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Upgrade Your Tomato Soup With Soy Sauce And Thank Us Later

tomato soup with basil garnish
tomato soup with basil garnish - nadianb/Shutterstock

Whether homemade or store-bought, there's something particularly nostalgic and comforting about tomato soup.  Enticingly sweet, strikingly savory, and wonderfully satisfying -- delicious tomato soup can be made easily in one pot. But if you want to play up the sweet and savory combination even more, give your soup a quick umami burst by reaching for a bottle of soy sauce.

Soy sauce, with its ancient origins in China, was first used to preserve and season foods. Now it's become a kitchen staple, cherished for its versatility. Whether adding depth to gravy, mixing it into a marinade, or seasoning juicy beef patties, the rich umami essence and intense saltiness help develop flavors you didn't even know were there.

Adding this fermented sauce to a classic tomato soup accentuates the savory elements while also brightening the natural umami disposition of the fruity tomatoes. It enriches, elevates, and ultimately intensifies the soup's flavor.

Read more: Canned Soups You Should And Shouldn't Buy

An Umami Dream

Soy sauce bottle pouring
Soy sauce bottle pouring - Liudmila Chernetska/Getty Images

Soy sauce comes in a beautiful range of varieties containing subtle flavor differences. Any of these can change and enhance the flavor of your tomato soup. Chinese soy sauce, named jianyou, comes in light and dark versions. The light kind is on the saltier side. This is ideal if you want to use soy sauce as your main seasoning component, as opposed to adding salt. Japanese soy sauce, or shoyu, has a more nuanced and complex flavor. It is usually lighter and sweeter than Chinese soy sauce. It has a more balanced umami essence instead of one big salty punch.

Kecap manis, an Indonesian variation of soy sauce, is sweetened. The flavor is rich in molasses and sugar, and the consistency is like syrup. With additional notes of caramel, if you're looking to add kecap manis to tomato soup for a sweet umami flavor, it would be advised to mix it with a salty soy sauce to balance the dominating sweetness.

How And When To Add Soy Sauce To Tomato Soup

Tomato soup garnished with basil
Tomato soup garnished with basil - Eurobanks/Getty Images

Soy sauce is fairly flexible regarding when to add it to most dishes. It can be part of a marinade, or sauce, or it can just show up as a table condiment. With tomato soup, soy sauce can be simmered along with the other ingredients to season the soup and develop those umami flavors. As noted above, if you're using a particularly salty variety of soy, there's a risk that the tomato soup will be over-salted if you add other seasonings before tasting. So be sure to taste test along the way.

If you're using canned tomato soup, there isn't an opportunity to season your soup with soy sauce alone -- it's already pretty high in sodium. Tasting the store-bought soup before adding soy sauce will give you an indication of the salt level. Begin with just a dash of soy sauce and build if needed.

Tomato soup is boosted with the simple addition of soy sauce. The glorious ripples of umami tomato flavor are subtly enhanced, producing an even more scrumptious bowl.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.