Use Leftover Tomato Soup to Make an Amazing Pasta Sauce
I've discovered that when you have amazing leftover tomato soup you can make it stretch further for the next meal by turning it into a tremendous pasta sauce.
A while back I made some truly incredible tomato soup, from The No-Fuss Family Cookbook, that completely blew our minds. It tasted rich, restaurant quality, and we couldn’t get enough of it. Since it also had you make waffle dippers to go along with it we managed to leave about four cups of the soup uneatened which I stored in a canning jar in the fridge. I considered simply reheating the leftovers for the kids but worried they’d be disappointed with the meal as we had already consumed all of the waffle dippers and there wasn’t enough leftover soup to justify making another batch. Finally I decided to treat the soup like jarred tomato sauce and turned it into an amazing meat sauce for our pasta. It turned into an incredible meal that was enjoyed by all. As such I had to share the process with you in case you’re looking to use up some leftover tomato soup yourself or are looking for ways to change up your go to meat sauce.
The tomato soup recipe I used was taken from The No-Fuss Family Cookbook: Simple Recipes for Everyday Life by Ryan Scott that I had reviewed in this previous post here. It’s a simple recipe that has you throw all the ingredients into a slow cooker, keep it on high for four hours, and then blend together. I used an immersion blender making even that last step easy as I didn’t have to transfer the soup, in batches, into a blender. The only downside to the immersion blender was that sometimes it missed garlic chunks so I could see dicing them, the next time, before tossing them into the slow cooker but even then they still tasted fine. Technically, the recipe is a bit more complicated than that if you choose to make the accompanying waffle dippers that are essentially cheesy waffles cut into strips. The first time we devoured the waffle dippers and were left with only four cups of tomato soup. The resulting meat sauce I made from that soup was so good that the next time I doubled both the soup and the waffles. Those waffles dippers were served with smaller cups of soup, rather than larger bowls, so that there would be more leftover soup which could go towards another batch of meat sauce. That time the meat sauce was again eaten over pasta and then those leftovers were turned into a lasagna. So many great meals resulted from that double batch. Finally I made the soup a third time but this time skipped the waffles all together so that the meal was even quicker to make. That’s saying something when the kids were still excited with the thought of having this soup for supper even though there were no waffles to go with it. Like the last time I doubled the soup and this time served it with toast so we’d have lots of leftovers again (three and a half canning jars full!). One leftover jar became another batch of meat sauce, two went into the freezer (one became meat sauce a while later and the other stayed as soup), and the last half canning jar was mixed into leftover plain pasta and microwaved for an incredible simple and delicious meal for the girls. Anyway… enough about the soup as you’re here to see how I used it to make my meat sauce. And if you don’t have the soup don’t worry as you could simply do the same with some store-bought tomato soup or sauce and, if needed, add your normal go to seasonings.
I started out by grabbing my large pot, filled it with water, and started bringing it to a boil so I could cook a pound or two of pasta while the sauce simmered. Once the water was heating I grabbed my tall edged skillet and started heating it on the burner, under medium high heat, before tossing a pound or two of ground beef on. I used a wooden spoon to break the meat apart and mix it up while it cooked. I had some diced peppers in the fridge we needed to use so I tossed them in while the ground beef was cooking away along with a single diced garlic clove. Any veggies you may want cooked a bit more can be tossed in at this step.
Once the ground beef was fully cooked it was time to pour the leftover four cups of soup into the pan. This is why I made sure I used a taller skillet rather than a short frying pan. I then added some water to the canning jar, added a lid, shook it up, and poured that over the skillet too so I didn’t waste any of the leftover soup. After stirring it all together to combine I brought it back to a boil, turned down the burner, and simmered it while the pasta finished boiling so the flavors would all meld together. At this time you could take a quick taste and confirm it’s to your preference or if you may want to add a final seasoning.
Once the pasta was ready and the excess water was drained from the pasta with the strainer it was time to eat. This meat sauce was truly sublime on the pasta. I’m assuming part of this awesomeness could be attributed by the heavy cream in the original soup but the final sauce tasted so creamy and slightly as if we had already topped it with cheese even though we didn’t. We finished the food way too quickly and knew we needed to make it again!
I am so glad I had that one lonely canning jar of leftover tomato soup the first time I made The No-Fuss Family Cookbook’s slow cooker creamy tomato soup with cheesy waffle dippers as without it I wouldn’t have thought to up my meat sauce game. I absolutely love this recipe and just typing it up for you makes me really want to make it again. I don’t know if you have a similar tomato soup recipe you love or not but I hope this post helps you turn your leftovers into another incredible meal. If you did the same, or something similar, before please share in the comments below. I hope your week is going awesome.
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