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HTGC

Tomato soup - How to perfect it?

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Hello everyone! 

We have an assignment in class, culinary school. It's pretty simple. Make a tomato soup. 
A tomato soup based on Klosse's theory about taste/texture and so on. And obviously a tasty one.

 

So my question is, how do YOU make your absolut perfect tomato soup?

There's so many different ideas... Bake the tomatoes? Sugar? Wine? Which secrets do you use, to make the full body, rich in taste and simply lovely mesmeric tomato soup?

Best regards, this up-comming chef in Denmark!

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I rely on Ina Garten's expertise when I make soup like that.

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I made this tomato soup for the first time yesterday and liked the trick of using a little sodium bicarbonate to adjust the level of acidity, specifically to compensate for overly acidic canned tomatoes.  I ended up using 1/8 teaspoon for ~ 3 quarts of soup, so not much.

 

I'm usually wanting to add more acid to soups at the end so it surprised me that I liked it.

 

 

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The key, clearly - are the tomatoes.

 

By far the best tomato soups I have ever had are from my own grown heirloom tomatoes.

 

Simply cook with onions and garlic, put through a food mill to remove seeds/skin and reduce a bit if desired.  It is so sweet and unreal - my best tomato risotto's are also made from said liquid.

 

 

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Depends on the type of soup.

For fresher soups like tomato and basil I use my method here to minimize cooking.

For cream of tomato and other rich soups I prefer the tomatoes be somewhat caramelized.

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~Martin :)

I try to find the good food in every situation!

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse, curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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The project we´re doing is in the class "food science". We'll start out tasting a pre-fabricated tomato soup to try and guess all the ingredients. After that, we'll individually make our own, based on that idea. While explaining why we choose the different ingredients and why we did what we did. 

I quite like the "baking everything" idea to intensify the tastes. Something acid for the contractions, maybe cream or sourcream for coating and then basing the pure flavour intensity on tomato/basil/garlic. Of course including spices as salt, pepper and most likely thyme as well. 

 

 

Edit: I did play with the thought about doing a completely clarified soup, but using the "gelatine/freeze/defrost" way, to cheat the vision a little. But due to limited time for the assignment, and the teacher probably finding it "wrongly solved" I scratched the idea. 
Tomorrow it's playtime instead, poussin with 7 kinds of beets!

 

And thank you all for these outstanding answers. 


Edited by HTGC (log)

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Here's what I've been doing, as much because it's easy as it's delicious. Works best with a high-powered blender. proportions can be adjusted to suit any taste, so I'm not giving any quantities.

 

-Quarter a bunch of really good tomatoes.

-peel and quarter some onion.

-peel some garlic.

-optionally peel some ginger.

-Puree it all until completely smooth in blender.

-Pour a portion of it into skillet, preferably one with a light interior.

-Pour the rest into a pot and heat.

-Reduce and brown the portion that's in the skillet. Deglaze with some of the fresh soup, and pour the deglazing liquid in the pot with the rest of the soup

-Add any fresh herbs you want.

-Simmer until it has the level of cooked flavor you like.

-Season

-Optionally swirl in some olive oil or cream

 

You can do this in about 25 minutes. The browning / reducing step introduces deeper, roasted flavors. Without this step the soup is pink and has a very light / fresh flavor. You can adjust the fresh-to-roasted spectrum of flavors with the quantity that you choose to reduce and brown.

 

I've done this with canned tomatoes, and it's good if you can find good ones. You probably won't have to add salt.

 

 

 


Edited by paulraphael (log)
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Notes from the underbelly

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If you want the perfect tomato soup you need garden fresh tomatoes.

A little salt. A little pepper, And a little good quality aged red wine vinegar.


Edited by Paul Fink (log)
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I like a little blue cheese (50 grams in about a liter of soup) and touch of sriracha in my tomato soup.

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My sense of tomato soup is rustic. attempts to deconstruct it or refine it are interesting but lose it's essence. 

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Yes , the tomatoes have to be ( Your ) garden fresh and perfectly ripe.

 

given that , and i used to have 24 tomato plants , over 6 ft tall  

 

Id almost rather eat them raw or give them away to neighbors.

 

id say give the tomatoes a sniff test  :  if they have aroma  then you are moving in the right direction.

 

less is better w the garden tomato.

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I use either fresh, homecanned, or in a pinch, grocery store diced tomatoes. Saute onion and garlic. Add sherry, cook down by a third. Add tomatoes. Depending on how liquid it is and how liquid you want it, add chicken stock to thin (I guess you could use veggie stock, or even water, if you wished). Add lots of fresh basil. Simmer a few minutes, puree, then return to heat and add heavy cream or yogurt; rewarm but don't  boil.

 

 


Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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I favor good-quality canned whole tomatoes, because here in Atlantic Canada garden-fresh tomatoes come and go in a few weeks and store-bought are usually pretty blah. I use canned rather than diced, because diced tomatoes have calcium chloride added to firm up the cell walls and keep the chunks from breaking down. I look for a smooth rather than a chunky texture in mine, hence whole tomatoes (or even crushed, in a pinch). 

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“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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Perfect tomato soup? It's one that comes with a grilled cheese sandwich! :P

 

I'm partial to pappa al pomodoro - Tuscan bread & tomato soup.  I use canned whole roma tomatoes, leftover rind of parm, and drizzle of extra virgin olive oil on top.

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Apologies for responding to a slightly older topic.  I'm just a huge fan of tomatoes, couldn't help but share this, though a little late to the game.

 

If you want to go a little away from conventional you can also do a consumme.  Blitz ingredients in a blender (tomatoes, garlic, basil, etc, roasted or not, all good), toss them into a nut-milk bag (or flour sack cloth) hang in fridge over night.  You'll get a clear, slightly-reddish liquid, that's your soup.  Mix the left overs with some flour and optionally parmesan, roll out thin, bake to make tomato crackers along with the soup (melt some cheese on the cracker?). 

 

As others have said, the tomato itself is the key.

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Open the Campbell's can, plop it into a pan, fill can with water (milk mellows it too much), add to pan, heat, add pepper to taste and a small piece of butter. While it's heating, butter bread and toss it in a pan, top with cheese and another slice of buttered bread. Brown on both sides to your liking. Soup in bowl, sandwich on plate, dunking recommended but optional. Adding the pepper and butter are the "perfecting" part. :D

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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Comparing tomato soup made in the summer from juicy ripe tomatoes to winter soup made from good quality Italian canned tomatoes is like comparing apples to oranges. They are simply different, and if you want a yummy bowl of soup in the winter you gotta go with canned tomatoes. I like to cut canned tomatoes in half and roast them in the oven to boost their flavor.

 

And recently I learned a new trick: how to make smoky tomato soup. Of course there are many ways to do that, one being to use smoked paprika. But if you are going for smokiness that isn't paprika or chipotle flavored try this: steep some lapsang souchong tea in hot broth for a few minutes before adding the broth (or water) to the pot. Strictly up to you how much to use, and it doesn't make the soup taste like tea, if you are wondering. It's Campfire Tomato Soup. And if you don't have enough bread for grilled cheese sandwiches try making cheesy pan-fried croutons and add them before serving.

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Saute a diced onion. Add garlic (to your taste 1-12 cloves). Add a half-cup sherry, reduce. Add a cup of chicken stock.Bring to a boil. Add a 14-oz can/pint of homecanned tomatoes. Bring back to a boil, reduce heat, spice to your tastes. Blitz with an immersion blender. Add 1/2 cup heavy cream. 

 

Make a grilled cheese sandwich. Turn off the phone, ignore the doorbell, enjoy lunch.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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erm, no cream or milks in any I make. Ever since Chefsteps posted the easiest tomato soup I've been sort of following that and just adding and subtracting where ever I feel like. 

 

https://www.chefsteps.com/activities/easiest-ever-tomato-soup

 

Xanthin gum as a thickener and I use fresh tomatoes and tomato paste and just use what ever herbs I have and that will taste good. Sometimes I roast everything down when I use onions, capsicums and carrots and I caramelise it all. Other time I put it all in the blender raw (I've a high speed blender) and the last one I made I tenderised all the vegetables in a water bath at 80c for two hours which was enough to kill off the rawness of the onions but still leave them a little biting and make the soup nice and smooth when I blended. Plus I didn't need to add much stock to it. 

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Many years ago, there was a wonderful Sichuan restaurant here in town, sadly long gone. One of the many very popular dishes was a tomato soup flavoured with what I partly identified as the usual Sichuan spices. Certainly Sichuan peppercorn and white pepper. Chili peppers, of course. But what else?
 

I've searched for years for a recipe, but with no luck. I've never found the soup in any other Sichuan restaurant either. Even in Sichuan. I have experimented with attempting to replicate it, and although the results have been OK, there is always something missing. I think I need some Sichuan fairy dust.

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1 hour ago, liuzhou said:

Many years ago, there was a wonderful Sichuan restaurant here in town, sadly long gone. One of the many very popular dishes was a tomato soup flavoured with what I partly identified as the usual Sichuan spices. Certainly Sichuan peppercorn and white pepper. Chili peppers, of course. But what else?
 

I've searched for years for a recipe, but with no luck. I've never found the soup in any other Sichuan restaurant either. Even in Sichuan. I have experimented with attempting to replicate it, and although the results have been OK, there is always something missing. I think I need some Sichuan fairy dust.

... aka MSG ? I find the combination of MSG, chili and Sichuan pepper (oil) simply the best addition to anything savoury ;)

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3 minutes ago, Duvel said:

... aka MSG ? I find the combination of MSG, chili and Sichuan pepper (oil) simply the best addition to anything savoury ;)

 

MSG would have gone without mention in the restaurant. I've used that. There must be another kind of fairy!

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Well considering MSG is naturally occurring in Tomatoes, there is some in it, whether they add more or not....

 

Back on topic, my favorite rendition of Tomato soup contains garden fresh (or garden frozen - typically heirloom) tomatoes, onion, garlic, some chili, and at the end - home made sauerkraut!

 

The contrast between the sweet tomatoes, heat from chili and tang from the kraut is awesome!

 

 

 

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