Despite it’s swampy appearance, this soup is simply one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. My mom had been raving about this soup for months and, to be honest, it didn’t sound that special. Then she made a batch when I was visiting over Christmas break. I swear to you, I would have brought the whole pot home with me on the plane if I thought the TSA would have allowed it!
If you like tomato soup, you’ll adore Swamp Soup. It’s like tomato soup on steroids and with the grilled cheese built right in. The broth is incredibly thick and hearty, it’s full of tons of vegetables that add texture and flavor, plus you get these nice, creamy, gooey bits of swiss every other bite. It’s TO DIE FOR. Plus, it’s so healthy that you really don’t have to feel guilty about eating that second bowl. ;D
The soup comes together really fast so it’s reasonable for a week night dinner. You can have the whole thing assembled in about a half hour. I prefer to let mine simmer a little while after assembly but it can be eaten just as soon as it is heated through. Assembly is even faster if you have pre-chopped and frozen carrots left over from your last soup waiting in the freezer.
***Disclaimer: Dear Louisiana friends, this soup has nothing to do with real swamps, swamp culture, Cajun or Creole cuisine. It simply looks swampy to those living in non-swampy areas because it’s thick and has green stuff floating around in it.***
- 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.22)
- 3 stalks celery ($0.46)
- 4 med carrots ($0.31)
- 1 med onion ($0.38)
- 3 cloves garlic ($0.21)
- 1 Tbsp dried basil ($0.15)
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano ($0.15)
- 28 oz can tomato sauce ($1.42)
- 45 oz can diced tomatoes ($2.01)
- 1 1/2 tsp chicken or vegetable bouillon ($0.13)
- 1 1/2 cups water ($0.00)
- 10 oz pkg frozen spinach ($0.96)
- 6 oz swiss cheese ($1.53)
- Clean and chop the onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Cook in a large pot with olive oil over medium heat until the vegetables have softened (about 5 minutes). Stir in the basil and oregano and cook for one more minute.
- Pour in the cans of diced tomatoes (do not drain) and tomato sauce. For the diced tomatoes you can either use 3 (15 oz.) cans or 1 (28 oz.) can plus 1 (15 oz.) can. The latter will probably be less expensive.
- Add 1.5 cups chicken broth or 1.5 cups water plus 1.5 tsp chicken bouillon. To make this a vegetarian dish, simply substitute the chicken broth or bouillon with a vegetable variety. Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and the brick of frozen spinach. Allow the mixture to heat through, stirring occasionally to break up the spinach as it melts (about 10 minutes).
- Once the soup is completely heated through, dice the swiss cheese. Reduce the heat to low or turn the heat off completely. Drop in the swiss cheese and stir it in. The cheese will melt and become gooey but remain in clumps. If the heat is left on high, the cheese will melt too much and dissolve in. Alternatively, you can add the cheese to each bowl of soup after serving.
Step By Step Photos
Saute the onion, celery, carrots and garlic in olive oil until soft.
Add the basil and oregano and cook for one minute more.
Add the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. You can either use three 15 oz. cans of diced tomatoes or one large 28 oz. can plus one 15 oz. can. I happened to have a can of whole tomatoes so I added those (after chopping) along with one larger can. You do not need basil, garlic and oregano flavored tomatoes (as pictured). I didn’t even realize that I had bought that kind until I took this picture!
Also add your water and bouillon. I prefer chicken flavored but if you want this to be vegetarian, just use vegetable broth or stock.
Unwrap the frozen spinach and add it to the pot. You can thaw it in the microwave while you are preparing the first part of this recipe and then everything will heat faster. I don’t bother squeezing out the liquid because this is a soup so liquid is okay. Plus, I don’t like all of that flavor and nutrition going down the drain.
Keep stirring the soup every few minutes to break the spinach up as it thaws.
Once everything is hot, the soup is finished! Super easy, huh?
Cut about 6 oz. of swiss cheese into small chunks.
Turn the heat down to low (to stop it from simmering) or turn the heat off and drop the swiss in. Stir it in so that it gets engulfed by the hot soup and melts. Don’t drop it into the simmering soup otherwise it will break up from all of the aggitation.
Serve with crusty bread or soup crackers!
Most soups begin with onion, celery and garlic. I usually only use about 1/3 to 1/2 of a package of celery and carrots per pot of soup. DO NOT let the rest of the celery and carrots go to waste in the bottom of your refrigerator! Either clean, chop and freeze the rest for your next batch of soup or cut them into sticks to snack on throughout the week. If you freeze them for soup I guarantee that you’ll be happy you did later!
It’s very easy and will save you time and money for your next recipe!