What were the weird things in my soup?

Yesterday I made some roasted tomato soup, based on this recipe. When it was finished, I poured myself a bowl and commenced to eat it. But there were weird things in it, which can best be described as resembling…well… fingernail clippings. Or the shed claws that you sometimes find around the house if you have cats. Or tiny plastic bristles from a nylon brush. Description of one: 1/4 inch long, white, curved, hard, stiff, thickness of lightweight fishing line, equal width along the length (which shed cat claws aren’t). Actually they were like 1/4-inch lengths of thin fishing line, but curved like a fingernail clipping. There weren’t many of them… maybe in a coffee-cup-sized portion of soup there were 3-4.

Here are the details, 'cause i know y’all like details.

I made the soup with
[li]four medium-sized fresh tomatoes that I had bought at a farmer’s market the day before, as supermarket tomatoes are worthless[/li][li]Sliced yellow onion[/li][li]Fresh garlic–two cloves[/li][li]Three mini red peppers (seeded). I don’t know if these are available all over the country–you get a bag of small, pointed, red, yellow, and orange peppers in the produce section. They’re quite tasty and sweet–great with cream cheese spread on them. I had used some from the same bag in another recipe, and even ate some from the bag, and there was nothing weird about them.[/li][/ul]

I tossed all of this stuff with olive oil, spread out on a sheet pan on non-stick aluminum foil, and roasted in a 400-ish degree oven for 45 mins. Then in a saucepan, I put a good squeeze of tomato paste from a brand-new tube and about half a teaspoon of Better Than Bouillon (beef flavor) in some olive oil and stirred it around. I added a cup of filtered water, a couple of sprigs of basil from my garden, then all of the roasted veggies. Simmered for half an hour or so, then used an immersion blender to puree. The immersion blender doesn’t liquefy like the Vitamix, but I was too lazy to get the Vitamix out. There were definitely pieces of tomato skin, but that didn’t bother me.

But then, eating the soup, I felt something odd in my mouth, tiny and pointy. I thought it was a piece of basil stem that hadn’t gotten blended, and when I retrieved it from my mouth, I expected to see something green. But it was (as described) white, curved, hard, like plastic or a baby’s fingernail clipping.

Was this something from inside the tomato? I ate another one of the fresh tomatoes later that day with no weirdness. The onion was a half that was leftover, so I had already used half of it with no weirdness. Likewise the peppers. The garlic cloves came from a new head of garlic and I peeled each one. The weird things were much harder than garlic skin–almost felt like plastic–like if you wash something with a plastic brush and some of the bristles come off in it.

I’m stumped.


A lemon. I cut a lemon in half and put it on the baking sheet with the other veggies. When I was through roasting, one of the lemon halves had lost its innards and was just the empty skin/shell. I didn’t add the lemon skin or the intact half to the soup that I pureed.

So these weird things might have been dried, dehydrated snippets of lemon pulp? So sharp and pointy like snips of fishing line? I dunno.

Now you have all the facts.

Strange things in my soup.
What’s that they’re doing.
Strange things in my soup.
Would you believe…moving?
What is all this goop with strange things in my soup?

I have eaten otherwise-nice tomatoes that had some small hard white fibres inside, near the stem area. That’s my guess.

I am going with the lemon explanation. I make lemonade with fresh lemons and there are a bunch of the pulp floating around in it. I can see them getting hard during roasting.
ETA or pieces of a lemon seed. When you sliced the lemon you may have cut one in a small sliver.

Both of those things make sense. I wondered if it might be something inside the tomato, since the tomatoes were the wild card in the recipe. Of course, if I notice any weird mutations on my face or if I start being able to communicate with aliens…

Holy crap. Wild card tomatoes cause that?:slight_smile:

You can just gesture at them, it’s not a big deal. I suggest you practice your mime for “I’m on the phone, leave me alone”. :slight_smile:

What did you use? I saw a tv cook melt a plastic spatula into what he was cooking (pretty embarrassing). Was there any way it could actually have been plastic? Plastic chopping board?

I vote for lemon pips shredded in the blender.

I used a silicone spoonula. (A word no one needed.)

My vote is lemon-related debris as well.

If you’re going to quote lyrics, post a link.

oh, yes, the pips would certainly have the right consistency/size.

I took out as many pips as I could find before I put the lemons in the oven, but I might have missed a few.

“Pips” are currently leading “tomato growths.”