Copy-Cat Campbell’s Tomato Soup with Fresh Tomatoes!

My family gave up Campbell’s soup years ago because of the additives, and then we gave up canned soup altogether when we became more aware of the BPA in the lining of the cans. I make soup from scratch now, and I must admit my children still prefer the flavour of Campbell’s soup to my own soups. While this is disappointing, it must be said that kids LIKE Campbell’s soup. It isn’t fancy, it isn’t spicy and it tastes good. Why fight a losing battle my making soup they won’t eat in the first place? So my next step was to try and copy it, but with fresh, wholesome ingredients.

I started with pure tomatoes and no added water. This year I have had 100+ lbs of my own tomatoes so I am thrilled to use them any way I can. I seasoned with salt, then I added one of my own onions, some celery stocks, and handful of my own fresh basil. After letting simmer for a bit I put the whole lot through a food strainer, then threw in some organic cane sugar to cut the acidity of the tomatoes and presto! I have a healthy version of Campbell’s tomato soup! I then pressure canned it and it is now shelf stable for many months. It can also be served fresh, or it can be frozen.  A quick, healthy lunch is just a jar away! And the best part is, the kids love it. Makes 16 pint sized jars (or 32 servings).

4.5 from 4 reviews
Copy Cat Campbell's Tomato Soup for kids with Fresh Tomatoes!
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 32
 
Ingredients
  • 20lb Fresh Tomatoes (Washed, stemmed and halved.)
  • 1 Onion (Peeled and halved.)
  • 6 stalks Celery (Whole.)
  • 5 teaspoons Sea Salt
  • 12 leaves Fresh Basil (Including stocks.)
  • ½ cup Organic Cane Sugar
Instructions
  1. Add tomatoes to a large soup pot and mash with a potato masher to release juices.
  2. Add onion, celery, salt and basil. Bring to a boil.
  3. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring regularly.
  4. Pour through a food mill or food strainer. Alternatively, you can use a fine, wire sieve, pushing the vegetables through the sieve until all that is left are the skins and seeds. Compost the skins and seeds.
  5. Pour soup back into a pot. Bring to almost a boil then turn heat off.
  6. Add sugar and stir well.
  7. Serve fresh or freeze or can the soup.
  8. For canning, pour into prepared jars, wipe rims clean with a clean cloth, add prepared lids and rings and pressure can according to your pressure canner's instructions. My Presto required 11 lb of pressure for 25 minutes for pint jars.
Notes
This recipe is made to be canned, but can also be served fresh, or can be frozen. If you want to make it a cream of tomato soup do not can it with milk in it. Add milk to taste when you are reheating. For cream of tomato soup do not bring to a boil: boiling milk will curdle the milk.

 

Salt of the Earth: Making Your Own Sea Salt.

Sea salt is one of those ingredients that you don’t really think very much of.  Or at least I didn’t. Like flour and sugar, salt is a base ingredient that you use in combination with other ingredients to create a master piece.  Run to the store and buy your basic ingredients and you have a homemade meal. Right?  That’s what I thought until I read a blog about a woman whose hobby is to physically collect salts around the world during her travels.  She raves about the distinct differences in salt flavours from different areas of the globe.  So, who would have thought of making your own salt?  (Obviously, not me).

As is often the case, it is easy.  So easy, in fact, you will ask why you didn’t think of making your own before.  You need an ocean (or other large body of salt water), a good sized but manageable container with a lid, a large OLD stainless steel pot, a sieve, a shallow pan and a stove top.  We used an igloo cooler which was a manageable size.  Hawaii was a fun place to collect it… the water was warm.  And if you don’t want people looking at you funny, go at night.  It makes it into a more exciting adventure :).
Go deep enough into the ocean so the surf isn’t breaking any more, (meaning that the water will contain less debris) and collect your water with your manageable container.  I imagine collecting by boat would work too.
Once home, pour your water through a sieve into a large stainless steel pot.  Simmer on low for as long as it takes until the salt crystals start to form, and you have a thicker slurry of salt water at the bottom, about 2 inches.  This could take a day or more.
Pour salt water into a shallow pan and place it in direct sun until the water is completely gone.  You will have gorgeous salt crystals that you can grind in a salt grinder!  This amount of water makes approximately 1 lb of salt.

When I tell people I have made my own salt I get some very strange looks.  Why would anyone want to make her own salt when she could go to the store and buy it, very cheaply?  As with most homemade things, I get a real feeling of satisfaction out of making it.  There is something very appealing to me about making something from basic, earthy materials.  I get the same feeling when I make pottery.  Or when I garden.  Or eat eggs and drink milk from my own animals.  It is an earthy-satisfaction that just does not occur when I run out to the store and buy salt/milk/eggs/vegetables/pottery.  Try it!  It will put a proud smile on your face.

Notes:

  • Use an OLD stainless steel pot.  It will oxidise and never be the same again.
  • Don’t boil water until there is no water left.  Your salt will taste like stainless steel.  (we’ve done that).
  • The deeper you collect your water, the less impurities will be in it.
  • If you are flying, don’t bring your salt home in carry-on baggage.  They might not believe you when you tell them it is salt.

This post has been shared on: Homestead Barn Hop #52, Whole New Mom Traditional Tuesdays, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways #17, Our Simple Farm Link Up, Living Well Blog Hop #32 The Morris Tribe’s Homestead Blog Carnival #1 and Real Food Forager’s Fat Tuesday.