A wonderful retro gelatin recipe that has stood the test of time. It is made from a can of concentrated tomato soup, unflavored gelatin, chopped vegetables and Worcestershire sauce. In addition to that there is red wine, a small amount of lemon gelatin and some herbs. This is a salad that you will have to plan time for because it has to chill before adding the vegetables and then spooning into a chilled buttered mold for the final chilling.
I had to do some research to find a good recipe for this. I remember this soup aspic from my childhood in the 1950’s and I know I liked it as a kid. I never did find what I remember the salad was like, so I adapted and created a recipe for tomato soup aspic. Making a gelatin salad is a great addition to meals on hot summer days.
The recipes that were handed down as family favorites at holidays have been adjusted to the changes in the products and ingredients that are now available. Your grandma’s box of lemon gelatin is not the same as your box of lemon gelatin. Today a box will have very sweet tasting fructose and enhanced flavor esters. Many cooks during the first half of the 20th century made their own mayonnaise. That would be a big flavor changer too. So keep that in mind when using retro Jell-O recipes.
Gelatin molds were usually copper colored coated tin or just tin that was sold in Five and Dime stores. They would have a hole or wire loop so you could hang them on your kitchen wall. I have a box full of these molds of all sizes that I have collected over a life time. I don’t think I ever bought one retail but purchased them second hand or just given to me. I hung them up on my kitchen wall. I still have a couple on my wall. To tell the size of the mold just measure cups of water into the mold until it is full. The recipe will usually tell you how many cup size mold you will need.
The trick to using these molds is to brush vegetable oil in the inside or butter them using a brush. I like to butter mine with margarine or butter and chill them before using them. When it comes time to flip out the gelatin you take a small spatula and gently pull the Jell-O away from the sides. If you are using a tube mold, don’t for get to run your spatula around the inside tube. Fill a bowl with very warm water to set your mold down in, then count to 10 and take the mold out. It should slip right out when you place the dish on top of it and flip. I never have any trouble getting the gelatin to come out when I follow those steps. I have always used tin molds and don’t have plastic or silicon molds so I don’t know how well this would work with them.
This is my recipe for retro tomato soup aspic and I think you will like this. I left out the onion and horseradish that most recipes call for because they can be over powering. The chopped radishes give it just the right amount of zing. The wine enhances the tomato flavor and the small amount of lemon Jell-O add some sweetness and lemon flavor.
Tomato Soup Aspic
- 1 can (10.75 ounces) condensed tomato soup
- 1 package of unflavored gelatin
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1 tablespoon of powdered lemon gelatin (you can use the rest of the box to make later, just reduce water)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoon red wine (Merlo)
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 3/4 cup finely chopped celery
- 1/2 cup grated carrot
- 3 red radishes thinly sliced then chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped sweet pepper
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
Prepare a 3 cup mold with butter or vegetable spray in the inside. Chill.
Empty unflavored gelatin in the 1/4 cup cold water and let it dissolved. In a sauce pan empty concentrated tomato soup and heat. Add Worcestershire sauce, and wine. When heated remove from heat and stir in lemon Jell-O and the dissolved gelatin. The gelatin should be a thick blob when it is fully hydrated. It takes a few minutes to stir in. Now add 1/2 cup of cold water. Pour in a 2 cup bowl and chill until thick syrup about 30 minutes.
While the tomato soup is chilling chop vegetable finely. Place in a bowl and also chill while waiting for the tomato mixture cool down and get thick.
When tomato mixture is thick add it to the bowl of chopped vegetable and mix. Add herbs. Spoon into chilled mold. Refrigerate until set. It depends on the mold shape on how long it will take to set.
Run a spatula around the edge of the mold a gently pull from the side. Place mold in a very warm bowl of water and count to ten. Remove and place a plate on top of the mold and flip. The gelatin should slip out with a little shake.