Two words that haunted me as a kid.
Growing up I always heard that tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches were made for each other. My Mom never failed to remind us that’s how she grew up eating the two: together.
It never did much good. I haaaaaate tomatoes. Granted so does she, but still. It was full of tomatoes, looked like tomatoes, and smelled like tomatoes. I hated tomatoes, and so I hated tomato soup. I was perfectly happy eating the sandwich (or five of them) sans soup.
I haven’t given the soup much thought since rejecting it over 10 years ago until the other day. Tomato soup sounded sooooo good. I still hate tomatoes, but I was craving roasted tomato soup so bad. Roasted tomatoes are way better than unroasted tomatoes, fyi. Trust me, I know. Having hated them my whole life I’m obviously an expert on all things tomato. This is limited to knowing which brand makes the best ketchup and that roasting tomatoes not only makes them bearable, but actually good when mixed with other stuff. Still not by themselves though.
I googled 258 tomato soup recipes picking pieces from each one until I had what sounded like a good tomato soup. Full of things I don’t hate, like carrots and bacon fat and smoked paprika. Holy crap, let’s talk about smoked paprika for a minute. It’s amazing. The smallest pinch changes a recipe so much, adding a ton of flavor. It may just be my new favorite spice behind cumin. I love cumin, which is good because it’s also in this soup.
In conclusion: Roasting tomatoes is the only way to go. Bacon fat and smoked paprika make everything better. You should try this soup even if you think you hate tomatoes. I hate tomatoes. I really like this soup.
Roasted Tomato Soup for Two
5 tomatoes, sliced
3 carrots, peeled and cut lengthwise into 2 or 3 pieces
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, about 1 tbsp
1 tbsp bacon fat
1 onion, diced
3/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp cumin
2 cups chicken stock
1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper
avocado & coconut milk for garnish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place sliced tomatos, chopped carrots, and the jalapeño on a sheet tray and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Roast in oven about 25-30 minutes, until carrots are tender.
While the roasted vegetables cool down heat the bacon fat in a large heavy pot over medium high heat. Add the diced onion and cook about 10 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Roughly chop the roasted vegetables, deseeding the jalapeño if you don’t want the soup too spicy (which is what I did). Add the vegetables, smoked paprika, cumin, and pepper to the onions. Stir well and cook about 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 10-15 minutes. Taste, and season with salt as needed.
Transfer about half the mixture to a food processor and pulse a few times. You don’t want the soup pureed (or do you?), but it’s nice to smooth out some of the chunks. Repeat with the remaining soup. Serve with avocado slices and a drizzle of coconut milk or olive oil.
Mmm, guess I do like tomato soup (ssh, don’t tell my mom).