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How to Turn Canned Tomatoes into the Tomato-iest Soup

Make the tomato soup of your childhood, but way better.
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Published Aug. 31, 2022.

A steamy bowl of silky tomato soup inspires fond childhood memories, especially when you’re dipping a grilled cheese sandwich into it. But now that you’re an adult, that from-a-can soup has lost most of its charm. It’s often tinny, one-dimensional, and just falls flat.

What if you could give your nostalgic favorite an upgrade with a little brown sugar? 

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Once you try this recipe for the Ultimate Cream of Tomato Soup, you may never buy tomato soup from a can again. The deep tomatoey flavor is made possible by roasting and caramelizing. Think: sun-dried tomatoes but better (and sweeter, too).

Oven-roasting draws out the moisture from the tomatoes, enhancing their flavors. The brown sugar takes it a step further, adding caramelized complexity. Once golden brown and fully cooked down, they’ll serve as the base for a truly stellar soup.

Here’s how to get the most flavorful tomatoes for the ultimate tomato soup.

Oven-Roasted Caramelized Tomatoes

Total Time: 30 minutes

  1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line jelly-roll pan or rimmed cookie sheet with foil.
  3. Spread two 28-ounce cans of drained and seeded tomatoes in a single layer on foil, and sprinkle evenly with 1½ tablespoons of dark brown sugar.
  4. Bake until all liquid has evaporated and tomatoes begin to color, about 30 minutes. 
  5. Let tomatoes cool slightly, then peel them off the foil. 
  6. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside to use them in the soup.
Watch Bridget Lancaster prepare this delicious tomato soup.

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