Bridget Lancaster of America’s Test Kitchen shared a wonderful and simple recipe for homemade cream of tomato soup that doesn’t come straight out of a can. The recipe does call for canned tomatoes, however, these are roasted in the oven with some brown sugar for a fresher taste.
When developing our cream of tomato soup recipe, we found that good-quality, straight-from-the-can diced tomatoes were good, but not quite good enough. We got a more robust tomato flavor for our tomato soup recipe by using a technique known for intensifying flavor: caramelization. We roasted whole canned tomatoes, first sprinkling them with brown sugar to induce caramelization.
The rest of the recipe calls for some simmering, straining, and blending of the tomatoes. Further ingredients were added at the end of the process to add flavor and creaminess.
The ultimate difference in flavor was extraordinary, and because the rest of the soup could be prepared while the tomatoes roasted, we were able to keep stovetop time down to 20 minutes.