Since beginning our journey toward a real food diet, we have been slowly removing processed foods from our diet. As a result, there several common "convenience foods" that are no longer in our pantry.
With the exception of our Emergency Kit, canned soups fall into that category. For starters, they just don't taste as good. Despite what the commercials claim, I dare you to find a canned chicken soup that tastes as good as Grandma's recipe from scratch. Homemade soups are also much more economical. I can throw together a large recipe of soup for pennies compared the the same amount in the can, and then I can freeze the leftovers in portions for a lunch or dinner. Finally, the best part about making your own soup is that you can control your ingredients. Organic? Home-grown? Locally sourced? Allergy-friendly? Whatever you need from your soup, you've got it!
The Great Tomato Soup Search
I soon found a repertoire of favorite soups to replace their canned alternatives, but up until recently, I hadn't found a good alternative for classic tomato soup to go with my grilled cheese. But now I can proudly say the search is over! Seriously, friends, this tomato soup is SO much better than the stuff in the red and white can. (Not to mention any names... but let's just say that their product has high fructose corn syrup as its second ingredient). I promise I will never go back!
Some soup recipes can be involved, but this tomato soup is embarrassingly simple and easy to customize to your preferences. It comes together quickly too, with just a little more effort than opening a can. Give it a try - I can guarantee you won't be disappointed!
Incredibly Simple Tomato Soup
(Adapted from Sweet Treats & More)
- 1 (14.5 oz) can or diced tomatoes with the juices (or 1 home-canned pint)
- garlic powder, to taste (A couple shakes is plenty)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp dried basil or Italian herb seasoning
- 1/4-1/2 cup milk, half & half, or plain yogurt.
With a stick blender:
- In a saucepan, heat the first four ingredients over medium heat until the tomatoes begin to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low.
- Add in the milk, half & half, or yogurt and, using a stick blender, mix until the ingredients are thoroughly combined and the tomatoes are fully pureed.
- Serve immediately.
- Puree the first four ingredients in the blender.
- Heat in a saucepan over medium heat until it begins to simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low.
- Whisk in the milk or half & half until thoroughly combined.
- Serve immediately.
A few variations:Dairy-free: Omit the milk or use an unsweetened milk substitute
Tex-Mex: Replace the basil or Italian seasoning with cumin and chili powder to taste. Eat with a quesadilla or top with tortilla chips.
Like "the can": Strain the pureed soup in a mesh strainer (if you're picky about texture) and add a teaspoon or so of sugar to give it that characteristic sweetness.
With the excessively cold winter we've had (which is hopefully behind us, hallelujah!), this soup has become a lunchtime staple, especially after a morning of shoveling or playing in the snow. The added bonus to this recipe is, since we can our own tomatoes, tomato soup gives us the benefit of enjoying the fruits of our labor all winter long.
What's your favorite canned soup? Have you ever tried to replicate it at home?
Now, if I could just find a simple and yummy real-food recipe for New England Clam Chowder, my search for soup can alternatives will be over. Can anyone help a girl out? :)