Something magical happened the other day. I believe the thunder and lightening had something to do with it. You could feel the energy in the air—electric with potential. With the cold, stormy weather we’ve been having, I’ve been in soup mode. I’ve made a several soups this week alone. But the other day I was craving something else. Something familiar and comforting. There is just something so quintessential about tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich on a rainy day. Tomato soup is one of my favorites—after ramen of course—and it has been ages since I made some.
Homemade tomato soup reminds me of coming home from school on a rainy day and sitting down to large bowl for an afternoon snack. The windows in the kitchen fogged over, the rainfall tapping staccato notes on the roof, a plate of grilled cheese sandwiches pilled high before me. I should mention, this isn’t my childhood I’m recalling—I’ve conjured up someone’s else’s. Maybe yours? I don’t think my parents ever made me tomato soup. Most likely because I used to hate tomatoes with every cell in my body. But it’s a nice memory nonetheless—even if it isn’t mine. But I digress.
I recently received a sample of Bloody Mary Boost by Jolene’s Jar. Um…if you don’t already know this, the Bloody Mary is my favorite cocktail. Tart, spicy, usually includes a meal as garnish…it really has it all. I was having with my brother and we got to talking about how amazing that spice blend would be in some tomato soup. Then we got to talking about Bloody Mary tomato soup. Then, in a fit of genius my brother suggested I incorporate vodka in the soup somehow—make it official. My eyes lit up, my heart skipped a beat, I swear thunder rumbled through the air at that very moment.
I set to work at once planning this recipe out. The garnishes were easy; grilled cheese, bacon, an olive. Maybe some lemon and hot sauce for serving. I also use some Del Viejo Datil Pepper spice to create a salt blend to rim the mugs. For the actual soup I decided to use both canned and roasted tomatoes—I think the flavor is infinitely better when you incorporate some fresh tomatoes.
I wanted to use bacon in the soup but I didn’t want the texture to be too chunky, so I used my food processor and essentially puréed bacon, onions, and celery. After sautéing that mixture, I deglazed the pan with some of Heritage Distilling’s Sweet Ghost pepper vodka (the alcohol will cook off and leave you with an amazing boost of rich flavor). You could also just use plain vodka. I used that Bloody Mary Boost spice blend along with a bunch of other spices and even added in some traditional bloody mary elements; olive brine, worcestershire, lemon, hot sauce. I finished the whole thing off with some cream (totally optional) and a new favorite was born.
I am very pleased with how this came out. Creamy, spicy, and reminiscent of my favorite cocktail! This would be amazing for a party—you could create a Bloody Mary soup bar with an array of garnishes and toppings! It works for cold or warm weather, brunch, lunch, or dinner and—like a Bloody Mary—you can adjust the flavor to your taste!
Now if I’d had more than a sample of that Bloody Mary boost I would have probably used more in this recipe. It is a blend of paprika, coriander, garlic, celery salt, onion salt, and ground coffee beans! Really amazing flavors going on in there! But you can always use the spices I list below in increments that suit your palate.
I was happy to have my brother, sister, and friend Shannon over to sample this soup—it always more fun to cook for friends and family when I’m working on a blog post. I love to get their input and to not eat my meals in silent solitude (cue the sad violin). The consensus was that this soup is one of my best! It was the perfect marriage of dish and drink, lunch and libation. I can’t wait to make it again with some even crazier toppings. Any suggestions on what you might have topped yours with? Please, leave a comment below!
- For the Soup
- Olive oil
- 8-10 Roma tomatoes
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
- ½ small onion
- 1 stalk celery
- 1 slice bacon
- 1 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
- ¼ cup Heritage Distilling Sweet Ghost Pepper Vodka
- 1 ½ cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 Tbsp. Jolene’s Jar Bloody Mary Boost*
- 1 tsp. Del Viejo Datil Pepper Spice*
- 1 tsp. cumin
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp. paprika
- ½ tsp., chili powder
- 3 Tbsp. olive brine, optional
- 3 tsp. Sriracha or other hot sauce
- 1-3 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 tsp. worcestershire
- 1 cup heavy cream, optional
- Spice Blend For Rimming the Mugs
- 2 tsp. Del Viejo Datil Pepper Spice
- ¾ tsp. cumin
- ¾ tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- ½ lemon
- Serving Ideas
- Grilled cheese wedges
- Lemon wedges
- Hot Sauce
- Fresh chopped cilantro, parsley, or basil
- Preheat the oven to 300°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Slice roma tomatoes in half and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Arange on baking sheet, sprinkle garlic inside tomatoes along with a little salt and pepper, and drizzle with 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil.
- Bake for 1 hour or until tomatoes and garlic are soft and roasted. Use a food processor to blend roasted tomatoes and garlic to your desired consistency. Set aside until ready to use.
- Mince or use a food processor to puree onion, celery, and bacon.
- In a large soup pot heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil on medium high heat.
- Sautee onion, bacon, and garlic for about 5-7 minutes until the mixture begins to caramelize.
- Deglaze the pan with vodka and let the alcohol cook out for a few minutes.
- Add in stock, puréed roma tomatoes, and crushed canned tomatoes along with all the spices, lemon juice, Worcestershire, hot sauce, and olive brine if using. Now if you don’t have the spice blends I used simply add in a bit more paprika, cumin, chili powder or any other spices you’d like (garlic powder, coriander, etc.)
- Bring to a gentle boil and reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer for about 15- 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile combine the spices for rimming you mugs, stir, and set aside. In another shallow dish squeeze the juice from half a lemon and set aside.
- Stir in cream, if using, and adjust the flavor with salt and pepper and any other additions you feel necessary. I basically treaded this soup like I treat my Bloody Marys; spicy with a little tartness from the brine and lemon.
- Dip serving mugs in lemon juice then spice blend to rim. Carefully ladle soup into mugs and top with any garnishes. Serve with extra lemon, hot sauce, and enjoy!
- This soup is one I’d encourage you to play with. If you don't have some of the spices I used, play around with the flavors until you achieve the taste you want. Just be sure to add in small increments (for example ¼ tsp. cumin or chili powder at a time) so you don’t over do it. Also, be sure to go easy on the spice. You can always add more to individual servings at the end!