Savory Soup Sunday: Tomato Soup

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All of us have foods we turn to when we need comfort. For many, including me, that includes soup. When I think I’m coming down with something, it’s chicken soup. But when I’m feeling a bit depressed, it’s tomato soup–usually with a toasted cheese sandwich–that I turn to. And that brings me to this week’s Savory Soup Sunday–Tomato Soup.

Tomato Soup with Herbed Croutons

There are a lot of good things about this soup, but the most important thing (besides taste) is its flexibility. If you have fresh tomatoes, they’re great to use. Same thing with home-canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, or tomato paste. You can even use tomato powder. But, it you’re dependent on supermarkets for tomatoes, you have the same options. Well, except maybe for tomato powder. I’ve never seen it in a store.

While I have home-canned tomatoes, I decided to go with store-bought diced tomatoes because I figured that would be what most of you would have. Then I added stock (I used vegetable stock, but chicken stock would work), soy sauce (trust me on this), garlic powder, onion powder, a bay leaf, and dried basil. Everything just gets thrown into the pot. Bring it to a boil. Now, what happens next may seem odd. Add baking soda. This helps with the acidity. Be forewarned that it will foam, but it subsides as you simmer your soup. In lieu of baking soda, you can add a bit of sugar.

Simmer the soup about 15 minutes. If you want a smooth soup, puree with an immersion blender or carefully in a regular blender. If your soup isn’t as thick as you’d like, and you don’t have the time (or patience) to cook it until it thickens naturally, you can stir in some tomato powder. See, another reason to make tomato powder. You can also add heavy cream and/or butter.

Of course you can eat with crackers or the overwhelming favorite–a toasted cheese sandwich. Cut the sandwich into bite-sized pieces and top the soup. Or, there’s herbed croutons. Check out the “Thanksgiving Tips” below.

Whatever you choose, consider this version of tomato soup the next time you need a culinary hug. You can find the recipe here.

Thanksgiving Tip

It’s hard to believe, but Thanksgiving is fewer than 3 weeks away. One of the mainstays of the holiday dinner is stuffing/dressing. My mom used to start saving slices of bread to dry out in the oven. I confess that I’ve sometimes purchased those bags of stuffing cubes in the store. But sheez, that can be pricey. My suggestion? Make your own. It’s easier than you think.

Start with your favorite bread recipe. I used a sourdough, but a yeast bread or even cornbread would be fine. Whatever you like. If for some reason you don’t feel comfortable making bread–and you really shouldn’t–you can use a mix. The only thing you need to do differently is add about a tablespoon and a half of poultry seasoning when you mix up the dough. That’s it. Then bake the bread as the recipe.

After the bread is cool, cut into slice and cut into cubes. Dry in a dehydrator or in the oven. Store in an airtight container until needed. It also makes great soup croutons (obviously) and salad croutons.

© Copyright 2017 Ida Walker, All rights Reserved. Written For: The Enabling Cook
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