Sunday, March 4, 2018


Welcome: it’s #SooperSunday, a day set aside to wonder about things and cook up a pot of soup.

Here’s something to wonder about, a rare instance of hell freezing over: Bill Maher gets something right. In this case the very nature of fake news.

Meanwhile we are awaiting the 3rd wave of the “Big Blow” that dumped 7 feet of snow on northern Cali. Disappointingly, wave 1 and 2 missed us. Only in states dependent on snowpack for its water supply – and harboring a huge ski-based economy - would that be a problem. The snow accumulation has been downgraded significantly but is still adequate to warrant a pot of soup. So my #SooperSunday pot will be filled with Beach Bar Tomato Soup.

The Beach Bar, outside of Jackson Michigan on Clark Lake, started as a dance club to showcase Big Band musicians. It was created by an entrepreneur from Toledo Ohio who was smitten with the place. Leo Steinem – father of Gloria – bought 30 acres, hauled in a ton of sand, built a pavilion and opened what he called the “Ocean Beach Club” in 1928. The Big Bands, including Harry James, Guy Lombardo, The Andrews Sisters, Kay Kyser, Duke Ellington and Count Basie all performed there for huge crowds. Former employees Harry Collins and Marie Snell, who had met, married and moved on to the Detroit area, bought the property after WWII moved back and built what is today’s Beach Bar.

beach barThe Beach Bar still serves as a music venue today

As I understand it their famous tomato soup has been on the menu nearly forever. It’s worth the calories.

Beach Bar Tomato Soup


·       1 Large can tomato soup (46 oz)

·       12 Ounces  cream cheese, room temperature

·       16 oz can diced tomatoes

·       16 oz can stewed tomatoes

·       1 QT Half and half

·       1 teaspoon (or more, to taste) garlic Powder

·       1 teaspoon (or more) dried basil

·       Salt/Pepper to taste

·       6 Tablespoons Butter

·       1 yellow onion, diced finely

·       Grated Parmesan

·       Croutons (homemade are best, but store bought are fine)


  1. Sauté onion in butter
  2. In blender, combine soup, half & half, cream cheese, and tomatoes – alternatively, add cream cheese and soup to onions and stir over low heat with whisk until cheese is melted and combined with soup. Carefully whisk in half and half. Add tomatoes, garlic, basil and blend with an immersion blender.
  3. Add salt/pepper to taste
  4. Simmer 20-30 min
  5. Serve with croutons and freshly grated Parmesan

NOTES: I also add red pepper flakes, about ½ tsp. after sautéing onions. And a shot of bourbon or Sherry added to the pot at the end of cooking time doesn’t hurt anything either.

You can feed a very hungry crowd if you serve this with Ham and Cheese Sliders

Bon Appétit!

beach bar tomato soup

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