Cream of Tomato SoupPosted by Jia
I learned how to make cream of tomato soup from my late mother. She in turn learned it from my father’s mother. I am not sure how much further back the recipe goes, but my research has led me to the discovery that this is probably my family’s version of zupa pomidorowa (a soup so loved it has its own Facebook page).
I only make it during the colder months of the year and then, due to the time consuming nature of the recipe (and the cost), only a couple of times a year. But, it is so good that I could happily eat it much more frequently.
There is something so satisfying about having a pot of soup simmering on the stove all day before digging into it for dinner.
There is something so wonderful about a steaming bowl of soup after being out in the elements – drenched after being caught in a downpour or playing in the snow.
For years I cooked this soup without a recipe. But now, finally, I have written it down that I can pass down to my girls so that the recipe is enjoyed by the next generation too. I hope you enjoy it!!
Consider yourself warned though. Everyone, and I do mean everyone I have ever served this soup to loves it. People who hate soup love this soup. People who hate other tomato soup love this soup. Serve it to your family once and they may start begging you to make it again.
The following recipe makes a lot of soup (seriously, quarts and quarts of it). I make a huge batch because I am feeding a family of 5 (most of us perfectly happy to eat it for lunch and dinner) and sharing it with a dear friend (who waits not at all patiently for it all year long).
6.5 quarts water (26 cups)
4 lb. beef shanks (approx 6 slices)
8 lb. carrots, peeled and cut in thick slices
1 bunch celery, trim off base but leave stalks whole
1 large spanish onion – peeled but left whole
7 – 28 oz. cans tomatoes (crushed or puree)
1 qt. heavy cream
salt & pepper to taste
With kitchen shears separate meat from the bone portion of the beef shanks and set aside.
Boil bones in 16 cups of water, skimming off the scum that rises to the surface.
Next, add the onion, the carrots, and the celery.
Add 10 more cups of water.
Simmer for about an hour, or until the celery is limp and lifeless.
While your bones and vegetables are simmering, cut meat into small chunks, sear in small batches, and set aside.
Remove celery and discard.
Add canned tomatoes.
Return to a simmer and cook for 2 hours.
Add heavy cream, return to a simmer, and cook for an hour.
We usually serve this over elbow noodles, though any small pasta works fine. It is best when the soup is ladled boiling hot over noodles cold from the ‘fridge.
A slice of buttered rye bread is a nice compliment.
In place of beef shanks you can simply use marrow bones.
Vegetarians can use a mushroom stock or vegetable broth in place of the beef stock.
Cut the celery into chunks and leave it in the soup.
Serve it over rice instead of pasta.
Use sour cream in place of the heavy cream.
Add a box of frozen chopped spinach. Defrost and squeeze out excess liquid, then add to soup after you add the heavy cream. Increase final simmer time by a half hour.
Intrigued by the idea of making a Polish dish for dinner? Maybe you’d like to check out more recipes in books like these: