Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tomato Soup Wars

You know how you can go through your whole life thinking you don't really like a certain thing and then BAM, all of a sudden you do?  Well that's what happened to me when we went to Medieval Times Dinner Theater last month and were served tomato bisque.  I feel pretty sure it wasn't the best tomato bisque to ever exist in the world, but it awakened my taste buds and made me realize I do indeed like tomato soup.

  So after we got home I felt the need to try to recreate it .  In fact the meal in the above picture was my attempt to recreate everything we ate there (except they also served a rib and dessert).
This recipe I found at the Williams Sonoma website, and decided to make this one as it was made out of fresh roasted tomatoes.  It turned out to be a whole lot of work for not a lot of return.  In fact it was barely enough for the four of us.  And I don't really think I liked how the roasting brought out the sweetness in the tomatoes.

The next one I tried was Ellie Krieger's Tomato-Tortilla Soup I think I first saw at Stirring the Pot.  Only thing I did different was forgo the tortillas as I was in the garlic bread mood.  

 This is a really nice tomato soup with a kick, and the lime juice you add to it gives it a nice summery flavor.  I highly recommend it.

Lastly, today I just made a straight up plain tomato soup made from canned tomatoes.  The recipe is loosely based on the one I found at CuisineNie.  I made quite a few changes, including leaving out the cream as I'm not really into creamy tomato soup.

 I really like my soup in this bowl

 This one is a definite winner too.  Served with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and chopped up basil, it's perfect anytime.  Even on a day when the high is 115.

Here's the recipe, with the things I did differently.   

• 1 stick of unsalted butter
• 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, chopped
• 28 ounces canned whole plum tomatoes or crushed tomatoes (I used one and a half of these cans)
• 2 1/2 cups of organic free range chicken stock (used closer to 3 cups)
• 1 1/2 cup of cream or half and half (left out)
• 2 teaspoons sea salt
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• Fresh torn basil and freshly grated asiago cheese on top.
(I added about 3/4 cup red wine)

1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring, until onions have softened, about 15 minutes.
2. Add tomatoes, chicken stock, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook until tomatoes, onions, and garlic are soft, 10 to 20 minutes. Then add cream or half and half.
3. Working in batches, transfer soup to the jar of a blender and puree until smooth. Return to saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until soup is heated through. If soup seems too thick, stir in some extra stock to thin. Serve immediately and top with basil and asiago cheese.


Linda said...

I love soup all year long! Thanks for doing the work for me and making that delicious tomato soup. I may add the cream when I make your recipe.

Monet said...

I also love soup all year long. I used to have a distaste for tomato soup, but then I suddenly began to like it once I hit twenty. Odd how our tastes change, huh?

The Japanese Redneck said...

Tomato soup is a must have when I eat certain sandwiches. Ham and cheese/grilled cheese/hot dogs. Meal doesn't seem right without it.

The Blonde Duck said...

Ben's favorite meal is tomato soup and grilled cheese. When he can't get filet mignon, of course.

Ingrid said...

Holy smokes...115?!

I would say I don't like tomato soup either but perhaps like you I just never had the right one. Gonna have to check and see.

Melissa Mashburn said...

I was never a big tomato soup eater until I found a terrific recipe. Thank you for sharing yours!

Debra Joy said...

I didn't think I liked tomato soup either. I am glad you found out that you like it! Your recipes look delicious!

Joanne said...

I didn't realize I liked tomato soup until I made Michael Symon's tomato soup with blue was actually mind blowing. I really like the sound of this one!

Kim said...

Tomato Soup wars....I love it!! So much fun that you tried 3 versions. I'm glad to hear you liked Ellie's version(thanks for the shout out).
The third one sounds great too!

115F - I couldn't handle it. I'd definitely be staying inside:)

Val said...

Yum, What could be more comforting than tomato soup?? I so want some.

Kerstin said...

What a lovely soup, glad you found one you like!

Monica H said...

I'm really a fan of tomato soup but don't like when it's sweet (like the canned stuff). Thanks for trying these out and finding some good ones.

Mimi said...

Tomato soup is very popular at our house, but at 115 it better be chilled.

Evolving Mommy Catherine said...

I love homemade tomato soup. Between my thoughts of tomato soup and the melted cheese on that sandwich in the last photo my mouth is watering uncontrollably.