Creamy tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich – comfort food heaven, right? Even better – it’s a kid pleaser! I’ve been on a quest for some time to figure out the trick to make homemade creamy tomato soup that is 1. from scratch so it doesn’t have all the additives and is CHEAPER, and 2. doesn’t curdle the milk.
Well, I finally figured it out! Being uncomfortably almost-12 weeks pregnant that I am, I’ve been really focusing on making foods that are simple and don’t mess up my kitchen too much, because the truth is I don’t have energy to cook dinner AND clean up. My kitchen tends to get messy. So what we need is Recipes for Tired Pregnant Cooks. This is one of those. I do end up using one extra pot, but you will see why in a minute. It’s simple, delicious and is entirely homemade (except I DID buy the tomato paste). And the funny thing is it’s just about as simple as using Campbell’s. Okay maybe it takes like 30 seconds more to measure the spices and stuff, but that’s really minor, right?
I like to use tomato paste because it’s cheaper to buy than sauce for what you get. Tomato paste is tomato sauce minus water, and so it’s almost always a better buy so I just stick with it. Anytime I need to make tomato-y stuff that asks for sauce I use paste and a little water instead.
Creamy Tomato Soup
- 1 12oz can (or 2 6oz cans) Tomato Paste
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp sugar
- Spices to taste
Yeah, I know I’m awful! But I don’t measure this stuff. I just throw in a bunch of garlic & onion powder, a little salt, pepper, paprika, dried basil, oregano and parsley. You’d probably be fine with Italian seasoning mix. Don’t forget the garlic!
- 3 cups milk
In a large saucepan, heat the first 5 ingredients all together over medium, whisking to make sure it is combined. The baking soda will cause the mixture to expand and foam up a bit, so don’t skimp on the size of the pot. Simmer for at least 10 minutes.
In a separate large saucepan, heat the milk. Heat the pots until they are approximately the same temperature. I don’t bother with measuring temps, I just have each pot on the same size burner and on the same heat level and wait until they seem about the same.
Just before serving, gradually start whisking the tomato mixture into the milk. Go very slowly at this point. Once they are whisked together, the soup is ready to serve with your best grilled cheese sandwich. This recipe serves 4.
There are a few things that keep creamy tomato soup from curdling:
- Baking soda adds a bit of alkalinity to counteract the acidity of the tomato paste, with the acidity being what causes curdling to begin with.
- Adding the tomato mixture to the milk slowly helps gradually change the pH instead of suddenly all at once.
- Keeping the two “phases” separate until the last minute and combining them at the same temperature helps also, though I don’t really know why.
All in all, if you are looking for a good way to make homemade tomato soup on the cheap, this is it! Canned tomato paste costs pennies, and is much better than the canned tomato soup which is full of preservatives, msg and high fructose corn syrup.