On a recent cold night, my son asked for a bowl of tomato soup. I was preparing to run to the grocery store for a can or carton of soup to heat up when I realized I had 17 cans of whole tomatoes on the counter, ready for my tasting panel to sample. I did a little research, heated the tomatoes on the stove and ran them through my blender. I had fresh herbs, garlic, butter and heavy cream, although the recipe I preferred didnít require cream. I made enough soup for both of us and extra to freeze for a future cold snap. It was so good that I can no longer fathom the thought of buying a can of tomato soup again. Our panelists agreed after sampling the 17 brands of peeled, whole tomatoes. At first, they winced at the thought of so many options, figuring they would all taste the same. But, their favorites had very pronounced flavors.
Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent