Bacon Tomato Soup- This rich and velvety tomato soup with smoky bacon seems to wrap itself around you like a warm blanket on a cold and blustery day!
Truly a masterpiece of seasonal cooking. Nothing quite compares to the sensory experience of digging into a delectable bowl of bacon tomato soup while watching the leaves change color outside your window.
This recipe is perfect to pair with our ultimate grilled cheese sandwich, (of course). Allow us to walk you through how to create this bowl of perfection with only 7 basic ingredients.
- Canned tomatoes - Marzano variety. Why canned? Fresh is great for a lot of things, but not ideal here. For more info, see "Canned Tomatoes Versus Fresh" below.
- Heavy cream - The level of richness inherent in this product smooths out the acidity of the tomatoes perfectly and gives this soup a smooth texture.
- Garlic - Not enough to give the dreaded "dragon breath". but just a little. We always use fresh garlic.
- Basil - Use fresh leaves in this if at all possible. The dry ingredient has a tendency to get lost in this recipe.
- Bacon - The smoky and savory back note that this pork staple provides here is a big part of what makes this tomato soup recipe stand out.
- Salt - Kosher salt, being the most simple expression of the mineral, is what we suggest.
- Black pepper - We cannot stress enough how much freshly ground makes all the difference.
See recipe card for quantities.
Canned Tomatoes Versus Fresh
I'm sure that it has not gone unnoticed that we are using canned tomatoes in this recipe. Why would we use canned?
This question has been a very common one for myself and other chefs. Freshness is always best, right? While that is kind of correct, as with most things, it's not always the case. Bear with me, because it's not just about freshness, (although it kind of is), but more so about choosing the appropriate ingredient for the recipe.
Tomatoes in grocery stores are shipped from the farms green, and are ripened by exposing them to ethylene gas. This makes it possible to have them available year round. This also makes them less sweet, soft, and full flavored, especially for cooked recipes.
Canned tomatoes, and especially the Marzano variety that we exclusively use for our soup, have some important advantages. The fruit does not have to be shipped very far to the processing facilities, and therefore is allowed to fully ripen. Once the canning is done, the attributes desired for a recipe like soup or sauce are locked in for long term storage. Marzano tomatoes in particular have a rich flavor, meatier texture, and dark ruby red color, making them ideal.
Browning/Rendering of Bacon
In a large saucepan, slowly cook the bacon pieces until crisp. Remove them from the pan and rest them on a paper towel.
This process renders the fat, which will serve as the cooking oil. As well as creates a layer of "fond", the crispy brown bits stuck to the bottom. This will form the first of many layers of flavor.
Sauté of Aromatics
Lightly chop the garlic and basil.
Sauté briefly in the bacon fat.
Combine Main Ingredients
Add the Marzano tomatoes.
Add the bacon back to the pan, stir through, and simmer to combine flavors.
Spoon soup into blender, being careful not to splash.
Very carefully cover and pulse blender on low to medium setting to fully puree the ingredients. (See Chef tip below regarding using a blender with hot liquids)
Return soup to saucepan and add cream.
Stir cream in and return to a simmer. Season to taste. Serve with gourmet grilled cheese sandwich!
Hint: The larger chop on the basil and garlic is indicated here for a purpose. Not only is the soup going to be pureed anyway, but larger pieces makes it much easier to avoid burning or over cooking during the sauté.
- Vegetarian - a plant based, smoky protein can be used in this recipe, (we prefer impossible brand), just make sure to use some vegetable or olive oil to sauté with
- Non dairy - any plant based milk or cream substitute will work just fine in place of the cream
- Vegan - doing both of the above procedures will satisfy these dietary needs
- Spicy - adding some roasted green chilis of your preference can add some additional "warmth" to this soup
- Extra rich and cheesy - to make this soup really "over the top", melt in a soft farmers cheese like chevre or Boursin right at the end, or substitute some cream cheese for the heavy cream
When fully cooled and tightly sealed, this soup will store under refrigeration for up to 7 days, and frozen for up to three months.
This recipe includes using a blender to puree hot ingredients. This can be very dangerous unless being very careful. Hold the top on firmly while using a towel to protect your hand. Always start on the lowest speed, and use the pulse setting to get everything moving. Once some motion is established, and the ingredients are starting to puree, you can gradually increase the speed and allow it to blend continuously. I've seen many a cook blow off the top of the cup by being too impatient, making a giant mess, and sometimes incurring serious burns also.
Creamy Bacon Tomato Soup
- 1 Cutting Board
- 1 Chef Knife
- 1 liquid measuring cup
- 1 Kitchen Scale
- 1 Measuring Spoon Set
- 1 6 quart pot
- 1 cooking spoon
- 1 tongs
- 1 Blender
- 1 Slotted cooking spoon
- 1 Large saucepan an additional saucepan works well to place the finished soup puree in as you blend it, as well as to finish the soup.
- 5 oz Raw bacon
- 2 28 oz Canned San Marzano Tomatoes
- 1 oz Fresh basil
- 4 large Cloves of garlic
- ⅓ cup Heavy cream
- Salt and Black pepper to taste
- Slice the bacon into strips. Rough chop the garlic and fresh basil leaves.
- Heat the 6-quart sauce pan and add the bacon pieces, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy.
- Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon, and leave the fat behind in the pan. Make sure to lower the heat a bit, so the bacon fat doesn't burn.
- Add the garlic and basil to the bacon fat, and cook being careful not to scorch either ingredient. Season with salt and black pepper.
- Add the canned tomatoes and the cooked bacon back to the pan, adjust the seasoning again with salt and black pepper and simmer for 20 minutes to combine the flavors.
- Remove the pan from the heat, and very carefully ladle into the cup of a blender. Only fill the cup half way.
- Place a kitchen towel over the top of the blender cup, and pulse slowly and carefully. The hot liquid could push up and out of the blender if it's processed to quickly. (see the Chef's Tip above for safety tips when blending hot liquid)
- Once you have pulsed the blender a few times, go ahead and blend to create a puree. Repeat the process until all of the mixture is blended.
- Use a new saucepan and place the pureed mixture back on low to medium heat. And add the heavy cream, stir to combine.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning one more time, then simmer for 10 minutes and enjoy!