Did you know that most commercial tomato sauces and soups contain added sugar? Even ones touted as being healthy choices contain added sugar, either in the form of cane sugar or in glucose/ fructose form. I'm not anti-sugar, but I prefer it in my desserts - not my spaghetti.
There's a reason for the added sugar, and that is that tomatoes are acidic little orbs. We all have that lovely, kind friend who surprises us with an unexpected edge; tomatoes are the fruit world's equivalent of that edgy friend. The sugar that is added to sauces and soups acts as a cover-up for this bite, but I have a better solution.
A little while ago, my cousin shared with me our grandma's recipe for tomato soup, which was always delicious. It turns out that the secret didn't lie in Grandma's home-canned, home-grown tomatoes; no, it was more than that. It turns out that Grandma was a bit of a chemist. She always added a bit of baking soda to her tomatoes which neutralized the acidity.
MY GRANDMA WAS BRILLIANT.
If you love tomato based sauces and soups, THIS TRICK WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE. Trust me. The sauces and soups that come out of my kitchen are spectacular, and I have my grandma to thank for that. They are naturally sweet and flavourful - all the great taste of tomatoes, with none of the bite.
As an added bonus, my husband no longer gets heartburn on pasta night at our house. If you suffer heartburn after eating a bowl of linguine with marinara sauce, the acidity might be to blame - and the baking soda will put that fire right out.
In your favourite sauce or soup recipe, for every 2-3 cups of crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, or strained tomatoes, add a 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda.
Stir well; the baking soda will make the sauce foam up. Keep stirring until the foam settles down.
Now, taste it. Isn't that amazing?
Are you craving pasta now? Go grab your tomatoes and baking soda and get busy! Here is the recipe for my Easy Basic Tomato Sauce - and never buy jarred sauce again! Have you got a bit more time on your hands? Try this scrumptious Ultimate Eggplant Parmesan (or with chicken for the meat-lovers)! And don't forget my version of Grandma's Tomato Soup, the recipe that started it all!