The Ingredients Ina Garten Adds For Richer Tomato Soup

There is something about comfort food... On those days when things just don't seem to be going your way, having your favorite meal can make all the difference. According to the City University of New York (CUNY), eating comfort food not only makes you feel in control and calm, but it actually reduces the release of stress hormones, so you are, in fact, comforting yourself.

There are many foods in America that people consider their comfort foods, and they vary by region. While everybody has their favorites, grilled cheese and tomato soup is a standout comfort meal amongst the classics, per World Food History. While tomatoes were introduced to the Americas around the 1600s, they didn't become an important staple until the mid 1800s. By 1897 the process of condensing soup for purposes of canning came into the mainstream (per World Food History,) which is how we have the Campbell's tomato soup that graces many American pantries and was the star of Andy Warhol's paintings, via Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). While classic tomato soup from a can is a worthy companion to your favorite grilled cheese sandwich, Ina Garten has a trick that she uses to give even richer flavor to her recipe.

Ina Garten offers a simple and exotic twist on a classic

Per NPR, Ina Garten says that while writing her latest cookbook, "Modern Comfort Food," she thought back to her favorite comforting flavors of her life and childhood and then she looked for ways to elevate them. Her trick to making a richer tomato soup is simple, yet unexpected.

Tomato soup is a fairly simple recipe. It generally consists of tomatoes, stock, onions, garlic and seasoning, but Garten's twist is simple, flavorful and can easily be added to your own recipe. Per Barefoot Contessa, Garten adds not only a half cup of heavy cream to the pot, but also a large pinch of saffron threads. Saffron is arguably one of the most exotic spices you can buy — not to mention it's more valuable than gold. The good news is you don't need much to add its unique, floral flavor to your soup. 

As noted by CBC, if dairy doesn't agree with your digestive system, you can also add your favorite nut milk to your soup instead of heavy cream. 

So next time you're feeling low, or just have a hankering for this classic comfort food, Garten's two simple tricks are poised and ready to elevate your next batch of tomato soup to ultra-comfort status.