How You Should Prep Canned Tomatoes For A Richer Soup

A pantry staple, canned tomatoes serve as a convenient base for a plethora of healthy and hearty meals, from homemade pasta sauces and casseroles to soups and stews. When you're short on time or tomatoes are out of season, you may reach for canned tomatoes over fresh ones and there's nothing wrong with that. Tomatoes are full of several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium, vitamin K1, and folate, as reported by Healthline

They're also packed with lycopene, a potent antioxidant that helps decrease your risk of chronic diseases like cancer and cardiovascular disease, per the National Library of Medicine. The bioavailability of lycopene — or the amount of nutrients absorbed and used by your body — in canned or processed tomato products is higher than in raw tomatoes. This means taking this kitchen shortcut is in no way detrimental to your health.

Even better, there's a simple way to enhance canned tomatoes to make a robust and flavorful homemade soup. So before stirring a can of tomatoes into your next batch of soup, try out this kitchen hack to intensify the flavors in your pot.

Do this to enhance the flavor of your soup

The secret to a rich and flavorful homemade soup is brown sugar. It's not so unexpected, as adding a pinch of sugar is a tried-and-true method for balancing the acidity of tomato sauce, and it's even a go-to trick multi-Michelin starred chef Gordon Ramsay uses in his creamy roasted tomato soup recipe, according to Hell's Kitchen Recipes. By roasting and caramelizing canned tomatoes with a pinch of brown sugar, you remove moisture while enhancing the fruit's sweet flavors. Removing water and adding caramelization creates a sweeter and more acidic base, adding complexity to your soup, per Bon Appétit.

While you may already have a go-to tomato soup recipe on hand, try this expert tip from America's Test Kitchen to make it even better. First, preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, line a cookie sheet with foil and spread two (28-ounce) cans of drained, canned tomatoes in a single layer on the foil. Sprinkle the tomatoes with 1 1/2 tablespoons of brown sugar and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.

Allow the tomatoes to cool before incorporating them into your favorite soup recipe as you would normally. Enjoy!