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soup confessions


I have a confession…I love Campbell’s condensed tomato soup. I mean, I really love it! I don’t know if it’s a childhood thing, or a sick little kid thing, but sometimes I just have to have a bowl of it. It is the only condensed soup in my pantry at all times, I feel a bit anxious when I use the last can. It must be made mixed with a can of milk, not water -eww! And if I’m sick and there isn’t a can in the house… someone (who is not me!) is getting in the car and going to the store to get me some, and I mean now!

Whenever my brothers, sister, or I were sick; we were served a bowl of tomato soup with Saltines. No chicken noodle soup for ailing people in our house.  Or when we’d walk home from school in the rain and be drenched to the bone; out came the saucepan (this was pre-microwave, kids!), the milk carton, the familiar red and white can, and a sleeve of Saltines – all better!


I found the Campbell’s sign, pictured above, at a flea market years ago and didn’t even look at the price, it was mine! I would have fought off anyone who tried to get to it before me, not that anyone did, but I was ready for a fight! For today’s recipe, I’m not going to give you the directions to make my beloved soup, those are on the back of the can. Instead a sophisticated tomato – Bloody Mary Soup.  If you’re making it for minors, just leave out the vodka – Virgin Mary Soup for them. This is not a gazpacho, a portion of some of the vegetables is sautéed and the whole thing is pureed to a smooth mixture. It is wonderful served hot, cold, or at room temperature. I’m giving you various ways to serve it with a variety of garnishes. As always, these are just suggestions, mix them up or dream up your own toppings and report back to me.  Tomorrow’s post will use a can of Campbell’s tomato, so come back and check it out, until then…

Bloody Mary Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large yellow bell peppers, seeded and diced, divided
2 large orange bell peppers, seeded and diced, divided
1 small red onion, peeled and diced, divided
3 celery stalks, diced, divided
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
28- ounce can crushed or diced tomatoes
1/2 cup vegetable or chicken broth
2  English cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and diced
4 Roma tomatoes, quartered
Juice of 2 limes
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
Tabasco sauce, to taste
1/2 cup Absolut Peppar vodka or another premium vodka of your choice


Diced avocado and/or lump crab meat
Celery seeds or celery salt
Minced green onions
Cooked medium shrimp
Pickled vegetables
Prepared horseradish mixed into crème fraîche, to taste
Minced chives

Heat a large pot over medium-high heat, add the oil, then half of the yellow and orange bell peppers and half of the red onion, along with all of the celery, garlic, Old Bay seasoning, and some salt and pepper; sauté until vegetables are soft and onions are translucent about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the canned tomatoes and chicken broth; stir to cool down the mixture. Stir in the remaining bell peppers and onions along with the cucumbers and Roma tomatoes.


Puree the mixture, in batches, in a blender or food processor, until smooth. Stir in the lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, and horseradish. Taste and season with Tabasco sauce, salt, and pepper.

If serving hot or warm; pour soup back into the pot and bring to just barely a simmer over low heat. Remove from heat and stir in vodka, then ladle and garnish into desired serving option below.

If serving cold or at room temperature; Stir in the vodka and chill for 2 hours before serving.

Taste again before serving and adjust seasoning, if needed, with additional lime juice or some sugar to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes.


Serving Options

Ladle into soup bowls, and place about a tablespoon diced avocado and/or 1/4 cup of crab meat in the center and sprinkle with celery salt or celery seeds.

Ladle soup into mugs and sprinkle with green onions. Thread shrimp and pickled vegetables on skewers and lay skewers atop mugs.

Pour into decorative shot glasses or small glasses. Dollop each with the horseradish-crème and sprinkle with chives.

Serves 12 – 14 if serving in bowls; more if serving in mugs or as shooters

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1 dave hopkins { 01.25.10 at 9:57 PM }

yes, and I know who that “someone” is that has to run “right now” to the store 😉

2 Linda Hopkins { 01.25.10 at 9:59 PM }

Ha, you got that right! Thanks, Dave, for being that someone. 🙂

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