Elevate Your Tomato Soup With A Splash Of Orange Juice

We've already covered 16 additions you can use to boost the flavor of canned tomato soup, but when you're making the soup at home, that list can expand even further. One ingredient that might not have been on your radar is orange juice. Just a cup or less of the liquid can seriously upgrade the flavor of your tomato soup, and you'll get a dose of vitamin C, vitamin D, and calcium as an added bonus.

At first glance, you might assume that the juice complements the soup because of its acidic qualities. After all, tomatoes have a pH level between 4.3 and 4.9, while oranges fall between 3.7 to 4.3 on the pH scale, so they're both highly acidic fruits. It's true that this helps orange juice blend seamlessly into a tomato soup recipe, but what really makes the liquid a stand-out addition is its sugar content, which can be as much as 23 grams per cup. This lends a sweetness to the soup that helps simultaneously balance out the acidic elements and bring out the natural sweetness of the tomatoes. At the same time, the fresh citrus flavor also adds brightness to an otherwise warm, comforting bowl of soup.

How to incorporate orange juice in tomato soup

There are a few different ways to use orange juice in tomato soup. The freshest and typically lowest-sugar option is to squeeze oranges yourself at home. You'll need about a cup of juice, which generally means you'll need to squeeze about 3 oranges. Once you've secured your liquid, don't throw it in the pot just yet. Instead, you'll add it toward the end of the recipe. If you'd rather skip the squeezing, you can also go with store-bought orange juice, and many brands will include added sugar.

Acids like lemon and lime juice are typically added to recipes right before they're ready to eat so that you can taste the fresh flavor, and orange juice in tomato soup is no exception. Some recipes will instruct you to add your OJ along with any garnishing herbs after you've taken your pot off the stove. Others will have you stir it in after you've blended the rest of the ingredients but before bringing the soup to a quick simmer. The option you choose depends on how strong you want the citrus flavor to rest on your tongue, but both will yield a delicious tomato soup. And, if you want even more orangey flavor, you can stir in a little orange zest as a finishing touch.