The Secret Behind Martha Stewart's Creamy Tomato Soup Isn't Cream

The Secret Behind Martha Stewart's Creamy Tomato Soup Isn't Cream

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When we were little, there was almost no meal more classic and cozy than grilled cheese with tomato soup. The grilled cheese was usually made with margarine, American cheese, and white bread; the soup was usually Campbell’s Condensed Tomato Soup from a can, with milk instead of water when we were feeling fancy. Even as adults, we return to this cold-weather classic combo time and again, but these days, sometimes we’re craving something a little fresher than condensed canned soup. So when Martha Stewart posted her cream-free recipe for creamy tomato soup on Instagram, we were immediately intrigued.

A post shared by Martha Stewart (@marthastewart)

We’ve always loved the texture of creamy tomato soup, but when heavy cream is added to the soup, it can dull the other flavors, like the bright acidity of the tomatoes that usually helps balance their sweetness.

Stewart opts for another method. Instead of thickening her tomato soup with cream, she uses flour, making a roux. Stewart sautees aromatics in butter and oil, then adds flour, cooking it for a minute in the hot fat to take out the raw flour flavor. Then, the tomatoes and broth are added, and the whole pot is simmered until the tomatoes are broken down. It’s the perfect one-pot recipe.

As the pot bubbles away, the starch molecules from the flour thicken the liquid. Once the soup is cooked, it’s blended, which also thickens it up and gives it that rich, creamy body we often crave — without using heavy cream. An immersion blender
makes this super-easy. You could easily use vegan butter, too, to make dairy-free creamy tomato soup.

Another added bonus of making your own creamy tomato soup from scratch is that you can control the sodium levels. A serving of traditional condensed tomato soup can contain up to 21 percent of your recommended sodium for the day.

The next time you’re craving your favorite childhood meal, try upgrading your creamy tomato soup with Stewart’s homemade recipe. Your grilled cheese will want to thank you as you dunk it into the crimson goodness in your bowl.

Before you go, check out our slideshow below:

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