This Cajun spicy tomato soup is perfect for cold weather and doubly perfect for celebrating Mardi Gras!
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The Mardi Gras Tradition
Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday,” is the last day before Lent begins, the 40-day period of penance and sacrifice between Ash Wednesday and Easter.
Mardi Gras, the big blow-out before Lent, is also called Carnaval or Carnival in Spanish-speaking countries.
Originating in Rome, the tradition of a big fat party preceding Lent sprung originally from pagan traditions and spread as Christianity spread. It is most popular in Catholic countries and communities.
There are lots of foods popular for celebrating Mardi Gras.
Other foods associated with Mardi Gras or Carnaval are:
- Mardi Gras Recipes
- Carnaval Recipes
- Moqueca Baiana
- Leche Frita
A Mardi Gras Menu
This year I was invited by Chrissie of Off the Eaten Path to participate in a virtual Mardi Gras celebration. Scroll down to grab my recipe for Cajun Tomato Soup. Here is the deliciousness from our other bloggers.
- Hurricane Matthew from Chrissie of Off the Eaten Path
- Traditional Polish Pączki from Erica of The Crumby Kitchen
- No Churn Mardi Gras King Cake Ice Cream from Erin of The Speckled Palate
- Cajun Spicy Tomato Soup from me–You’re Here!
- Jambalaya Balls from LeAndra of Love and Flour
- Shrimp Hush Puppies from Megan of Stetted
- King Cake Donut Holes from Meghan of Cake N Knife
- Shrimp Po’ Boys from Melissa of Simply Whisked
- Easy Jambalaya from Michelle of The Secret Ingredient Is
- Mardi Gras King Cake from Nancie of Nancie’s Table
- Homemade Beignets from Renee of Kudos Kitchen by Renee
- Pecan Pralines from Stephie of Stephie Cooks
- Vieux Carre Cocktail from Susannah of Feast and West
What are you waiting for? Go plan your own Mardi Gras party immediately. Your menu awaits!
I made this spicy tomato soup on the fly, meaning I didn’t follow a recipe. I created one! It was so good that I made it again–this time complete with bacon and Swiss croutons–for lunch with friends a couple of days ago. They loved it, and friend Roxanne encouraged me to go ahead and post it. So here I am, posting it. I figure since it was already Cajun-spiced that Cajun-spicy tomato soup would be appropriate for Mardi Gras. We can all Laissez Les Bontemps Roulez while bundled up nice and warm.
As usual, when I think I’ve come up with something Unique and Awesome, the Internets smack me down and let me know that 19,400 people came up with unique and awesome spicy tomato soup before me. Fine. But the grilled cheese and bacon croutons are mine. Mine! (If you don’t count the 1400+ references on the Hinternets)
How to Make Spicy Tomato Soup
Soup is an easy thing to make, friends. Here’s the rundown for this particular soup:
- Saute aromatics. Aromatics are the flavor base of any soup. In the world of Cajun cuisine, we’re talking onion, celery, and green pepper, or “the trinity.”
I start with butter in this recipe, but you could just as easily go with oil. The trinity goes in with the seasonings, and then it’s saute, saute, saute until softened, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients. Canned tomatoes, chicken broth (or vegetable broth to keep it vegetarian), a little red wine vinegar to give it a bit of tang, and a tiny bit of sugar to balance the acid.
- Simmer. This step is really easy because the stove does all the work. Let the soup gently simmer to help the flavors get to know one another and reduce the liquids to intensify the flavor.
- Blend. You can either use an immersion blender or a counter top model. If using a counter top blender, blend in batches so you don’t overfill the container and make a mess and possibly burn yourself.
I prefer blending my soup in my big blender, because I like the smoother texture. Using a stick or immersion blender will do the job, but the texture will be just a touch more rustic. Your call.
- Serve. Serve in mugs or bowls.
For garnish, I’ve given you three ideas:
- thinning out some sour cream with milk, adding a touch of spice, and piping it onto the soup
- drizzling on some good quality extra virgin olive oil and spices
- making grilled cheese croutons (bacon and Swiss in this case, but you could use pepper jack, cheddar, or whatever good melting cheese you prefer).
However you serve it, serve it nice and hot. Enjoy.
More Recipes To Warm You Up on a Cold Day
If you’re still feeling the chill after all the soup and Mardi Gras recipes, consider some of these warm-you-right-up recipes.
- Southern Chicken and Dumplings with Flat Dumplings
- The Best Creamy Macaroni and Cheese
- Ballymaloe Irish Stew (for Two)
Cajun Spicy Tomato Soup Recipe
The first Cajun tomato soup that came up in search for me was this one from Food Coma. It sounds good, and the ingredient list is short which means you get soup Very Quickly.
My version of spicy tomato soup has a few more ingredients (shocking, right?) but does pay tribute to The Trinity of Cajun and Creole cuisine: onions, celery and bell pepper. Either way: soup! Yay!
- 4 Tablespoons butter or oil
- 1 medium-to-large yellow or sweet onion, , chopped
- 2 ribs celery, , chopped
- 2 medium bell peppers, , ribs and seeds removed, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons** your favorite Cajun seasoning, (or to taste. If you're not a fan of really spicy, start with 1-2 teaspoons and go from there)
- 2 teaspoons** sweet or hot smoked paprika, optional but nice
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, , to taste
- 2 28 oz cans whole tomatoes, , juice and all
- 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth or stock, , vegetable broth or stock or water
- 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sugar
For the Crouton Garnish (optional)
- 6 slices your favorite bread
- Worcestershire sauce
- Grated cheese, (whatever you like that melts well)
- 4-6 slices of bacon, , cooked crisp and crumbled into small pieces
- Heat the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed sauce pan or Dutch oven.
- Add the chopped vegetables and spices (cajun seasoning, sweet and hot paprika, salt and pepper) and cook over medium heat until the vegetables are softened but not browned.
- Add both cans of tomatoes and the liquid (stock or water). Bring to a boil, choppping up the tomatoes as the soup heats.
- Stir in the red wine vinegar and the sugar. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more spices, salt and/or pepper if you think the soup needs it.
- Blend in batches in a (affiliate) high speed blender or using an (affiliate) immersion blender until the soup is velvety smooth.
- Taste again and adjust seasonings if necessary.
- Serve piping hot in mugs or bowls. Garnish with grilled cheese croutons, some cream or sour cream or just a dusting of black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
For the Crouton Garnish (optional)
- Toast both sides of all the slices of bread.
- Sprinkle just a bit of Worcestershire sauce on three of the slices of bread.
- Spread a nice layer of grated cheese on all 6 slices of bread.
- Spread 1/3 of the crumbled bacon on each of three slices of the bread without the Worcestershire.
- Melt the cheese under the broiler or in your (affiliate) toaster oven until bubbly.
- Sandwich a cheese slice with a bacon and cheese slice so you have three whole sandwiches.
- Remove to a rack to cool so the cheese sets up some.
- With a serrated knife, cut off the crusts of each sandwich, reserving them for your own snacking pleasure.
- Cut the remaining crustless sandwiches into 12-20 small squares (I cut mine in 16). Place on parchment or foil and return to the oven or toaster oven to keep warm until the soup is ready.
- Garnish each bowl of soup with a handful of croutons, a drizzle of oil and some black pepper or a bit of sour cream or cream.
**We like a fair bit of spice around here. If you think these amounts sound like too much, by all means start with less and then add more at the end if you'd like things a bit spicier.
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Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1 cup
Amount Per Serving Calories 303 Total Fat 17.9g Saturated Fat 8.9g Cholesterol 46mg Carbohydrates 22.6g Fiber 4.7g Sugar 10.5g Protein 14.8g
About that Food Coma tomato soup up there? Well, I was reading the comments, and I came across this:
Soup, soup, a-tasty
soup, soup, a-spicy
carrot and corriander!
crunchy friends in a liquid broth!
I am gazpacho, ooh!
I am a summer soup, mmm!
fighting in the dojo
oriental prince in the land of soup!
I was impressed and amazed that anyone would find soup so worthy of poetry, especially in blog comments. My friend Lisa, who is Very Smart, told me it’s from a scene in the British comedy show The Mighty Boosh. Here it is, should you wish to hear it for yourself.
Now I am inspired to write my own Ode to Soup. And Mardi Gras.
Base of all the tastiness
That comes from Louisiana
Spicy tomato, silky soup
Warms us on this icy day
And in the parades the krewes proclaim
Soup-soup-soup hooray hooray!
And there you have it. Should you feel inspired to write an Ode to Soup, please share it in the comments.
Thank you for spending some time with me here today. Have a lovely day.