Heather is happiest when taking a beautiful photo, creating something in her kitchen, or elbows-deep in a DIY project.
What Recipes Can I Make With Canned Tomato Soup?
Soup remains one of my most favorite comfort foods-- especially on cold, gloomy, and or rainy days. Tomato soup has always held a very special place in my heart, and a quick peek in my pantry would reveal that I've always got half a dozen cans on hand for cooking, baking, and general soup emergencies. I enjoy using condensed tomato soup as a secret weapon in my meatloaf sauces, stews, and my mom's favorite—Hungarian goulash. I also love dressing up plain old soup for super soup makeovers!
Over the past few years, I've dabbled heavily with quick and easy ways to transform a can of tomato soup into more satisfying dinner recipes for two. Today, I am very happy to share with you my most favorite answer to "What can you add to tomato soup?" Campbell's Soup brand has always been "Mmm Mmm Good," but these few quick additions will make it great!
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Easy Soup Ingredients
- 1 can condensed tomato soup, (10.75 ounces)
- 2 carrots, shredded
- 7 ounces pasta or noodles
- 1 and 1/4 cup milk
- 3 slices bacon, cooked
- 1 tablespoon minced onion
- 1 teaspoon parsley flakes
- Peel, wash, and shred carrots.
- Boil salted water for pasta. (Begin step 3 while waiting for water to boil.) Add pasta when water comes to a full boil and cook for approximately 7 minutes, or according to the package. Drain in colander and set aside.
- Cook and drain bacon strips. Chop them into small pieces and set aside.
- Over medium heat, in a small saucepan, combine condensed tomato soup, shredded carrots, milk, bacon, onion, and parsley. Mix well, then add cooked pasta. Heat until warm, stirring occasionally.
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What Can I Add to Canned Soup?
- It's easy to make this soup while completing some steps simultaneously. I like to get my carrots peeled, washed, and shredded first, and then everything else is smooth sailing.
- I shred both of my carrots in less than thirty seconds using my SaladMaster Machine with cutting cone number 1. You can also use a grater, purchase pre-shredded carrots in most produce departments, or just thinly slice your carrots. I like using shredded carrots because it guarantees each bite will include a yummy carrot flavor. Shredded carrots are also easier to eat in this soup since you aren't actually cooking them; i.e., no one wants to unknowingly bite into or swallow a chunk of raw carrot–at least, I don't think anyone wants to.
- Your soup is ready when it's warmed throughout. Don't worry about cooking the shredded carrots. The raw and crispy elements add great texture and flavor.
- Small pastas like the star and letter shapes are perfect for adding directly to your soup and don't require pre-boiling. I like to boil and drain larger pastas (like the mini penne) to get rid of the extra starch. The excess starch from pastas and noodles can also cause your soup base to become too thick. I also don't rinse my pasta.
- The bacon I used in this recipe is Oscar Mayer's fully-cooked bacon. It's 100% bacon, and I love to use it for cooking. Since it's already cooked, it isn't fatty or greasy. It's very similar to the bacon they use at Subway on their sandwiches. Since I like my bacon crispy, I do "cook" this a second time for the soup. Since I don't have to worry about excess grease, I simply stack my three bacon strips and cut it into tiny strips using clean cooking scissors. I crisp it up in my soup pot prior to adding the other ingredients. This method is so quick and easy for me.
- Traditionally, canned condensed tomato soup is prepared with an equal amount of water. Using water in this recipe will work fine. Your soup coloring will be richly red, and the tomato flavor will be bolder. Adding milk makes the soup deliciously creamy and lightens up the coloring a bit. I personally enjoy this soup both ways but using milk is probably my favorite way to prepare it.
- This recipe serves two—simply double the ingredients for four servings.
- When using larger pastas or serving multiple people, I usually divide the pasta among the dishes first and then ladle in the soup. This way you aren't digging around the pot for pasta, and everyone is happy.
- Refrigerate any leftovers. Tomato-based products can sometimes stain plastic containers (and leave lingering food odors), so I usually store my tomato soup leftovers in glass Pyrex or Mason jars.
What Kind of Pasta Should I Use?
When adding pasta to soups, I choose sizes and designs that will easily fit on a soup spoon and add a nice touch to the overall aesthetic of the soup. These are some of my favorites.
- This is the pasta I use in this soup about 90% of the time. It's made by a brand I love (Barilla), and the pasta pieces are perfectly bite-sized. This pasta makes the soup very hearty and filling. I like to buy this pasta in a 1-pound box when it's on sale at my grocery store for a dollar. For this recipe, I use a little less than half of a box, and it takes about eight minutes to boil.
- Star-shaped pasta definitely adds some fun to this creamy tomato soup recipe. I've been known to use a handful of these cuties in conjunction with another pasta just to make the dish look extra special. I buy this pasta at my neighborhood grocer in the "international" aisles. It's a product of Mexico by La Moderna and a 7.05 oz bag is usually three for a dollar. This cooks in about nine minutes and can be added directly to the soup.
- These letters (and numbers, too) certainly remind me of my childhood. They can make any meal fun for kids and adults too. I had fun spelling out a little message below during my afternoon cooking and photography session. This pasta, like the star-shaped pasta is also made by La Moderna, as described above. Since the small 7oz bags are 3/$1.00, I usually buy them a few at a time. These pasta letters can also be added directly to the soup rather than boiling them separately as I do with the penne.
I love easy recipes as much as the next guy or gal, and this recipe couldn't be much easier. My kitchen and livelihood thrive on simple dinner recipes. Condensed canned soups are such great tools in the kitchen–the culinary possibilities are practically endless. I hope you get a chance to try this beloved tomato cream soup recipe of mine and that you'll enjoy it as much as my husband and I do. I also hope this recipe will inspire you to do some soup experimenting of your own. What can you make with tomato soup? What exciting recipe combinations will you make?
© 2014 Heather