My Red Soup

Part of the Gettin’ Soupy Series by Ala Rachey

I make everything in this 6-quart enamel cast iron dutch oven. I paid more for this pot than any other single piece of cookware in my kitchen. I named her Francesca and I love her. She’s a workhorse and she’s my go-to soup vessel. Much like my 100+-year-old stockpot that belonged to my great grandmother, Francesca is stained, often used, and very well-loved. I will have her for a very long time.

It’s silly to say this is one of my favorite soups. EVERY soup is one of my favorite soups. And I make this one a lot, probably more often than any other soup. I call this soup “my red soup” because there’s no real name or recipe. I just use some sort of tomato product. I love using my overnight crockpot red sauce for example. Look out for that blog post. I also use canned tomato; paste/sauce/dice, truly any tomato substance, chicken or turkey stock, and whatever veggies I have on hand that need to be used. Add a piece of toasted bread and it’s a meal. My favorite is toasting a slice of sourdough and then rubbing raw garlic on it, and then maybe add a little butter if I’m feeling fancy. Kerrygold® is life.

I made this soup today and I am eating it right now as I type this. Today I used one can of tomato paste and one can of tomato sauce, the last few carrots and celery stalks that looked a little sad. Those make the best soup. 

This has been my favorite go-to soup to make and eat for a couple of years now. There’s something so comforting about a bowl of soup anytime. But having that soup be homemade on any level makes it even better.

The soup:

Sauté the veggies in butter, oil or both. Today I used some rendered bacon fat to sauté the veggies. So yummy! My go-to combo is carrots, celery, and onion. And of course garlic. Because I usually have those on hand. Garlic is also life. Add the garlic after the veggies have had time to soften a little so it doesn’t burn.  Add the tomato product (if you use a can or tube of tomato paste, let it cook for a few minutes to “wake it up”) cook it all together for a few minutes. Sometimes I’ll add a can of corn or you can use frozen. Or a can of green beans. Literally, any veggie can be thrown in there.

Add the stock and stir it together. Add seasoning, whatever you like. If all you have is salt and pepper that will work. I usually reach for various size pinches of salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, cayenne, paprika, and dried oregano. Or basil or Italian seasoning. Garlic powder usually goes in. Whatever I have and whatever you like. There’s “freedom” in this soup (in most soups) and that’s why I love making it.

Don’t forget to listen Fridays at noon for new episodes of Conversations About Food Over Food with Rachel & Sara. Until next time, happy eating!

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