Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tomato Soup with Cheesy Polenta Garnish

I love tomato soup!  I have fond memories of sitting in my mother's kitchen as a little girl and having her make tomato soup and a cheese sandwich for me.  The cheese sandwich always got dunked in the tomato soup. Yum! Of course, my mother would open a can of tomato soup and just add milk and Voila - soup.  

The cheesey polenta was my version of the cheese sandwich for dunking :)   This wonderful, tomato soup and polenta were a delicious combination!

Tomato Soup

Adapted from The Soup Bible
Printable Recipe

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 lb tomatoes, peeled and quartered (I used Pomi)
2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 small bay leaf
5 tablespoons whipping cream (optional - I used Fat Free Half & Half)
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Melt the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and carrot and cook for 5 minutes, until softened. Stir in the tomatoes, chicken stock, parsley, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and low, cover pan, and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

With a blender or food process, puree the soup in batches. Return pureed soup to the saucepan.

Stir in the cream, if using, and reheat gently. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve warm garnished with baked polenta and chives or fresh thyme.

Baked Polenta

Adapted from Several Recipes

Makes a large baking sheet of polenta.

1-3/4 cups stone ground corn meal
3-1/2 cups water (or chicken stock)
Kosher salt
4 cups additional water (or chicken stock)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste

9 x 13 inch glass baking dish
Large rimmed baking pan lined with a silicone liner or parchment paper.

Add 1 teaspoon Kosher salt to the 3-1/2 cups of water in a medium to large saucepan and bring to a boil. Bring the additional 4 cups of water to a boil in another pan nearby.

Slowing add the corn meal to the pan with the salted water and whisk gently. Turn the heat down to low. Simmer gently and add water from the nearby pan in ladles-full as the polenta becomes thick. Keep simmering and adding additional water, as needed, to keep the polenta from sticking to the bottom of the pan until the desired consistency is reached (for baked polenta you want it to be slightly thicker - like thick oatmeal). This will take about 30 minutes.

Add the Parmesan cheese, minced garlic and salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the polenta into a 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish and spread evenly. Allow to cool slightly on the counter top, then place into refrigerator for at least one hour, or covered, with plastic wrap until the next day.

After the polenta has chilled sufficiently and you are ready to prepare it, preheat the oven to 450 F. Cut the chilled polenta into squares or diamond shapes with a sharp knife or rounds with a biscuit or cookie cutter. Place the cut polenta on the lined baking pan. Brush with melted butter or cooking spray and sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese and bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and crispy on the edges.

Ladle hot tomato soup into bowls and top with a slice of polenta. Garnish with fresh chives, parsley or thyme.


  1. I received a free food grinder when I bought my Kitchenaid, but I have not used it. Perhaps, that will change quickly since I see what a beautiful job it did.

  2. Thanks for the review! I love tomato soup. I will have to try it all.

  3. Your photos..are FANTASTICO.

    They make KA look like a little black dress.

    How fun to try this out and keep..these:)

  4. Your kitchen is not complete without attachments to your Kitchen Aid...I am liking the meat grinder.

    Beautiful tomato soup with polenta. Very nice.


  5. The soup sounds good. Someone told me recently I need to get a KA, and I asked why? I just don't cook that much anymore to justify getting one.
    Have a great weekend.

  6. I have those toys!!! The first thing I did was grind peaches and plums an old boss gifted me from his orchard. Great jam! And I'm allowed to chuckle because I think we all find out about the "waste" the same way:@)
    Your soup sounds great, the pic is beautiful Susan!

  7. Makes me want a kitchenaid mixer all over again.

    Oh I love tomato soup and most especially tomato bisque. I'm ready to try making it at home because the last one I had at a restaurant was terrible. Seeing your bowl of soup makes me want that, too.

  8. I really did enjoy your review. I think this attachment is really interesting and would like to try it out myself!

  9. your review is making me want to try these things, so i'd say you did a great job! :)
    i've never made polenta before, yours looks delicious!

  10. Love the combo of tomato soup and polenta "croutons!" Looks delicious. Great idea to get the meat grinder, glad you liked. I have one that came as a bonus when I got my KA and have yet to use it in 20 years. You give me the incentive.

  11. Tomato soup and polenta croutons sounds wonderful and looks delicious. You should get a lot of use out of the meat grinder.

  12. Your soup looks delicious!
    I have used my meat grinder att a few times.
    Now you can get the sausage att and make your own sausage, which I did exactly...once! It's time consuming for sure.

  13. Good job! I know you will get lots of use out of both! I just have the old fashioned hand crank food grinder..which I haven't used in years, now I know why!

  14. Hi Susan - what a great post. I really love all your photos... do you think that strainer would work well for straining raspberry seeds?

    Love your soup with polenta - what a great combination!


  15. I don't have any attachments for my Kitchen Aid. I need to think about getting some to make better use of it. Love tomato soup and polenta, even better.

  16. Delicious looking soup...I love "fried" polenta. I am sure you will get lots of use out of the attachments.

  17. This looks delicious and elegant. I am still trying to get the hang of my mixer that I got for Christmas, but I think I would definitely enjoy a meat grinder.

  18. Hmmm...I have the grinder, but not the strainer. Given the applesauce and tomato sauce I love to make, I may have to invest in one! That soup looks great! :)

  19. That's a cool kitchen toy ;-) The soup looks so lovely and just perfect with the fresh cheesy polenta triangles. What a marvelous meal!

  20. A real kitchen many wonderful attachments..Your tomato soup sounds delicious..and polenta in made in my household all the time! Lovely!

  21. A real kitchen many wonderful attachments..Your tomato soup sounds delicious..and polenta in made in my household all the time! Lovely!

  22. What a neat post that I will send to my son; he has been talking about getting this att. to make his own sausage. You raelly gave a great demonstration; and that tomato soup looks umm umm good.

  23. I am getting ready to use a grinder I bought a while back; this soup looks just perfect for spring and I can/t think of a better side than a chunk of polenta~

  24. I actually have two KA at home and one at our lake house. I'm just that devoted:) I also grind my own meat because that way I really do know what's going in it. Plus, I think it is more economical in the long run. Your soup really looks delicious. Thanks for sharing it.

  25. What a great post. I love tomato soup and especially the idea of the polenta on top. I am your newest follower. I would love it you would follow me back..

  26. What an interesting review! I like the way the solid separates from the soup! Your soup looks really good.

  27. I have the grinder attachment and have used it for one 10# batch of sausage and thought it worked very well. The baked polenta sounds delicious and the chocolate cake looks to die for.

  28. Thank you, all!

    Susan, I see myself using the grinder a lot. It worked so beautifully and it cleans up easily too. Most of the parts are dishwasher safe.

    It was fun, M :)

    Glenda, I don't blame you. I still do a good deal of cooking for my husband and myself, our family and friends.

    Lynn, that's so funny we both had the same 'oops' moment and good to hear about the peaches and plums!

    Patricia, I'll get some raspberries and let you know if it gets all the seeds out. Good question!

    Dude, that's good to know!

  29. Susan, I have never tried the grinder or strainer attachment... use a food mill and had an old grinder but it was lost in what we lovingly call "box 13" when I moved... I miss it. The mill makes an awful mess... usually on my shirtfront as I grind the stuff... this does look less destructive and the photo of the soup is sensational.. what a color! Thanks for the review!

  30. I've had the food grinder attachment for years and love it. I didn't know there was a strainer/food mill attachment. I don't have the pasta attachment and have been thinking about purchasing one. Any input?


  31. Susan, what a wonderful review! I want the attachments for my KA. In the past I made Potato Sausage with my Dad and you need the food grinder. I think I will have to purchase one. You tomato soup recipe sounds yummy and I love the baked polenta:)

  32. Hi Susan,

    I just found your blog and it's wonderful. Such great recipes! Your polenta looks beautiful.

  33. thanks for the review, i have alwaya wanted to buy attachements for my mixer..lovely soup!!


  34. Oh, yum! I couldn't get these recipes printed out fast enough. We really like polenta, & I've been wanting to try a baked version.

  35. I love the honest, down to earth review. Those polenta cakes are calling my name, can you hear!!!

  36. This combo of soup and polenta looks delicious Susan!I'll try very soon, a warm hug, have a great weekend dear....

  37. I've heard good things about that grinder but have never even heard of the strainer before! What awesome attachments! That soup looks so delicious...tomato soup is good for the soul, I'm convinced.

  38. What a great review. I recently a new application of the grinder. It is great for making falafels with herbs and aromas added.

    The tomato soup looks so inviting!

  39. Thanks again, everyone!

    Thank you, Bonnie. I highly recommend the pasta attachment if you think you will get enough use out of it. I have even used the larger pasta cutter (as for fettucini) to make bread sticks! The pasta roller does a great job of effortlessly making the sheets of pasta which can also be used to make ravioli.

    Hello, Nicole, and welcome!

    Victor, that is great to know. I love falafel salad.

  40. Great review. I have the grinder attachment and love it. Your soup looks great, creamy delicious!

  41. I recently got a Kitchenaid mixer and loving it. The attchements sound fab!

  42. Excellent review, Susan! I don't have that attachment. Wish list, perhaps??

    Really like the idea of the polenta in your tomato soup. Perfect finishing touch, while adding some body to the soup. No need for bread!

  43. Your tomato soup looks wonderful, Susan! The polenta squares is a nice touch!

    I have a Kitchen Aide and my husband bought all the attachments for me as a surprise. I did not have success with the meat grinder the first time I used it and never tried it again. I'll have to give it another whirl :) I love the pasta attachment the best.

  44. I've heard that you can taste a big difference between freshly ground meats and the ones from the store. These are really great tools to have in the kitchen, I'm most envious of the meat grinder.

  45. Susan is a nice post, lovely soup and amazing croutons, nice, gloria

  46. Unfortunately, I'm not always great at reading direction either. I'm glad this one had a happy ending!

  47. wow what a cool gadget and love the soup yum thanks for traveling with me hugs rebecca


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