My good friend, Margaret introduced me to this soup. Beach Bar Tomato Soup is attributed to the Beach Bar located in Clark Lake MI. The recipe is not difficult to find online. Mine is slightly different from others. The soup is amazingly simple (which is always a sign of a great soup recipe).
Ingredients for 8-10 servings:
2 26 oz. cans condensed tomato soup
1 8 oz. package cream cheese (I substitute American neufchatel)
1 26.46 oz (750 grams) Dei Fratelli Truly Rustic Cut Tomatoes, with juice
About 3/4-1 quart half and half
1-4 clove(s) of garlic
1/2 stick of sweet, unsalted butter, sliced into pats
Shredded mozzarella cheese
- In a medium-sized crock pot, rub the garlic glove all around the bottom and sides. Use as much or a little garlic as you choose.
- Pour in the cans of soup.
- Add the package of cream cheese or American neufchatel
- Add the rustic cut tomatoes with their juice
- Add the half and half
- Add the butter pats
Cook on high for 4 hours, allowing the crock pot to switch to warm.
Ladle into soup bowls that you've warmed
Top with shredded mozzarella and a few croutons
When John and I first moved to Detroit, he was fortunate enough to have a secretary, Fran. Fran was a wonderful Polish woman who lived with her family in Hamtramck, a lovely Polish city near Detroit. Fran used to make us all sorts of great and authentic Polish dishes. Fast forward to 2011 when Jeff and I began to frequent the Westsider Cafe, a delicious Polish diner owned by a woman named Fran! A different Fran, but nonetheless, a superb cook.
This recipe belongs to neither Fran, but is inspired by both their versions of what is now my favorite soup. There are many very good recipes for this soup, so feel free to do a little research and create your own favorite version!
Ingredients for 10 servings:
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, diced
6 cups vegetable broth
4 large cold-packed dill pickles in sea salt, shredded (if possible, use a Cuisinart, cause pickles are hard as heck to shred by hand [at least for me!])
3/4 cup pickle juice saved from the pickle jar
5 small, unpeeled, thinly sliced russet potatoes ( I prefer the potatoes julienned, but it's really up to you--just as long as the pieces are uniform in size)
3 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp soft, sweet, unsalted butter
2 tbsp diced, fresh dill
cayenne pepper to taste (1-2 tsps.)
juice from one small to medium-sized lemon
- In a large Dutch oven, saute shallot in olive oil until just translucent, about 2 minutes.
- Add grated pickles and potatoes and let them combine, for about 2 minutes.
- Add stock and pickle juice.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover the pot and continue simmering until the potatoes are soft, about 12-15 minutes.
- Combine milk and flour, mixing thoroughly so as to get rid of any lumps.
- Add milk and flour mixture to the broth with a slow, but steady stir.
- Add the butter and heavy cream.
- Add the cayenne pepper to taste.
- Bring just to a boil and remove from the heat.
Ladle into warmed bowls and top with fresh dill, a dollop of sour cream, and a grind of black pepper.