When I was a kid, I loved Campbell’s Tomato Soup; it was one of my favorite comfort foods. Sometimes to save money, my mother would buy the store brand instead of Campbell’s. I would refuse to eat the stuff. Or, sometimes she would use water instead of milk. Blasphemy, I say. You need the milk; otherwise it isn’t creamy!
Now, as a grown-up, in age at least, I don’t like to eat processed foods. But I miss my tomato soup fix. So, in desperation, I decided to try my hand to recreating the stuff. Took me some tinkering and the help of my husband’s taste buds, but we finally got it right.
Now, just know that the sugar and pureeing of the soup is key to the recipe. If you want to leave these out, you can, but it won’t taste similar to Campbell’s. Yes, even with these steps, this soup is a little more acidic than the processed product, but I think that is a good thing. I hope you like it!
- ½ medium onion, diced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 can of crushed tomatoes (not tomato puree or sauce!)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 tsp sugar
- salt, pepper
Place the olive oil into a medium saucepan. Toss in the diced onions and cook on low until translucent, yet not browned.
Place the crushed tomatoes in the saucepan with the wilted onions. Then pour in the chicken broth and heavy cream. Cook for a few minutes to allow the flavors to combine.
Using a food mill, run the tomato mixture through to make the puree smooth. You can alternatively place the contents of the can in a blender and then strain the mixture through a sieve. You decide. I like option one the best.
Add the sugar and salt and pepper to taste.
Then add nutmeg. I like to use whole nutmeg and grate it directly into the pot. If you are using ground nutmeg, I suggest you use about 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. I just put in enough to please my taste buds. Be careful, too much nutmeg will overpower the tomato flavor.
Alternative Version (easy) – Substitute 3 cups of tomato juice for the pureed tomatoes. Just cook the juice down to 2 cups before adding the other ingredients. This will make the juice more concentrated and less watery.
And. . . if you want to get really crazy, placed sliced hot dogs into the soup. My mother made this for me when I was a kid. Penny Soup is the name; and if you try it, you just might find that you like it too. Personally, I think it is great. Just make sure you use good quality hot dogs.