Soup’s Up! : Transforming a Childhood Classic into a Cold Weather Treat

I don’t know about you guys, but when it came to meals my mom could put together in between breaking up the constant fighting me and my little sister used to do, easy preparation was integral.

In the colder months soup and a sandwich was common, and we even made big bowls of Ramen to share and slurp together since it meant less dishes for my little sister to do. (That was her chore when we were growing up. I had the laundry).

When we weren’t interested in Ramen it fell to mom to find something else for us. Mom had a wide range of edibles in her repertoire , but it was a regular staple of our family and most other families I knew of to rely on tasty canned goods.

So enters the classic Campbell’s Tomato Soup.

 

Ah that old reliable white and red labeled tin receptacle for an exceptionally sodium laden excuse for a vegetable puree.

I have a great deal of fond memories coming in from playing in the snow. A warm bowl of soup is a good way to warm up…….if it isn’t filled with an atrocious amount of sodium, High Fructose Corn Syrup, and even wheat flour. (Why is there wheat flour in tomato soup?)

Now that I have grown up I have become determined to take better care of myself, but also not be deprived of any of the simple joys of delicious food.

For me this means taking comfort food and making it much more healthy.

With the ridiculous swings in weather I have been subject to here in the midwest, (I swear to you it was almost 60 degrees yesterday.) soup has been calling to me and, I couldn’t think of anything more comforting than tomato soup and grilled cheese. How to create a healthier and tastier version of this gradeschool classic.

Better than Campbell’s Creamy Tomato Soup

1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled or diced tomatoes, organic preferably, like Muir Glen
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 stalks of celery, diced
4 small carrots, peeled and diced
2 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 cups chicken stock
2 dried bay leaves
1 teaspoon of white sugar
2 tablespoons butter
¼ cup heavy cream
¾ cup 2% milk
salt and pepper
if you like heat, just a dash of cayenne powder

It looks kinda like this when you stick it all together.

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Directions are as follows.
1. Prepare Mirepoix + Garlic. (Hint: Some stores sell carrot and celery sticks in containers as snacks use these to save yourself time.)

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2. Melt the butter in a 5qt pot then add the Mirepoix + Garlic. Let that sweat for approx. 7-10 min. It should look something like this.

 

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Pro-tip : This is where a large portion of your flavor will come from and it is important to let the vegetables brown.

4. Add the pepper, canned tomatoes, chicken stock, sugar, and bay leaves. (Muir Glen makes a roasted organic tomato that tastes awesome. )
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5. Simmer all of the veggies until they are tender or about 15-20 min. then add the milk and cream

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6. Thoroughly combine and then puree. (I used a blender.)

 

 

7. Add salt to taste and serve with grilled cheese.

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Epilogue: I placed what was left into a pitcher and used that to pour into a silicon muffin pan. Now whenever I want this amazeballs tomato soup I just get two or three pucks out of my freezer and microwave it.

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Until we meet again my friends, Eat, Drink, and be Geeky

 

 

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