This comforting Cream of Tomato Soup can easily be made with mostly pantry ingredients. A nostalgic soup from my childhood, only better, and now loved by my own children.
Cooking during lockdown….
We are all used to preparing dinner every night for our families. But are you used to making lunch every day for your children? It only took me 4 days of lockdown and isolation to realize that I was not! We haven’t left the house in 7 days here in France, except to walk the dog. After eating sandwiches 4 days in a row I knew I had to step up my game. Cream of Tomato Soup was stage one.
Trying to stay healthy….
Thanks to Youtube and our 4-legged friend we are getting exercise. But our healthy lunches need some attention. I’m due a supermarket run soon but, as advised, I am trying my hardest to only venture out when absolutely necessary. That’s why yesterday I made my childhood fave. Cream of tomato soup is so essentially comforting, nostalgic, delicious and… made up of mostly pantry ingredients!
On a weekly basis I am reminded that my “American” children were born and raised in France. They are fluent in French but speak English with an American accent. My daughters live in a blurred reality between French and American culture. The look of disbelief on their faces when I explain that Americans attend school on Wednesdays matches that of their French friends when my girls try to explain what an ice cream truck is. “A truck that plays music and stops in front of your grandparents’ house just to bring you ice cream?!?!” MAIS NON!?. “School on Wednesdays?!?!” WHATEVER! Nice try Mom!
I often wonder how they how my girls will define themselves as adults……American-French? French-American? Mutts, mongrels? Will they feel like world citizens or lack identity? I hope for the latter but only time will tell….
American Tomato Soup with French Baguette…
This cultural blur was brought to my attention today. I made my Cream of Tomato Soup yesterday. We had it for lunch with baguette which I had bought before the lockdown and placed in the freezer. A firm believer in left-overs, we had the soup again today. However, after 6 days of lockdown we had finally run out of bread. My eldest daughter announced that “I can’t eat soup without baguette.” ……….. American mom rolled her eyes at French daughter and said, with a bit tongue, “Yes, you can.” An argument ensued until Mom remembered a bit of her own childhood….
“Do you know that in the US we don’t eat soup with bread? We eat soup with crackers?” Both girls looked at me like I was about to force feed them compost. “Believe me, it’s good! You can break the crackers in to your soup!” Further looks of weary suspicion. I slid them a plate of TUKS (French version of Ritz) and said “if you don’t eat your soup you don’t get your iPads today.” They quickly scooped up the crackers, looking to me for guidance, as I enacted breaking them in to the soup. Finally, after a bit of whining and coercion big American smiles spread across their little French faces as they handed me empty soup bowls. Score one for Team USA!
I’m not enjoying this lockdown but I do think we all need to find and embrace the little joys that come with it. I’ve lived abroad for so long that even I forgot about crumbling crackers in to my soup! But today, locked in a house in France, my girls learnt a little trick from their American mom. And they liked it. And so did I. I hope you do too..Print
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Cook Time: 50 min
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- Category: soup
- Cuisine: American
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 2 onions, sliced
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 large cans of Italian tomatoes (800g/28oz)
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- pinch of sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 1/2–2 cups heavy cream (creme liquide)
- For serving:
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)
- Slivered basil (optional)
- Heat the oil and butter in a large stock pot over medium-high heat.
- Add the onions and carrot and lower the heat to medium. Sauté until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute.
- Add the tomatoes, pinch of sugar and salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the stock and allspice and bring to a simmer. Partially cover the pot and gently simmer for 45 minutes.
- Add the cream to the soup and puree with an immersion blender. Reheat if necessary:
- Season with salt and pepper and serve with optional cheese and basil.
Keywords: tomato soup, cream of tomato soup