This week for the Food Network’s #FallFest we are creating some of our favorite soups to share with you. I decided to create a new version of the classic tomato soup.
I am always in the mood for some soul-warming soup. When I first had to switch to a gluten-free diet, I really missed my childhood favorite, grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. But with the good gluten-free breads I am making for the cookbook and canned tomatoes available all year long, I can have this comforting meal any time I want!
Today instead of the standard canned tomato soup, I started with Pomi tomatoes, amped up the seasonings by adding peppers, onions, garlic, and oregano. The addition of cream and butter balances the acidity and adds a luscious richness. This soup tastes nearly as good as what I make in the summer with the tomatoes from my garden and is much faster and easier.
You may think that the peppers and onions might be too strong and overpower the tomatoes, but by sautéing them first you start to caramelize the natural sugars, lending a subtle sweetness to the soup. You can use any pepper you like – from mild sweet bell peppers, the poblanos I used, or go for heat with jalapenos, habaneros, or serranos. And if you are really daring go with ghost peppers! I would love to hear which ones you choose.
Canned tomatoes are one of the greatest conveniences that came out of the post-war transition to processed foods. Suddenly fruits and vegetables were available all year long – a real luxury compared to eating seasonally.
In the late 50s scientists started using BPH to create resin lining for tin cans to reduce the metallic flavor in foods. In recent years it has been discovered that BPH can disrupt the endocrine system in children and adults. The acidity in tomatoes tends to leach BPH out of the can lining. To avoid this, look for tomatoes in glass bottles or paper boxes. My favorite brand is Pomi. Packaged in paper boxes, this Italian company makes a truly superior product that is available worldwide.
This soup improves when made ahead, giving the flavors time to meld together and get richer. It only takes about 45 minutes to make from scratch and once made, is just as fast to reheat for your family as opening a can of soup and much, much healthier and better tasting.
I love homemade soups in the cold months and this is one of my top choices. If you’ve never made soup from scratch, you will be amazed at how easy it is and how much more delicious. Plus you can customize the seasonings any way you like. Flexibility and creativity always appeal to me!
The Artist and I really enjoyed this luxurious version and will be having it again this weekend – probably with gluten-free grilled cheese sandwiches while we watch football on the TV.
Make sure you check out all the links below the recipe. These bloggers always create amazing dishes that have me craving every single one! Have a fabulous weekend !!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
If you make a lot of creamy or pureed soups, invest in an immersion blender. I looks like a tall stick with blades on one end and it is unbelievably useful for so many tasks. Check it out and see all it can do for you!
Naturally gluten-free! If you are making this for someone with celiac or severe sensitivity, do not use any wooden or plastic utensils. They can harbor minute amounts of flour and other gluten-containing ingredients. This can make people sick, and in some cases require hospitalization.
- 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) plus 3 tbsp butter
- 3 large bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and coarsely chopped - or use your favorites, see note below
- 2 large onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and halved, core discarded
- 3 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 (26 to 28 oz) containers chopped or strained tomatoes (such as Pomi)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Kosher or sea salt and white pepper, to taste
- In a large (4-quart or larger) stainless steel saucepot or enameled Dutch oven, melt 1/4 cup of the butter over medium heat. Add the peppers, onions, garlic and oregano. Cover with a lid and sweat the vegetables about 3 minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid, add the tomato paste and stir it into the liquid in the bottom of the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomato paste is slightly toasty smelling and is somewhat melted.
- Stir in the chopped tomatoes, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about 30 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft and the vegetables have nearly dissolved. Stir it occasionally. Taste it and if it still tastes “raw” or sharp, put it back on the stove for a little longer. Remove the soup from the heat.
- Use an immersion blender if you have one or a regular blender to puree the mixture thoroughly. If you are using a blender, only fill it half full and make sure the lid is slightly ajar. You need to let the steam escape or it will blow the top off your blender! Cover the lid with a kitchen towel to protect you from splashes and then pulse in the blender until smooth. Pour pureed soup into a bowl and repeat until you have pureed the entire batch.
- After pureeing, pass the soup through a coarse wire strainer set over a large heatproof bowl (or two bowls) one or two times, discarding the solids each time, or until the soup is perfectly smooth. Return the pureed soup to the pot.
- Add the cream, 2 tbsp of butter, salt, and white pepper to the soup and warm to a simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally until the butter is melted. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding a little more cream if you want. Remove from the heat and ladle into warmed soup bowls to serve.
- Yield: about 6 servings
- Any pepper you like can be used in this soup. In increasing order of heat, you can include bell peppers, poblanos, jalapenos, serranos, habaneros, ghost peppers, or anything else you prefer. If you are using hot peppers, start with a small amount and then add more to your taste.
Create a New Tradition Today!
This recipe is part of Food Network’s weekly Fall Fest celebration. See the links below for inspiration and great recipes and check out our Pinterest page for even more!
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Chilled Spiced Peach Soup
Red or Green? Spiced Vegetable Soup with Lentils & Garbanzo Beans
Feed Me Phoebe: Portuguese Kale Soup with Sausage and Cherry Tomatoes
The Mom 100: Avgolemono Soup
The Lemon Bowl: Red Lentil Turkish Soup
The Heritage Cook: Soul-Warming Tomato Soup with Peppers and Onions (Gluten-Free)
Healthy Eats: 6 Healthy Soups for the First Tailgate of the Season
Domesticate Me: Five Spice Sweet Potato Soup
Taste with the Eyes: Chicken Soup with Exotic Saffron Matzoh Balls
FN Dish: It’s Almost Spoon Season: Top Classic Soups to Simmer Now
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