Add the coziness of tomato soup to your specials menu
Nothing says warmth in the winter like a hot bowl of soup. The choices of cozy soups are endless. As a pizzeria, go with your strengths and that is the tomato. Not the fresh tomatoes you feature in the summertime, I’m talking about the amazing canned tomatoes that you have meticulously hand selected to use for your killer pizza sauce. Let’s use those as a base for incredible tomato soups that you can highlight on your winter specials menu.
Why add soup? First, it is an easy, prep ahead option that can store for days. Secondly, think return visits. A delicious tomato soup with your house focaccia or hot ham and cheese sandwich could be just the thing to entice customers to return for a second time in a week. Third, it’s a great option to increase check averages. Train your team to share what goes into each house-made soup.
Before we get to delicious tomato soup recipes, let’s look at how to use the canned tomatoes. Did you know that for soup applications, canned is actually the preferred product to use over its fresh counterpart? Canned has a higher concentrated flavor and a lot less prep time. In an out-of-season application, canned is the better choice over fresh “hot house” tomatoes.
Canned tomatoes come in a few varieties. Test which works best for your soup — whether it’s crushed, diced, petite diced, pureed, whole peeled or stewed. Carefully look at the ingredients in the canned tomatoes. Is it unsalted or salted? Does it contain other ingredients like garlic, herbs or even sugars? All of these can impact your finished soup. Don’t drain your canned tomatoes. Cooks refer to the juice as liquid gold. Want an extra sweet tomato kick, try adding tomato paste. The concentrated paste offers an intensified tomato flavor.
3 Cozy Tomato Soups You Should Try
These recipes are starting points. Play around with ingredients and combinations to create a soup that is uniquely yours. One of my favorite change ups is swapping out some of the canned tomatoes and substituting canned fire-roasted tomatoes. Get creative and come up with a top seller. Here are three tomato based soup recipes:
Take liberties with Minestrone. Just like its American counterpart (chili), cooks have created several versions of Minestrone. Try a Minestrone using what’s on your makeline.
DENISE GREER is Executive Editor of Pizza Today.