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The Perfect Tomato Soup

The summer after my freshman year of college I was living back at home with my family and had big plans to spend my time lounging in my pajamas, while watching reruns of Dawson's Creek, and hanging with friends. My plans didn't have to occur in that order, just as long as I used as little of of my brain as humanly possible.

It seemed like the best plan I could imagine, but sadly, my plans of doing absolutely nothing never came into fruition.

You see, I had to get a job that summer. I'm not sure how it came about that I needed to get a job. It might have been a conversation with my parents that went like this:

Me: I need some money for clothes, please.

Dad: Get a job.

Me: *tears*

If I wanted clothes and other necessities that a 19 year old required it was time that I found myself a little ole job.

So I did what any smart 19 year old does. I went to the place where my best friend worked and applied for a job there. Because she was so sweet and charming it was only obvious that any friend of hers would be sweet and charming also so I was hired on the spot. Easiest interview ever.

I wish I had stories from that summer of working side by side with my best friend but sadly she quit the day after I got hired. And moved to Florida. I'm really not bitter about it anymore. Only if I think about it or talk about it does bitterness rise up in me. But that's another story for another day.

So here I was, working in a ritzy glitzy country club all by my lonesome self. I had never been in a country club before, and now I was working in one. Which let's be honest if I HAD been in a country club I wouldn't need to work in one so that previous sentence makes no sense. Country club attendees do not become country club employees. Life just don't work like that.

I used incorrect grammar on purpose. I feel like it gives more ground to the whole country club attendee vs. employee stance.

Anyways, I spent my summer serving country club patrons in many different forms. I was a waitress, I worked the pool window, I would drive a beverage and snack cart around the golf course while men whistled me down so they could have their chocolate and beer fix and I also worked in a little hut in the middle of the golf course known as the Half Way House. Worst name for a hut on a country club golf course EVER.

Basically it was a plush life. Every once in awhile somebody would hold their wedding reception at the country club and the waitresses would fight over who got to cut the cake because in case you didn't know the cake cutter equals the knife licker. True and gross story. We would fight over who got to lick the icing off the knife. Don't you wish I would have been your cake cutter?

Plush life.

Now, you may be wondering why in the world I'm telling this story? Well it's because my time at the country club was one that really was fun. I made friends, I learned how to waitress and I learned how to make a pretty mean grey goose tonic. Important things in life. Everybody remembers where they were when they made their first mix drink.

But it wasn't my bartending skills that changed me forever.

No, it was the tomato soup that I ate while working at this country club that forever changed who I am.

The chef of this country club would make the most divine tomato soup. It was like MANNA in the form of tomato soup. It was the perfect consistency of tomatoes and basil with a touch of cheese and other herbs. Actually I have no clue what was in this soup but all I know is that it was PERFECT. Pure tomato perfectness.

I would long for the days when I would come to work and the special of the day was: Chef's Secret Tomato Soup and then I would spend my time in the back sneaking sips of this glorious soup.

For the record I'm pretty sure it was against the rules to eat while on duty. And if the fact that I gained 10 pounds that summer doesn't show you that I broke this rule a lot, then maybe the fact that I only worked there that one summer will be proof that I broke the "no eating while on work hours" rule a lot.

But when it came to this soup I couldn't help myself. RULES WERE MADE TO BE BROKEN. I needed that soup.

Also, I have no idea what we called the soup but the above title of Chef's Secret Tomato Soup sounds more dramatic so that is forever how it will be known in my head.

Like any true summer romance does, my time at the country club came to an end and it was time to pack up and head back to school.

Although there was no romance and my love interest in this tale is a tomato soup.

Plush life I tell you.

I think about that soup often and wonder if that chef still makes it. I have NEVER found another tomato soup that even comes close to touching the realm of how good this soup was.

I have made it my goal to find the perfect tomato soup. I have searched high and low and sadly I'm still searching.

That fateful summer I didn't lounge in my pajamas and I never watched Dawson's Creek reruns but I did experience the best tomato soup ever. And that was worth it.


  1. Love me some tomato soup. I'm in love with Panera's tomato soup!!!!!!!

  2. Have you tried Le Madeleine's yet? Best. Soup. Ever.

  3. This is the one I make (and I believe it's Jamie D's recipe too). Its the best I've ever had, not sure if it will be as good as your country club soup, but it's worth a shot.

  4. I'm going to take a gander and say lots and lots of heavy cream. And possibly butter. Have you ever made the tomato sauce that is just tomatoes, butter, and a big ol' onion that you cook in there with it and then remove prior to serving? IT'S DIVINE.

    I also hate to shatter your theory, but I worked at the country club we belonged to in HS :) But it was a "non-fancy-pants" country club... if there is such a thing. My country club manna was the curly fries. And slushies.

    Now I want a slushie.

  5. Definitely laughing at the whole CC employees vs members! There definitely are ccs that aren't nice enough to apply but I can relate. I was *this* close to working at a SUPER swanky CC in AZ when I was in college. I'm talkin, had to wait at the gated entrance for the security to call the person interviewing me to confirm I was allowed on the premises. I declined the offer when our weekend getaway to meet family in Vegas conflicted with a LPGA tournament... Um, priorities? I ended up working at Red Lobster instead! Cheddar Bay Biscuits anyone?! Probably a good thing since I have next to zero patience for rude restaurant patrons.I cant imagine RICH rude people! I would have never lasted...

    I make an Ina Garten tom soup that basically roasted romas, garlic, s&p and evoo then dumped into a big pot, add tons of fresh basil and chicken stock. Then blend it using an immersion blender or I guess a reg blender.

  6. Now I want to try that soup. It is delicious in my dreams.

  7. I worked at a country club too. I was the beverage cart girl. We called our snack shop the turn stand not halfway house. That's hilarious!

  8. This is a great tomato soup!

  9. Panera has THE BEST tomato soup ever!! I'm always on the hunt for the perfect recipe...when I read your post title I thought you were going to share a perfect recipe! Sad that you haven't found it yet!

  10. You are making me laugh SO HARD!!!

    I actually have a recipe (given to me by my sister) that is my perfect tomato basil soup recipe. I'm making it Thursday night for my homegroup. I'll share the recipe if you want to try it. It's easy to make and just might become your new love.

    Think about it.

  11. I was so excited to have a recipe for the perfect tomato soup...I read with such anticipation excited to get to the prize at the end of the post.

    Only to be so sad, probably equal to how you feel when you eat an inferior tomato soup!

  12. Oh man, I was waiting for a recipe too! Now worries since I probably wouldn't have made the soup anyway- I have never tried tomato soup. *Gasp!*
    But I sure do love reading your posts!

    P.S. Your kid's cute. My kid's 8 months. Let's be friends.

  13. Sweet mother ... I'm going to go out on a limb and say you worked at SHCC because they USED TO have the BEST tomato soup ever! Seriously ... the best. Sadly, that chef no longer works there and he was replaced by a German who does not feel that FRIED CHICKEN AND MASHED POTATOES should be served on July 4. I nearly died last year. Am I right???

  14. BAH! I have so many things to comment on!

    #1 - Kate is probably right, lots of butter and lots of cream. I'm willing to be that was his secret. And maybe some fresh basil!
    #2 - I also spent the summer after my freshman year of college working at a country club and serving all the rich people! I was also the driver of the bev cart and the worker of the "half way house" (agreed, horrible name). And like you, I totally wished I was at home watching DC everyday.
    #3 - But most importantly, I also think about the food our chef made at my CC! It's not tomato soup for me, though. It's his homemade ranch dressing (my friend Stephen and I would dip stale rolls in it and eat them in the classy), and this salad he made with fried boursin cheese and mouth is watering just thinking about it.

    We were destined to be friends!

  15. I don't have the best tomato soup recipe. Well, I do, but only because I have Summer's recipe here.

  16. I could do with some hot tomato soup. Someone post a recipe please. Thanks :)

  17. I bet it had a lot of butter and heavy cream in it! I love tomato soup, and I found an amazing recipe a few years ago. I haven't made it in forever, but maybe this fall/winter I will. I think all it was was tomato juice, tomato sauce, a stick of butter, a lot of cream, and some fresh basil. It was SOOOO good!

  18. oh how I love tomato soup. I prefer to eat it with grilled cheese dipped in it . . . because I'm classy like that :-)

  19. If you stumble upon the perfect tomato soup recipe you must share! I'm always looking for the perfect tomato soup and potato soup recipes.

  20. Paula Dean has a great tomato soup recipe!! Google it. :)

  21. I loooove tomato soup! Especially with a big fat grilled cheese!


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