Published November 1, 1999.
We found a way to make a soup with rich, perfectly balanced tomato flavor and silken texture even when fresh tomatoes are not available.
Is a comforting can of Campbell's the only way to satisfy a desire for a bowl of rich and creamy tomato soup? We opened one and found that while it was rich and tomatoey, it was also cloyingly sweet, not unlike a cream of ketchup soup.
A homemade soup that would not have to depend on the bounty of fresh, in-season tomatoes for its flavor. Was there a way to get canned tomatoes to do the job, so that we could make this soup year-round?
Good-quality, straight-from-the-can diced tomatoes were good, but not quite good enough. We wanted a more robust tomato flavor. We got it by using a technique known for intensifying flavor: caramelization. Using canned whole instead of diced for ease of handling, we roasted the tomatoes, first sprinkling them with brown sugar to induce caramelization. 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 stove-top time down to 20 minutes.list of recipes