Canned Tomato Soup Makes For An Easy Sauce Shortcut In A Pinch

pasta with canned tomato soup
pasta with canned tomato soup - Static Media/Shutterstock/Getty

Tomato sauce is incredibly popular for a reason. Not only is it rich and velvety in texture with a punch of savory, acidic flavor, but it also excels in terms of versatility, improving every dish from a simple baked spaghetti to an indulgent chicken parmesan. As with any such powerhouse ingredient, it is smart to keep a jar of tomato sauce in your kitchen at all times; however, this isn't always a reality. If you forgot to add sauce to your latest grocery list and are still craving a tomato-y dish, we've got you covered — you can substitute tomato sauce easily enough with a can of classic tomato soup.

It may sound strange at first, but canned tomato soup and basic tomato sauce have many commonalities. First, and most importantly, both center tomato as the star of its flavor profile. Both items also have a savory lean, being seasoned with salt and a few common seasonings — often herbs and occasionally garlic or some kind of garlic flavoring. This, in addition to a somewhat similar consistency, makes canned soup a fair contender to replace tomato sauce if you just can't seem to get to the store. You can substitute it in a one-to-one ratio if you wish, or you can cook the soup down a bit for a thicker consistency before adding your pasta or other ingredients.

Read more: 26 Types Of Pasta Sauce Explained

Elevate Your Sauce With Add-Ins

sauce with meat and fresh basil added
sauce with meat and fresh basil added - Zeljkosantrac/Getty Images

For an even more convincing sauce alternative, you can enhance your canned soup base with a variety of other ingredients. Herbs and aromatics like basil leaves, minced garlic, or chopped onion will add flavor that is reminiscent of a sauce that was prepared from scratch, and seasonings like red pepper flakes will offer an irresistible punchiness that canned soup may initially lack. Meanwhile you can give the soup a creamier and more luscious texture by adding a knob of butter, a splash of heavy cream, or a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil for extra fat and body.

We also recommend giving your soupy sauce substitute some extra bulk with ingredients like meat or vegetables in order to make it even more satiating and enjoyable. For example, incorporate some nicely browned ground beef to create a makeshift bolognese. Alternatively, adding summer squash, bell peppers, or cauliflower florets can bring a burst of freshness that may be sorely needed.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.