A recipe for the cold days: Homemade tomato soup.
Written by Julie A Thenell, BS/MS/NC/BCHN®
What better way to nourish your family than with a bowl of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. It’s what some of the best chefs fix for themselves after a night of serving exotic dishes to guests. Why? Because tomato soup is comfort food. It is good for your body and good for your soul.
You can, of course, buy canned soup, but making your own is more flavorful and nourishing. Using fresh, all-natural ingredients, you can feel good about serving this soup to your family.
This tomato soup recipe is made with fresh vegetables, herbs, and spices. Perfect on a cold winter day or served chilled during the summer. My family loves it with grilled cheese sandwiches made with sourdough bread and a combination of gouda, cheddar, or munster cheese. It is both warming and refreshing depending on the season and the direction you take when preparing the soup.
One of the things I like about this recipe is that there are many ways to customize it to your liking. Sometimes, when I’m in the mood for a thick, creamy soup, I make it with coconut milk, other times with half-and-half (my family’s favorite), or other times with whole milk. For a lighter, zestier taste, I make it with the juice of a whole lemon and omit the cream. If you don’t have all of the vegetables listed as ingredients, it is ok to substitute with something else or leave it out. I have been meaning to try this soup with zucchini instead of sweet potatoes.
There are two steps to making this soup; cooking the vegetables and blending.
Vegetables and Spices
In a large, heavy pot, combine all of the sliced vegetables, herbs, and spices. Add three cups of water. Cover the pot with a solid lid and simmer on the stove over low heat. When the vegetables are tender (about one hour), turn off the heat and allow them to cool for about 30 minutes. (Assembly takes about 10 minutes.)
- 2 sweet potatoes or yams, skin on, washed and sliced
- 1 onion, peeled and sliced
- 4 carrots, skin on, washed and sliced
- 2 celery stalks, washed and sliced
- 1 handful of fresh basil, washed
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, washed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or a dash of Tabasco® (if you like a bit of spice)
- 3 cups water
After the cooked vegetables have cooled, add the tomatoes, oil, and cream to the pot. Spoon a portion of the vegetable mixture into the blender and blend until smooth; about 20-seconds. Empty each blender full of pureed vegetables into a large bowl, and stir until evenly mixed. (Blending in batches takes about 10 minutes.)
- 6 whole tomatoes, washed and de-stemmed, or two 15.5 oz cans of tomatoes (crushed or whole)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup of half-and-half, whole milk, or coconut milk
Option: Substitute the juice of a whole lemon for the cream.
Eat immediately, hot or cold, or spoon into glass containers and store in the refrigerator for up to four days.
There are several things I like about making my own tomato soup:
- I know exactly what is in this soup, and I feel good about serving it to my family.
- This recipe is fun to make and good enough to serve to guests.
- The soup will still turn out delicious if you skip an ingredient or two or you substitute vegetables, herbs, and spices. Short on celery? Add chopped green cabbage instead. Avoiding dairy? Use almond or cashew milk instead of whole milk or cream. Try adding green pepper, yellow squash, or a handful of spinach, too.
- Best of all, this soup is filled with vitamins and minerals that nourish the body and soul.
Everything you need to make tomato soup — a pot of vegetables, canned (or fresh) tomatoes, cream, and a blender.
Cook vegetables and spices before blending with tomatoes — all natural, healthy, and good for you.