awkwardly

Wednesday

Reverse Engineering Tomato Soup from Ketchup Packets

I'm not talking about the old joke of adding water to ketchup to make "tomato soup." Sounds like you'd only make runny ketchup. I mean exactly what ingredients go into tomato soup, what ingredients go into standard ketchup, and could you add precisely the right ingredients to a bunch of ketchup packets to arrive at a decent bowl of tomato soup?

I suspect that there may be too much vinegar in ketchup. No one would probably add vinegar to tomato soup. Maybe that can be overcome by making it into a cream soup or by adding a little more tomato paste or fresh tomatoes. The best result would be if a person could take ketchup packets and maybe a pint of milk, mix it in a bowl and microwave for a few minutes. But if I can put together an edible result that requires more ingredients or elaborate cooking processes, that will still be a victory.

Here's my plan of attack:
1. Determine the amount of each ingredient that goes into a batch of average, traditional ketchup.
2. Ketchup packets are about .25 ounce each, so determine how much of each ingredient ends up in that .25 ounce packet.
3. Find a tomato soup recipe that uses almost those same ingredients, or adds a few other ingredients.
4. Calculate how much of each additional ingredient needs to be added and what kind of cooking process it needs to go from ketchup to soup.
5. ????
6. PROFIT!

I don't have time right now, but I'll try researching and working on this in the next few days.

Here's a recipe that Peter Breck gave in a TV Guide interview, describing how he got by in the Fifties as a struggling actor: "You buy a pot of hot water and a tea bag for a nickel at Horn & Hardart's Automat," Breck explained. "You set the tea bag aside and pour the hot water into a cereal bowl. Add ketchup, those free packages of soda crackers, salt and pepper, and you've got ketchup soup. With the water left over, you've still got a cup of tea."

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