Life is full of “Firsts”. Your first day of school. Your first time driving a car by yourself. Your first kiss.
As you get older you still have firsts but they don’t have quite the same excitement. Your first pair of bifocals. The first time someone asks you if you want the Senior Discount.
And this week . . . my first root canal. *yuck*
The combination of a sore, numb mouth, and having to pay lots of $$$ to the dentist, made it a good week to make a couple frugal batches of soup. I tried one new soup recipe and made another batch of a familiar recipe.
The new recipe was a method for making tomato soup from tomato paste. I had tried something like this once before without much success, ending up instead with a kind of pinkish lumpy soup that wasn’t very appetizing. But this new recipe did things a little differently, heating the tomato paste and the spices in one pan, and the milk in another, and then combining the two into a nice creamy red mixture.
This recipe makes a nice large batch of soup too for a decent price. It uses two cans of tomato paste and 3 cups of milk, together with a few pantry spices which will give you a whole potful of soup without spending a lot of money.
The recipe I was following for inspiration didn’t give any measurements for the spices so I used my usual plan of attack which is to start with a 1/2 teaspoon and go from there. Our first night eating the soup it seemed a little bland and I thought maybe I was too stingy with the spices. BUT, we had leftovers and when we got the soup out again (on root canal day), it seemed to have more flavor. Hubby commented a couple times that it sure tasted good now. Perhaps I should have let everything simmer a little longer initially to let the spices mingle in a little better.
So when making this recipe, feel free to play around with the spices and let everything simmer, and be prepared for the leftovers to taste even better than the first time around!
A Few More Notes About Making Soup from Tomato Paste
This recipe uses the strategy of heating the tomato/water and the milk separately and then combining them at the end to help prevent the curdled look that can sometimes happen when adding the milk.
A bit of baking soda is also stirred in to add a bit of alkalinity to counteract the acidity of the tomato paste, with the acidity being what can cause curdling to begin with. Adding the tomato mixture to the milk slowly also helps to gradually change the ph of the mixture instead of suddenly all at once.
So that was frugal soup #1 for lunch on root canal day. Frugal soup #2 for supper was this tuna vegetable chowder that we also enjoy!
How To Make Tomato Soup from Tomato Paste
- 2 cans Tomato Paste (6 oz size)
- 1½ cups Water
- ½ tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 3 cups Milk
- ½ tsp Garlic Powder
- ½ tsp Onion Powder
- ½ tsp Paprika
- ½ tsp Dried Basil
- ½ tsp Dried Oregano
- ½ tsp Dried Parsley
- ½ tsp Salt
- ½ tsp White Pepper
- In a large saucepan combine the tomato paste and water. Stir in the baking soda, sugar, and spices.
- Heat the tomato paste mixture over medium heat. This is a thick mixture and it pops and splatters, so you'll probably want to cover it, stirring occasionally. Let it simmer for 10minutes.
- In a separate large saucepan, heat the 3 cups of milk.
- When both the tomato paste mixture and the milk are about the same temperature (just use your best estimate), combine the two by slowly pouring the warmed milk into the tomato paste mixture, stirring it as you go.
- Simmer the mixture for a few minutes to let the flavors meld together and then serve.