Experiments with Tomato Soup

>> Thursday, April 9, 2009

Check out the Green Baby Guide for more info about Thrifty Green Thursday.

Some recipes that I use call for a small amount of tomato paste - one or two tablespoons. A can of tomato paste contains about 10 tablespoons, which means that I'm left with a bunch of leftover tomato paste that inevitably goes to waste in my fridge.

In the interest of not wasting food, I've been brainstorming ways to use up the leftover tomato paste, and I've come up with these ideas:

  1. Freeze the leftover tomato paste in ice cube trays for later use...But I have limited space in my freezer, and I'm not sure I want to give up space to tomato paste.
  2. Buy tomato paste in a tube instead of a can...But tubes of tomato paste are harder to find and not as easily recyclable as cans.
  3. Make sure I use all my recipes that call for small amounts of tomato paste in the same week...But that doesn't sound very appetizing, and the lack of variety is probably not very nutritious.
Number one is a pretty good option, but my ice cube trays are in Maryland. So I've been experimenting with a fourth option: Making tomato soup.

I got the following recipe from The Tightwad Gazette:

Tomato Soup

1 6-oz can tomato paste
24 oz. milk (refill tomato paste can 4 times)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. celery salt
  • Mix all ingredients in a pot.
  • Heat.
This recipe is perfect for using leftover tomato paste - I just adjust the recipe to fit the amount of tomato paste I have left, and it's just as easy as opening a can of Campbell's Tomato Soup without some of the questionable ingredients. It's a little strong on the tomato in my opinion but maybe I'm just too used to the HFCS deliciousness of Campbell's. Also, I don't buy celery salt, so instead I tried replacing one of the cups of milk with a cup of veggie broth. My boys all enjoyed it, and I think I could get used to it.

If you give this recipe a try, let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions for improvements.


Julie April 9, 2009 at 11:02 PM  

Thank you, I have that same problem (freezer space, not wanting to have all tomato based meals for the week). I have a partially used can in the frig that I will try this on.

Greenbaby April 10, 2009 at 12:11 AM  

Great recipe! I actually LOVE the Tightwad Gazette and find her recipes and tips quite addictive. I too have this problem with all sorts of random ingredients so it's good to get ideas on how to be more efficient. We're glad you joined us this week for Thrifty Green Thursday!

Emily April 10, 2009 at 8:37 AM  

When freezing things in ice cube trays, I pop the cubes out (after freezing, of course) and then store them in a plastic bag. Most of the time I can re-use the bag too. I did this lots for baby food. :)

Erin aka Conscious Shopper April 10, 2009 at 8:51 PM  

Julie - Let me know how you like it!

Greenbaby - The Tightwad Gazette is awesome! Do you ever try her leftover mystery dinners with your other random ingredients? I haven't been brave enough...

Emily - Great tip, and good to hear from you!

Rebecca April 11, 2009 at 1:38 AM  

I love the Tightwad Gazette, too! I make things out of random ingredients all the time, but I never did go so far as to freeze five or six different soups in the same container, defrost it, and then serve it for dinner. (One of her weirder ideas!)

I put the rest of the tomato paste in a small ziplock baggie, close the baggie, and spread the paste out so it's like a flat disk. Freeze that way. It's easy to just break off a chunk when you need it.

If you didn't want to make tomato soup (which is a great idea), you could always make spaghetti sauce and toss in the rest of the paste.

OR--you can buy tomato paste in a tube. It keeps for months and months in the fridge. Unfortunately it is much more expensive. I like the idea, though.

Thanks for joining us for TGT!

Anonymous,  May 11, 2009 at 9:32 AM  

I used this recipe as my base (except I didn't use the celery salt). I added the same amount of chicken broth as milk. It was probably thinner than the original recipe. I also added a pinch of sugar to take away the tin taste. I sauteed a garlic clove in olive oil and added that. Turned out yummy. My neighbor even liked it.

Erin aka Conscious Shopper May 11, 2009 at 11:38 AM  

Anonymous - Sounds yummy! Thanks for the suggestions.

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