The thought of tomato soup takes me back to those iconic cans of Campbell’s Soup from my childhood… piping hot, served up with a grilled cheese sandwich on the side. (Velveeta please. Thanks mom.) The ultimate comfort food. I can hear the “Soup is Good Food” jingle rattling around in my head as I type this.
But I’m a grown-up now (supposedly), and I have a new favorite tomato soup. I consider it the most amazing tomato soup on the planet. Seriously. It was created by that genius chef brother of mine, so of course it’s awesome.
As a completely self-taught cook without a culinary degree, I worry a bit when I beg him for a recipe – John’s been known to forward complicated recipes that go on for three pages. That level of cooking simply doesn’t happen in my world. I have a day job.
This recipe proved to be breathtakingly simple. Mostly. It was typed out in some rare form of culinary short-hand using quantities meant for serving dozens of restaurant patrons. It took me a couple of tries to translate the quantities properly.
John’s secret to sublime soup? Sautéed onions and garlic, white wine and silky coconut milk. Don’t freak out, but turns out fish sauce is the secret ingredient. (That last note was intended for my family, who are mostly in the fish-are-friends-not-food camp.) Oh, and a bit of lime juice at the end brightens the bowl.
The flavors magically combine to remind me of Brazil…So let’s replace that Campbell’s jingle with a bit of samba, shall we?
In Virginia this week, my garden has bloomed into a sea of yellow daffodils. The peas and radishes and carrots have sprouted… So, you would think spring has arrived… right?
Really, not so much. Winter has decided to hang out a bit longer around here. The (hugely unpopular) weather forecasters say it’s going to be 31 degrees on Sunday morning. (That would be April 10th.)
A perfect time to pull out the soup pot and samba our way through a chilly day, I say.
A few things I’m crushing on this week:
Love this post from Vanilla and Bean breaking down how to roast and serve artichokes (with curried aioli, no less)
If you still need convincing that this soup is awesome, my brother’s restaurant just made the Eater Chicago 38 Essential Restaurants list. His food is damn good, people.
If you like Bourbon & Brown Sugar soups, you might try: Moroccan Spice Roasted Carrot, Red Pepper and Tomato Soup with Spiced Chick Peas, Hearty Minestrone with Tortellini and Mini-Meatballs, or Rich and Hearty Beef Barley Soup.
Happy Friday All!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 white onion, minced
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 28 oz cans crushed San Marzano tomatoes
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1½ cups coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- Toasted unsweetened coconut, for garnish (optional)
- Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or large saucepan.
- Sautee the garlic and onion in the olive oil until the onions are translucent, about 10-12 minutes.
- Add the wine and reduce the liquid by two-thirds.
- Add the tomato, coconut milk, sugar, salt and fish sauce. Stir to combine and simmer on low for 45 minutes.
- Add the lime juice, and puree in a blender until smooth.
- Serve warm.
- Top with a bit of toasted coconut for garnish, if you like.