Which is similar to, but not the same as the trademarked Campbell Soup slogan — “M’m! M’m! Good!” — but a good way to describe what was on The Frog & PenguINN dinner menu recently when we invited our neighbor, Mary, to join us. She’s a soup fan too and was willing to sample my first try at homemade tomato soup. How hard could it be?
Good news — making homemade tomato soup isn’t hard at all. And, as huge fans of tomato soup this is now our preferred tomato soup choice, sorry Campbell's. An added plus is that you may already have most, if not all the fixings available in your pantry or refrigerator. (Yes, fresh tomatoes would be better, maybe this summer.)
The soup was served with one of Grenville’s specialties, grilled cheese sandwiches and he prefers to use Swiss cheese.
- 1-2 TBSP olive oil
- 6-7 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 tsp dried basil (fresh if available)
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp dried marjoram
- 1 (28 oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes in their juices
- 1 (28 oz.) can of crushed tomatoes
- 1- 1/2 C low-sodium chicken broth (I used beef)
- 2 bay leaves
- salt & pepper
- tomato paste (if needed to thicken)
- 1/3 cup heavy cream OR use some half & half
- Ricotta (optional) and/or pesto (optional)
- Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Sautee onion and garlic in olive oil slowly until translucent and softened.
- Add tomatoes and juices to the pan and stir to crush up tomatoes. Add broth and bay leaves and bring to soup to almost boiling, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes to let the soup thicken
- Remove from heat, discard bay leaves, and allow soup to cool slightly. Carefully purée soup in a blender until smooth or better yet use an immersion blender because pouring soup into a blender to purée it can be messy (trust me).
- Return soup to the stove over low heat and stir in cream (or half and half). Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve, garnished with a dollop of ricotta and/or a swirl of pesto.
Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwich . . . Mmm Mmm Good
As NJ natives, here’s a little history . . . Campbell’s is a NJ native too. It began in 1869 in Camden, where it is still headquartered. Fruit merchant Joseph Campbell and icebox manufacturer Abraham Anderson started packing French peas, fancy asparagus and beefsteak tomatoes, later expanding to other vegetables, jellies, soups, and condiments.
In 1897, chemist Dr. John T. Dorrance joined the company and is credited as the inventor of condensed soup, which turned the company into a household name. The soup was so popular that in 1922 the company incorporated as the Campbell Soup Company.
The cherub-faced icons, the Campbell Kids, have been peddling soup since 1904. Grace Wiederseim Drayton, an illustrator and writer, added sketches of children to her husband’s soup advertising layout. Campbell execs liked the child appeal, choosing her sketches as company trademarks. Mrs. Drayton drew for the company for 20 years. The Campbell Kids were first depicted as ordinary boys and girls. Based on their popularity, they later assumed the personas of police officers, sailors, soldiers and other professions. They are still promoting Campbell Soup.