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Is there a good reason not to add crushed tomatoes to chicken soup?

I am new at cooking soup, but I think tomatoes taste good and that's why I want to add them. But I've also had garlic bread just before chocolate and it ruined the chocolate. Is there a similar flavor clash from tomatoes and chicken soup?

The soup's ingredients are:

  • A whole chicken
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Celery
  • Water

I might add some pepper too.

  • 1
    Chicken parm has tomato but you don't often see tomato paired with chicken. Give it a try if you like. – paparazzo Oct 5 '18 at 22:32
  • 4
    Tomato is likely to overwhelm chicken broth flavor. – Wayfaring Stranger Oct 5 '18 at 22:35
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I added the tomatoes and it made the soup taste better. I tasted the soup without the tomatoes first. I think if I was better at making broth I would have wanted to preserve its flavor. As it was tonight, it needed something more and the tomatoes helped

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Years ago a friend was showing me how he makes his stew and said "Watch out for the tomatoes, they like to take over!" Too much tomato will give you tomato soup. My method for chicken soup is to buy a roasted chicken from the grocery and use for a main dish and then sandwiches depending on what you have left. Then drop the carcass (bones, skin, meat pieces) in a pot with your listed ingredients as well as some black peppercorns, bay leaf and fresh or dried thyme. Enough water to cover and simmer an hour give or take. Refrigerate overnight and skim the fat off in the morning. It will be semi-solid and easy to remove. Then pick the meat off the bones discarding skin, bones and fat. I sometimes have added a handful of cherry tomatoes. I think green peppers will change the taste away from chicken as would more tomato. If you want "more" then I have added orzo pasta or Soba noodles cooked in the broth. Be careful as those will nearly double in volume when cooked.

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Add the tomato, some mushrooms, bell pepper, garlic and little wine: wala! you've made a "Hunter's Stew", or Cacciatore! Yum! Yes, it should be fine.

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As other have said, you can absolutely add tomatoes, but then you will be making tomato soup, not chicken soup. (There aren't many soups you can add tomatoes to that won't just become tomato soup.)

My recipe:

  1. Saute two large yellow onions in a bit of oil.
  2. Add 3 units (+) of chopped or crushed garlic. (From a jar OK but not as good.)
  3. Add 3-4 stalks chopped celery. Reduce heat.
  4. Add any other compatible veggies in the fridge. (Optional.)
  5. Add 2 heaping spoons(*) of fresh rosemary and 1 spoon of basil. Stir through.
  6. Add 106-ounce can (!) of crushed tomatoes. Stir through.
  7. Add 1 quart stock, broth, or water. Bring to a boil.
  8. Add 3.5-4 pounds chicken, cut bite size, or equivalent amount fish or tofu.
  9. If chicken or fish is raw, stir until pot boils again.
  10. Simmer for half an hour to an hour.
  11. Serve over rice, steamed whole grains, or cubed toasted bread. Cheese optional.

This is very close to Portuguese-American gazpacho or this one(not Spanish gazpacho which is a cold tomato-cucumber soup).

This would probably also work with beef, meatballs, beef marrow bones, etc - they have a stronger flavor that can stand up to the tomatoes better. (Still trying to recreate my mother's beef tomato soup...)

  • (*) Decide for yourself if it is teaspoons, tablespoons, or quarter cup. :-)
  • (+) Decide for yourself if it is cloves or heads.
  • (!) Standard US large can is 28 oz. This recipe makes a large batch. Leftovers good, freezes well.

Prompted by some conversation in comments, I found a Manhattan Chicken Chowder recipe! (The well-known New England clam chowder is cream-based, Manhattan clam chowder is tomato-based; I'd never heard of chicken chowder, but:)

Manhattan Chicken Chowder Recipe -- chicken broth, root vegetables, canned tomatoes, diced cooked chicken, thyme

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  • I am Portuguese and I have never heard anyone in Portugal utter the word "gazpacho". The only tomato-based soup I ever tasted in Portugal was very dense, very spicy and very hot (unlike gazpacho). Made with water used to boil shellfish plus tons of tomatoes (and paprika, I assume). Not quite a chowder. Isn't a chowder supposed to be cream-based? – Rodrigo de Azevedo Apr 9 at 7:50
  • @RodrigodeAzevedo Manhattan clam chowder is tomato-based; the far-better-known New England chowder is cream-based. As for Portuguese "gazpacho", it still triggers dissonance, but my Portuguese-American housemate insists it's traditional, and I did find confirmation online... – arp Apr 9 at 18:34
  • I am only acquainted with the New England chowder. Thank you for the information. I do not doubt there is a cold tomato-based soup somewhere in Portugal. It's just that it's probably not from the area around my grandparents' villages, so I never heard about it ;-) And the name in Portuguese is almost certainly not gazpacho. If I were to take a guess, I would bet on Alentejo, which borders Andalusia. If I recall correctly, Gazpacho is from Andalusia. I am more familiar with Galician cuisine. Do you know where your Portuguese-American housemate's family is from? – Rodrigo de Azevedo Apr 9 at 19:24

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