Tomato Soup or Look What Followed Me Home!

Soup Mix

With all that snow we had the other day I began to crave some nice hot soup.  Two of my comfort soups are tomato soup and mushroom soup.  Yes! Chef! was going into town to drop the youngest off at his job and I suggested that he pick up some tomato soup for me.

Needless to say, he did just what I asked and came home with a can of familiar tomato soup.  He plunked the can on the counter and I thanked him very much.  However, the thought of eating condensed canned tomato soup was very unappetizing, so I ate oatmeal cookies instead. (Yipes!)

The next day it was my turn to take the youngest to work, so I stopped into Safeway to see what was available.  The nice thing about Safeway (and many other groceries) is that I can bring my Ipad into the store and scan my email messages or look at Facebook (neither of which I do) or…look up recipes for tomato soup.

I found this great recipe from Ina Garten at Food Network which seemed to be very easy and tasty.   I ran into a friend while I was in the produce section and the next thing I knew there were bunches of basil, fresh and ripe plum tomatoes, onions, garlic and chicken stock.  I had no idea I had an app for that.

Once all the makings were cozy in the shopping cart, I really had no choice but to offer them a ride home.

When I got home, I emailed the recipe to Yes! Chef! (even though he was working at home) and told him I coincidentally had all the necessary ingredients.

Today, he decided to make the soup.

First he cut the Roma Plum Tomatoes in half and tossed them with oil, salt and pepper.

Ripe tomatoes ready to be roasted

I mean, really.  Is there anything more luscious looking that these tomatoes?

While they were roasting he prepared the onions and garlic

Chopped onions, chopped garlic and red pepper flakes
Chopped onions, chopped garlic and red pepper flakes

He sauteed them in the pan with oil and butter and added the can of tomatoes.  (As an aside, he was curious why the recipe called for both fresh and canned tomatoes.  I, of course, had a ready answer…I shrugged and suggested he ask Ina.)

I must admit that I did not watch every step that Yes! Chef! did because I was editing some photos from a recent photo shoot.  But I did hear him rustling around and I yelled in “Now what are you doing” every once in a while. So, because of that, I missed a shot of the nicely roasted tomatoes.  He dumped them unceremoniously into the soup without letting me know.  Gack!  I need to start watching him like a hawk.

Roasted tomatoes into the soup

Then he stirred it around and let it sit so the flavors could get to know each other.  (Lots of howdy-doin’s going on in the kitchen.)

Yes! Chef! makes sure all the ingredients get properly introduced.

After that, he got ready to use a very cool kitchen utensil that we’ve had for several years but never used…a Ricer!


The ingredients were poured into the Ricer and then the handle was turned to squeeze the chunks down into the soup.

The Ricer being last!

Back onto the burner to heat the soup up and…


Roasted Tomato Soup

Now let me tell you how the tomato soup tasted. The roasted tomato added a nice robust flavor.  The basil was apparent, but not overwhelming (surprisingly so, considering the amount of basil introduced into the recipe.)  Proper seasoning (salt and pepper) brought out the flavor of the tomatoes and the red pepper flakes.  I crumpled up some of those tasty flat pretzels and dumped them on the soup to add a little crunch.  The soup was divine, but it does need crackers or pretzels or something a little crunchy.

It took Yes! Chef about 1 1/2 hours to make.  Well worth the effort.

The recipe can be found on Food Network here:

And here it is on a handy recipe card so you don’t even have to leave my website.

Now for a little photography tip.  The biggest difference you can make in your photography is lighting.  I try to use natural window light as much as possible.  Because tungsten light is so yellow, the color of the food is distorted.  Here are two photos taken of the same ingredients but in different lighting conditions.

So, try placing your food next to a large window without direct sunlight coming in and see if it makes a difference.

Published by

Karen Schmautz


13 thoughts on “Tomato Soup or Look What Followed Me Home!

  1. Sometimes if my only option is tungsten which is the above the stove light, or florescent, which is our kitchen light (food photogs nightmare our kitchen is) then I just adjust the white balance either on the camera or during processing. It helps in a pinch!

    1. I agree and that’s what I do too (I use a gray card), but some people don’t have that option. Some of the photos (like the chef in the kitchen) were taken under tungsten settings and changed in LR because I shoot RAW. But, I would prefer to shoot everything either in natural light or with off cam flash.

  2. Yummy! Nothing beats soup made from scratch. Canned soup should be declared bad for the kitchen, or at least limited to emergency use only…

    1. You are so right! The flavor of this soup had such a bright tomato and fresh basil flavor. The addition of
      red pepper flakes added a little zip to the end. I would make this soup again.

    1. you are right. But even if you can move the food in front of your kitchen window briefly, the pictures will improve with that light. The problem arises, of course, when it’s night and no natural light is available.

  3. Ok, that’s it. I’m sorry. I’ve explored, and I have fallen head over for your blog! 🙂 You hit on my two favorite things – food and photography. 🙂 My husband cooks as well, and I am the photographer of the family, so I am afraid I’m going to have to get him to visit, too, to try the recipes on your blog. 🙂

    I can be found at the below URL or at my Studio Blog,


    Your most recent follower,


    1. hahaha…and so it begins. Once you start photographing your husband’s cooking it will never end. You, too, will be bringing home pretty things for him to cook. Thanks for your kind words.


  4. Hello again, Karen.

    I think I might have a problem if I come here too often. I love the easy-cook recipes – and soup is my all time favourite so I’ll be giving this a try.

    But it’s the photography side of things that will get me into trouble. My business partner is a professional photographer (he’s pictures, I’m words). If I start sounding as though I know what I’m talking about (for example with the lighting issue), he’ll get suspicious and think I’m trying to muscle in on his bit of the business. You know what men can be like…..

    Happy evening,

    1. hahaha…that made me laugh. I’m glad you stopped by and try to stay out of trouble. However, it never hurts to improve your photography, even if it’s just to take pics of holiday meals and friends. You might even take a pic of your business partner. Heh.

      1. Hmmm…. interesting idea about taking a pic of my partner, but I have to be honest – I love my little ‘pretty pink point and poke’ too much to take the risk. He’s not impressed with it – says it’s ‘girly’.

        Now that might be my fault for upsetting his delicate masculine ego. As we attended a client and he started getting his mega zoom, widgety, all-singing creation-making Canon (or whatever it is he uses) ready, I could see she was getting a tad impatient. So I pulled out my cute little camera and took a few snaps. She liked them and we had them downloaded before he had finished faffing about with his lenses, meters and what have you.

        My camera’s been banned from future photo shoots…..

        L x

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