Being a southern mountain girl, I had been raised on meat and potatoes my entire life. Spices were limited to salt and pepper. Meals were heavy and filling. Not that this was a bad thing: My mom makes the best fried chicken, beef stew and pot pie in the world. (No one can cook as good as a mother. Period. Well, except maybe her mother!) Still, I felt that there was something lacking in my culinary experience. Thankfully, my friend and her family opened my eyes to an entirely new way of cooking: Hispanic food! I learned to love chilies and spices. What I would have balked at as a little girl would very quickly become my new favorite kind of food.
During the week at her house, my favorite meal by far was this soup. It's not necessarily Hispanic, but it IS spicy! I never thought to ask for the recipe, since it was more of a throw whatever you want in a pot kind of soup. Three years later, after a sudden craving for a really good soup hit, I finally succeeded in recreating the spiciest, sinus-draining, heart-attack inducing tomato soup in the world.
*Caution: Not responsible for any heart attacks that may occur. This stuff is REALLY spicy. Eat at your own risk!
- Note: Don't let the idea of a really spicy soup scare you off. The heat level can easily be adjusted by substituting various ingredients as explained later in the instructable.
- Note the Second: I did not create this recipe originally. It was shown to me by a friend's mother. I have never managed to find it anywhere else, so I'm posting it here to share it with those of you who enjoy good soup.
Step 1: Tools
- a nice big pot with a lid (I think mine is about 8 quarts)
- a skillet for frying
- a knife
- a cutting board
- a spatula
- a big spoon for stirring the soup
- a stove top of some kind (of course!)
Step 2: Ingredients
- 4 (10 oz) cans of condensed tomato soup (I never said this was healthy)
- 2 cans of water
- 2 (10 oz) cans of tomatoes with diced chilies (I get one hot and one medium, get whatever you're comfortable with heat wise)
- Bacon (I use a pound, you can use more or less)
- Italian Sausage (I use one package of hot sausage, again, take your pick heat wise)
- Onions (I use about 2 large ones. I love me some onions!)
- 1 lb of button mushrooms (more or less, depending on if you love mushrooms as much as I do)
- Anything else you think will work well. Try zucchini, shrimp, potatoes, rice, etc. This soup is designed so that you can toss in just about anything and have it turn out really good.
Step 3: Preparation!
Step 4: Slice, Chop, Cry
Peel and rinse off your onions. Cut them in half and then chop so that you get long pieces. Upon seeing the amount of onions I had, I decided to add a third one. I love onions! Place in a separate bowl for later. Go to another room for a few minutes with a wet towel over your eyes until you stop crying. I've heard that putting your onions in the fridge for a few hours before you use them will help with this, but I'm a last minute cooker and never think about it beforehand. Let me know the results if anyone tries it!
Step 5: Clog Those Arteries Part 1: Bacon
Step 6: Clog Those Arteries Part 2: Sausage
Step 7: Clog Those Arteries Part 3: Onions
Step 8: Some Assembly Required
Immediately after starting the base go ahead and add the rest of the ingredients (cooked bacon, sausage and onions, and raw mushrooms). Turn down the heat and let simmer with the lid on (don't let it boil!) for about twenty to thirty minutes, stirring occasionally so that bits of bacon do not stick to the bottom of the pot. I normally can't wait that long and end up scooping some out after about fifteen minutes, but it really is worth it if you can make yourself wait the entire time. (I managed to wait this time simply because my mushrooms were so big that they needed extra time cooking.)
If you choose to add anything else, make sure you keep in mind it's cooking time. Add things like shrimp or zucchini when the soup is just about finished. Denser veggies should go in early on.
Step 9: Chow Time! Finally!
Remember, you don't have to make yours as spicy as mine. Use two cans of original tomatoes and chilies or mild Italian sausage. It's really up to you.
Step 10: Now What?
*Note: I felt like being lazy tonight so I waited until the pot cooled and stuck the whole thing into the fridge. I'm having guests over tomorrow so it probably won't last long anyway.
Step 11: Closing
As always, feedback is welcome! If you come up with some kind of unique variation, please share!