but still!