I feel like tomato soup is one of those classic comfort foods that has the magic ability to satisfy every eater. The baby, the grandma and everyone in between… even the folks who claim to hate the beloved tomato (gasp!). This tomato soup classic can be thrown together with your favorite canned tomatoes but is still packed with flavor and perfect for the last days of winter.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 4 bowls

Ingredients

  •  2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 15 ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes in juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • kosher salt and fresh black pepper to taste

How To

Soup is definitely in the running for the most perfect cold weather meal that exists. It is usually easy to pull together, feeds a crowd, and is perfectly adaptable to whatever is in your fridge and pantry. And the fact that you are starting from scratch is putting you way ahead of the canned soup game so you really can’t go wrong. Don’t have whole tomatoes? Used diced. No fresh thyme on hand? Used dried. Or basil! I have also never come across a 15 ounce can of the whole tomatoes so I usually double this recipe and use a 28 ounce can instead (close enough… I promise I’m good at math). Four servings doesn’t feel like enough anyways and this soup freezes beautifully so let’s raid the pantry and warm our bellies!

Tomato Soup-01

Go ahead and prep all of your ingredients before we get started because once our pan gets warm we are going to dump and stir our way through the ingredient list. Next, warm the olive oil and butter in a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Once the butter has melted, add the onion and carrot and cook until soft, about 10 minutes, stirring often. Add in the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes until it is nice and fragrant.

Tomato Soup-02

Stir in the tomato paste next and work it around the pan with a wooden spoon to get it evenly distributed. Let the tomato paste cook, stirring occasionally for about 3-5 minutes until it gets caramelized and toasty. Mix in the flour and stir until everything is smooth and cook for another couple minutes. This step is crucial to avoid a gummy raw flour tasting soup situation so don’t cheat!

Tomato Soup-03

Gradually stir in the chicken broth, scraping the bottom of the pan as you go. It would be completely tragic to leave any of that browned tomato paste goodness on the bottom of your pan so take your scraping duties seriously people.

Tomato Soup-04

Once the chicken broth (or sotck, or vegetable broth, or whatever) is fully incorporated, add the thyme sprigs, bay leaf and red pepper flakes. Next, add your canned tomatoes and their juices, squishing them with your hands on the way in to break them up a bit. Really though, use your hands… it’s fun and makes you one with your food (ohmmmm). Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. You just need to give the soup enough time to reduce slightly and thicken up a bit.

Tomato Soup-05

Once reduced, remove the pan from the heat, fish out the thyme and bay leaf, and puree your soup. I have tried this using both an immersion blender and the vitamix blender and the counter-top blender was totally worth the extra step for me. SO. SMOOTH. Like velvet… and, “I would drape myself in velvet if it were socially acceptable.”  Pretty sure it is, George.

When you have the soup pureed to your liking, return it to your dutch oven, stir in the heavy cream and see how cool of a design you can make. Then keep stirring until the cream is fully incorporated. At this point you will want to taste the soup, swoon, then adjust your seasonings accordingly. This will totally depend on the type of tomatoes you used so just add and taste as you go. The tomatoes I used were a little tart and salt free so I added a teaspoon of sugar to balance things out, about 2 teaspoons of salt in total, and a healthy amount of fresh ground pepper because I love it.

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Tomato Soup-07

Serve with your favorite grilled cheese (obvi), or these lovely cheese crisps that double as croutons and spoons/shovels.

Tomato Soup-08

Side Note

You can always skip the cream skip or try swapping in something like almond or coconut milk. If you go straight olive oil, veggie stock and almond milk this baby is vegan and I’m sure still really tasty!

These pics are for the doubled version of this tomato soup recipe to give you a reference on how much that would make. Double the yum!

Let’s Recap Y’all

Creamy Tomato Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 15 ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes in juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • kosher salt and fresh black pepper to taste

Steps

  1.  Heat the olive oil and butter in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook, stirring often, until soften, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes.
  2. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until caramelized, 3 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook an additional 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in the chicken stock, scraping the browned tomato paste off the bottom of your pan. Add the thyme, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, and canned tomatoes, breaking them up with your hands as you add them.
  4. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until slightly reduced, about 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat, puree until smooth.
  6. Return to pan, stir in the cream and season to taste with salt, pepper, and sugar if using.

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