It doesn't get simpler or more comforting than a bowl of homemade tomato soup. Eschewing meat, noodles, or any other chunky vegetables, tomato soup is all about highlighting its namesake ingredient and the bright, warming flavors that come with it. It also has the big upside of being easy to make, as canned tomatoes, a few aromatics, and a few other additions of your choice like onions and butter are all you need to make a tasty meal. But that doesn't mean tomato soup can't be complex, and you don't have to make the process any more difficult to achieve that. You can add tons of depth to your tomato soup recipe by swapping out water as the liquid base for broth.
What's great about using broth or stock in tomato soup is that you don't really need to change anything. Tomato has a pretty powerful flavor, and most broths are pretty subtle, so you can just use the same amount of broth as you would water when making your soup, and it will still taste like tomato soup. You can use any type of stock too: Vegetable and chicken are natural choices, but even beef will work, as you'll just get some of those extra flavor notes that taste great with tomato already. Using bone broth is particularly effective, as the extra gelatin in that stock will help take the acidic edge off tomatoes, and give a generally mellower, smoother taste.
Broth Brings Depth And Complexity To Tomato Soup
For almost any recipe where you need a liquid ingredient, broth brings an unparalleled complexity of taste. Most broths are made with a variety of vegetables like carrots and celery, plus herbs, meat, and bones that lend depth to soups and stews. These things don't just add new flavors to tomato soup but also bring balance. That's because good broth will have a mixture of sweetness and a savory umami which works in harmony with the tomatoes. These elements of course make your soup taste better, but they also boost the flavor of the tomato itself, bringing out new notes and making your recipe more robust. For so little effort it really is an amazing boost.
To make it as easy as possible you can always use a good store-bought stock or broth, but if you want the best of the best it's worth it to make broth yourself. Recipes like vegetable and chicken stock take some time, but not much effort, and mostly use ingredients you already have or buy regularly. And homemade stock is easy to store by freezing it. It will last for up to three months and can be quickly melted at any time for a big tomato soup upgrade. Homemade stock adds effort, but it pays off massively, as the stuff you make yourself blows most store-bought products out of the water. And anyway, a good tomato soup is worth it.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.