Okay, so I'm a huge fan of Paradise Bakery. I love their Southwest Chicken Ceasar Salad, paired with a bowl of their fire-roasted tomato soup. I mean, it comes with a cookie (yum!), and with that little drizzle of sour cream and those tortilla strips -- heaven.
So I decided I was going to do a soup and sandwich night at home. Who doesn't love a grilled cheese? So I thought, "I want to make that fire-roasted tomato soup." So I went to my best friend--Google--and found a copycat recipe for the soup at Chef In Training.
I followed the directions exactly (usually what I do the first time I make a recipe), and... I didn't like the soup. It still tasted like canned tomatoes.
So I fancy myself a Food Network expert. Ha! I watch a lot of cooking shows, and I've listened to a lot of judges on Chopped and Guy's Grocery Games talk about acids and sugars, salts and sours, and textures.
My first thought to "fix" the soup was to add sugar to it. It literally tasted like tin. I thought sugar would mask some of that and sweeten up the tomatoes.
My husband tasted the soup, and his first thought was to add hot sauce--two great profiles there in vinegar and heat.
We added both, brought the soup back to a boil and let it go for a few minutes.
And it was a thing of beauty! I'm just glad my countless hours of watching Food Network has finally paid off!!
So here's my recipe for the Paradise Fire-Roasted Tomato Soup.
1 sweet onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes
2 (14.5 oz.) cans fire roasted tomatoes
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
2 cups water
2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 T. brown sugar
1 t. hot sauce (or to taste)
1 cup heavy cream
1. In a large pot, saute onion in olive oil until almost translucent.
2. Add garlic and sauté a couple minutes longer.
3. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, water and chicken broth to pot. Stir to combine and until it reaches a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for 30 minutes.
4. Puree soup as necessary to reach desired constancy. I did about 3/4 of the soup in two batches in the blender. I like a smoother soup, with only a few chunks.
5. Add salt, pepper, brown sugar, hot sauce, and cream to pot with tomato soup and simmer for 10 minutes.
6. Thin 1/2 c. sour cream with 2 T. milk. I had a squeeze bottle and added my sour cream to this for easy streaking.
7. Streak soup with sour cream and top with tortilla chip strips (help from the grocery store!).
Viola! Paradise Bakery Fire-Roasted Tomato Soup that doesn't taste like the can. Enjoy!