Tomato Corn Muffins
Who among us growing up in the 1950s through the 1970s never had a can of Campbell’s Tomato Soup? Just like in the commercials, it awaited us after cold sledding days, coupled with the classic grilled cheese sandwich.
This isn’t a product-placement column. I certainly don’t work for Campbell’s and in fact, as I became an adult and my tastes matured, I grew to hate the stuff. Even Chicken ‘n Stars.
Homemade soup from fresh vegetables, stirred and loved by home cooks, made me decide that Campbell’s Tomato Soup was just wrong. It had a too-smooth texture and tasted too sweet. Much too sweet.
I do shop farmer’s markets but am also one of those people who foolishly meander down grocery store aisles, looking for anything new. So one day I was surprised to see Campbell’s ORANGE Harvest Tomato Soup.
Looked interesting. Made from sexy-sounding “Tangerine Tomatoes." Doubting it was less sweet, though, I topped it with extra-sharp grated cheese and a few croutons. I was right--still too sweet. It was like a blind date; higher expectations, but not what I’d hoped for.
This was a “limited edition soup” along with a Campbell’s Yellow Tomato Soup--which I have never found in a store. This company is keeping it secret. If you do a search on their website for “yellow tomato soup” or even just “yellow” you get NO results. However, the Orange version must no longer be limited because it keeps appearing in stores in my area.
I knew like all good things, it had a purpose in life. After some disastrous attempts at melding it with a recipe, I finally struck gold--or maybe “struck orange” would be more accurate.
While the tradition with cornbread is to make it coarse, I always liked the silky-smooth sweeter cornbread from Tippin’s in Overland Park, KS, when I lived there. It was half cornbread mix and half white cake mix. That was my inspiration.
You can mix this soup with cornbread and it comes out with a denser but light cakey texture, though not actually “sweet” like the Tippin’s faux-cornbread I’d enjoyed. At the risk of looking a bit like Sandra Lee and her semi-homemade oeuvre (no one should be famous for putting McCormick’s Montreal Steak Seasoning over every entree), I present it here.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup corn meal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg, beaten
1 can Campbell's Harvest Orange Tomato Soup
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9-inch pan. Mix dry ingredients. Stir in milk, oil, and egg. Add can of condensed soup (do not add water). Stir just until ingredients are moistened. Pour batter into pan. Bake 25 minutes, until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm, preferably.
Note there is no added salt or sugar in this recipe. You don’t need it--it’s in the soup! I suppose you can make this with the regular Campbell’s Tomato Soup but I haven’t stooped that low yet.