But first a funny story…When I was growing up I used to help my mom out in the summers by baby-sitting my youngest sister (we are seven years apart.) Often I would make Campbell’s Cream of Tomato Soup and grilled hot dogs for us to eat for lunch. When I was dating Avi, my sister was about 10 or 11 years old. He was visiting me and I made us all tomato soup and hot dogs for lunch. As I was putting the food on the table, my sister said to him, “Oh! You are going to like this, it’s good. It’s her specialty!”
I was mortified. Here I was serving canned tomato soup and hot dogs – not exactly gourmet fare and she was telling my fiance that it was my specialty. Not exactly what you want him to envision his future dinners to look like. He was gracious and thanked her and commented that she was right, it was good. That was nearly 36 years ago, and Avi and I still chuckle about it, today. All these years later, I am still making that combo for lunch and every time; he says, “Oh, we’re having your SPECIALTY.” I just smile and say, “Yes Darl’n, we’re having my Specialty!”
Well the other day, I was hungry for tomato soup and we didn’t have any on hand. This might sound bazaar but as much as I like cream of tomato soup, I have never tried to make it from scratch. Sooo, I decided to see if I could pull it off. I didn’t bother to go looking for a recipe and I didn’t have fresh tomatoes on hand so what to do?
I looked in the refrigerator and found some really spicy homemade salsa and a container with some heavy cream in it. I found canned tomato sauce in the cupboard and I went out side and snipped some fresh herbs. I had the whole thing made and served in less than 15 minutes which is just slightly longer than it would have taken to heat up the condensed soup and serve it. I sprinkled crumbled Feta cheese on top and it was… Fantastic!!! Avi had a bowl when he came home from work and he agreed. His words exactly, “This is great. No more Campbell’s Tomato Soup – ever again. Make it this way, it’s your new specialty!” So here is the recipe…
- ¼ cup of chunky salsa (I used homemade and it was very spicy - probably medium-high on the spicy scale)
- ⅔ cup vegetable broth (I mixed water with 2 tsp of vegetable broth paste)
- 1 16 oz can of tomato sauce
- 4-6 fresh basil leaves, snipped into strips
- 1 4 inch stalk of fresh oregano, minced
- ½ teaspoon of sea salt
- 8 cranks on the black pepper grinder
- 6 oz heavy cream
- 4 tablespoons of Feta cheese, crumbled - for serving
- Optional toppings (see notes below)
- In medium pan, over medium high heat, stir together the salsa and vegetable broth.
- Add the fresh herbs and salt and pepper and bring all to a boil.
- Stir in the tomato sauce and cook for 2 minutes then remove from heat.
- Stir in the cream and pour into bowls for serving.
- It's that easy!
- We liked it with the chunks from the salsa but if you would rather have it completely creamy, just use an immersion blender in the pan before adding the cream. If you don't have an immersion blender, you could use a regular blender but I would allow the mixture to cool before blending. Just be careful so that you don't sling hot tomato mixture all over yourself or your kitchen.
Many years ago I lived just outside of Charleston, SC. One day, my friend Brenda took me to a little cafe that served BLT soup. I thought it was a novel idea to turn the famous Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato sandwich into a soup. You might like to try it, here is what you do…
Pour the soup into bowls and just before serving top each with 1 tablespoon of crumbled cooked turkey bacon and some finely sliced lettuce. Serve with toast points or croutons and you have BLT soup.
I hope you enjoy this as much as we did. If you have a recipe for cream of tomato soup using fresh tomatoes, please share it with us.