Help me find the best pairings for a cup of smoky tomato soup
April 21, 2012 11:09 AM   Subscribe

I am cooking a smoky, dark and delicious tomato soup for a friend of mine. Please suggest suitable savory side suggestions that don't involve bread or sugar - meat/cheese combos, odd things like dried figs/cheese, etc.

We're into spicy, strange, and combination foods. Extra points if I can find the items at Mexican markets, Armenian markets, or Trader Joes.
posted by fake to Food & Drink (27 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Blue cheese and pickled walnuts.
posted by pipeski at 11:12 AM on April 21, 2012

No fair. I'll spill mine when you spill the soup recipe!

OK, I'll toss a tidbit. Martinis with an anchovie in place of, or inside of, the olive are the best!

And walnut-stuffed baby eggplants, salted and fried in olive oil, are amazing. Bonus for adding pepper flakes, but it's not necessary if you don't have a hot palate.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:18 AM on April 21, 2012 [2 favorites]

Olives (green) stuffed with feta or blue cheese.

Habanero pepper jack cheese.
posted by I'm Brian and so's my wife! at 11:21 AM on April 21, 2012

Hey, what's your soup recipe--sounds awesome.
posted by I'm Brian and so's my wife! at 11:23 AM on April 21, 2012

Response by poster: I'll write up the soup recipe after it is perfect - for now you'll have to settle for the bread I can't serve tonite. ;)
posted by fake at 11:23 AM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

OK, so you know how when you were a kid, you ate celery with peanut butter in it? And you know how bloody marys sometimes get served with a celery stalk? Substitute bleu cheese for the peanut butter.

Also, shrimp.
posted by axiom at 11:31 AM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

sujuk, which is a slightly tart sausage. you can definitely find it in armenian markets.
posted by raihan_ at 11:31 AM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think a frittata would be an amazing addition, and others agree.
posted by 200burritos at 11:51 AM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Sweet potatoes.

Or a medley of different mushrooms sautéed in butter.
posted by jann at 12:22 PM on April 21, 2012

Parmesan crisps with spicy sausage or sardines.
posted by thirteenkiller at 12:24 PM on April 21, 2012 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: Parmesan crisps

posted by fake at 12:25 PM on April 21, 2012

Oh god there are so many things to do with smoked mozzarella and prosciutto that would go so well with this. Grill asparagus and then make little bundles with room temp smoked mozzarella matchsticks (so that it gets just melty enough to be awesome on the still-hot asparagus) and then wrap in prosciutto. OR get those little balls of smoked mozz, roll them in a tasty chopped mushroom mixture like from the shooter's sandwich, and then wrap it all up in prosciutto and secure with toothpicks.

posted by elizardbits at 12:37 PM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

thirteenkiller beat me to it, but I would second some kind of cheese crisps. You can use any kind of cheese! I think a smoky cheddar would be awesome with your soup.
posted by jabes at 1:01 PM on April 21, 2012

Raita and naan or French bread.
posted by Currer Belfry at 1:33 PM on April 21, 2012

Response by poster: Please, no bread. Thanks!
posted by fake at 1:36 PM on April 21, 2012

Sharp cheddar quesadillas
posted by rhizome at 1:56 PM on April 21, 2012

Prosciutto wrapped around pieces of cantelope or honeydew melon.
posted by plinth at 2:15 PM on April 21, 2012

As much as I love prosciutto in the way that a lot of people like chocolate, I think with tomato soup that combo would have too much tang.
posted by rhizome at 2:58 PM on April 21, 2012

A boiled artichoke with a nice dipping sauce.
posted by jann at 4:12 PM on April 21, 2012

A big pile of fresh arugula with some fresh figs, shaved pecorino, and a couple of walnuts, and little good olive oil and squeeze of lemon.
posted by jann at 4:18 PM on April 21, 2012 [3 favorites]

Since you mentioned Mexican markets / Armenian markets / Trader Joe's, I'm guessing you are in Southern California.

If that's the case, the farmer's markets are amazing and have some special things I've never seen anywhere else:

- Fresh pea tendrils. Steam these and serve with burrata.

- Fried green almonds. (Or raw, for that matter.) If you can't find these at a farmer's market, check Jon's or another supermarket that caters especially to the local Persian market.

- Fresh green plums, with a little bit of sea salt on the side and a tall glass of tahn or doogh.

- Fried squash blossoms.

- They don't show up as often here, but you might see about sea beans if you want something strong and unique.
posted by jann at 4:31 PM on April 21, 2012

A few ideas, more or less inspired by tapas:

- A couple of clams cooked with white wine.
- Red onion and orange salad.
- Pinchitos.
- Sliced avocado with a little oil, thinly sliced onion, salt, and black pepper.
- Cardoons in a gratin.
- A little bit of skate.

Tapas are like an inexhaustible resource of possibility here, honestly.
posted by jann at 4:57 PM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Fried chickpeas adjust spices accordingly!
posted by Swisstine at 4:58 PM on April 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oyster shooter. Hint: use pepper vodka.
posted by lalala1234 at 5:44 PM on April 21, 2012 [2 favorites]

A stilton souffle. I've made this one with double the amount of stilton and no parmesan. You'd want to serve it right after though, because souffles should be eaten immediately. I made this to follow a roasted parsnip soup, and it was amazing.
posted by oneirodynia at 6:01 PM on April 21, 2012

I was coming here to say fried chickpeas too. I always make them with tomato soup, and use them IN the soup like croutons. You can bake them in the oven instead of frying, too.
posted by lollusc at 6:09 PM on April 21, 2012

Tortilla made with some good strong cheese would be great.
posted by pickingupsticks at 10:38 AM on April 22, 2012

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