More Soup for You!

When I cook for Client each week, I try to choose some recipes that keep preparations to a minimum.  Working full time and cooking 10 meals a week, plus menu planning, shopping, and culinary class is enough to make my head spin.  So when I saw this recipe for slow cooker soup I was pretty excited, as it freed me up to make 3 other things while this made itself (from All You, 9/19/2014).

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/slow-cooker-tomato-soup-0

Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 28-oz. cans diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
3/4 cup heavy cream, warmed
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper

1. Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Transfer to slow cooker.

2. Stir tomatoes with juice, broth and 1/2 cup water into cooker. Cover and cook on low until tomatoes are very soft, 5 to 6 hours. Puree with an immersion blender, then stir in cream and cayenne. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

I followed this recipe to the letter, except I swapped the butter for olive oil and cooked the soup for about 4 hours on high instead of low.  I had chopped several onions before I left for work the day I planned to make this, and since I was using the immersible to blend it all at the end of the cooking time, I didn’t chop more finely than a medium dice.  I took this picture just before I stirred in the last of the cream.

20151210_211453-1

Verdict:  Undecided. The texture was rich and velvety, but when I tasted the soup it was overpoweringly acidic.  I sprinkled in some sugar, which helped, but it was still not a pleasant flavor.  There was a tomato-y flavor, but it was  almost astringent. While writing up this post and re-reading the recipe, I can’t swear that I added the broth and water before cooking!  That’s a pretty big omission.  So when I reheat the leftovers (it made 8 cups), I may add some stock and see if that helps.  This was a very hands-off dish, and I’ll definitely make it again, if only to put my mind at ease about what went wrong.  If I didn’t forget the water and broth, it’s possible that using the high temperature setting on the slow cooker didn’t allow the canned flavor of the tomatoes to cook out.  To combat the acidity, I would add a good half to whole tablespoon of sugar towards the end of the cooking time (before the cream, and taste as you add it), or throw in a carrot while the soup cooks to balance the flavor (I do this for the last 30 minutes of a tomato sauce; remove the carrot and discard when the soup is done).  You could also add an extra half to whole cup more of stock or broth if you don’t like the sugar or carrot idea.  One of these additions should improve the acidity level and make this soup stellar.
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