From: The Thorough Good Cook

Soups: 39. Tomato Soup

Boil some tomatoes and pass them through a sieve. Brown some butter with a dessert-spoonful of flour. Pour in some stock; then put in the tomatoes, with pepper and salt. When the whole has boiled up thoroughly, add a wineglassful of pale sherry and a small quantity of Nepaul pepper, pour the whole on to some crusts which you have fried in butter, and serve.

Blended Tomato Soup with Accidental Garlic

My partner and I disagree about soup sometimes, and tomato soup in particular. My vision of tomato soup is of a tomato-based broth with lots of vegetables floating in it, maybe little meatballs if I'm channelling my grandmother. His vision seems to be Campbell's soup from the can; he says my soups are really just watery stews. While I will continue to make and enjoy minestrone and other "watery stews" which come intutitively to me, it turns out blended soups are fun and easy as well. Here's one that was largely inspired by his vision.

What You'll Need (Equipment)

  • 2 or 3-liter (quart is ok too, obviously) saucepan.
  • something heatproof to stir with
  • cutting board and knife for cleaning veggies
  • blender (I used my blender on a stick, and it worked great)


What you do

Make a mirepoix by chopping carrots and onion, and sautéing them in 2 or 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Chop the celery and add it to the sautéing veggies. Dice the red pepper and add it in as well.

When the veggies start getting soft (the onion will start to become translucent and smell sweetly pungent... mmm), add a pinch or two of salt and grind in some pepper (a few shakes of pre-powdered pepper is ok too, but I'm a fresh-ground pepper junkie, myself). Let the mixture simmer another minute or two (don't forget to stir).

Shake in some italian seasoning. Stir. When everything's going to mush, add a few tablespoons of vegetable stock or water. Stir. (Note added 8 November 2002: the more vegetable stock or water used, the more soup you get, especially if you let the veggies cook in the water for a long time, thereby making a quick simulation of vegetable stock as you go along. But be reasonable; one onion, a few carrots, and some celery are not going to make more than a quart/liter or two or soup unless you want to cook them for a REALLY long time.)

Turn off the burner under the pot and take it off the heat. When you feel safe doing so (don't burn yourself!) pour the pot's contents into the blender. Moosh the veggies and broth up till they're all one consistency.

Return the veggie moosh to the soup pot; realize you've forgotten to use any garlic. Turn the stove under the pot to low heat.

Clean and peel several cloves of garlic; put these in the blender, with the cans of tomatoes. Blend everything till it's a uniform consistency; stir into the soup.

Add more stock or water to thin out the soup if it seems necessary; turn the heat up to medium and let everything cook together for at least five to ten minutes.

Makes AT LEAST 1 very full 2-liter saucepan of soup; you should probably use a 3-liter pot to be on the safe side. This translates into at least 3 or 4 meal-size servings that go well with cheese quesadillas and crackers, but I bet grilled cheese sandwiches would be great, too.

Last updated by fab on 8 November 2002.

Tomato and Cheetos soup


Heat soup, water and milk in saucepan. Lift pan off stove. Add Cheetos, allow to dissolve slightly.

(And yes, this is actually pretty good, no matter how weird it sounds. Call it nerd cooking.)

Beefeater's Tomato Soup

1 can Campbells Tomato Soup
1 can milk
1/4 cup Beefeater's Gin
2 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce

Saltine crackers - optional

Combine all ingredients except crackers and bring almost to a boil. Crumble crackers into soup to serve if desired.


2 minute tomato soup

A haggai original recipe

Fresh Tomato Soup (makes 4 cups)

3 Med.     Tomato, peeled, seeded & quartered (or 14.5 oz canned tomato)
1.5 Cup   Water
1/2 Cup   Onion (1 Med)
1/2 Cup   Celery (1 Stalk)
1/3 Cup   Tomato Paste (3 oz)
2 Tbs       Snipped fresh Cilantro or Parsley
2 Tsp       Instant chicken bouillon granules
2 Tsp       Lime or lemon Juice
1 Tsp       Sugar
Dash       Hot Sauce

  1. Combine tomatoes + water + onion + celery + paste + herbs + bouillon + juice + sugar + hot pepper sauce
  2. Boil then reduce heat.
  3. Simmer 20 min. or until celery + onion are tender
  4. Cool slightly
  5. OPTIONAL: Puree, then return to stove + heat through
  6. Garnish with parsley or cilantro

When I moved to Massachusetts after graduating from college to join Americorps, my older sister made for me a small cookbook of recipes that she had accumulated over the years. This is one of those recipes, which taught me how to feed myself with good, healthy and delicious food.

Tomato soup with orzo

This recipe is a favourite comfort food in southern Italy, Greece, and probably everywhere in Mediterranean tomato country. You could say that it's an old family recipe in the sense that I figured it out watching my aunts cook as a teenager. It's popular with the busy, the cheap, and the lazy cook as it involves very little preparation time and uses very affordable ingredients to maximum effect. Being at least two of those three kinds of cook at any given time, orzo tomato soup is a frequent feature on my dinner table.

The quantities listed here feed eight because I often feed that many with it. Somehow it became one of my signature dishes and my teenagers' friends will happily invite themselves over when it's on the menu (yes, teenagers lining up for—meatless—soup, I am not kidding you). It even made its appearance at a nodermeet a few years ago, receiving surprising acclaim. I mean, how wrong can you go with tomato soup? I'm not sure but evidently you can go very right with it sometimes.

2 lbs/1 kg of onions, chopped fine to medium
1 large (30 oz) tin of crushed tomato
1 large (30 oz) tin of tomato puree
8 oz of orzo pasta
1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
Herbs: 1 heaped tsp each basil and oregano or the fresh equivalent
Seasoning: salt, pepper to taste

Brown the onions with some of the olive oil in a large stainless steel (not Teflon and not aluminium) pot to the point of having them slightly caramelised. If you're feeding as many people as I usually am, use a stock pot. Add everything else to the pot. Bring to a boil while adding water to achieve the desired consistency (which for me is on the thick side) and leave on medium heat until the noodles are done through, stirring regularly. This is not al dente food. Give them 10-15 minutes past being done.

The really great thing about this soup is that you can go all sorts of places from this very simple base recipe without spoiling anything. Want it chunkier? Add petite diced tomato instead of crushed. Want it lighter? Use less oil or add more water. Have a basil fetish? Go ahead, pile it on—it'll live.

Two points to remember about the pasta. You must use orzo or you just have a very ordinary tomato soup with noodles in it. Orzo comes in different sizes and you may see Italian versions labelled risoni or Greek ones calling themselves manestra—nothing to do with the Italian dish of the same name—or kritharaki. I prefer the finer kind (Greek brand Stella's 'kritharaki psilo' if I can get hold of it) but in many shops you don't get a choice so any size will do.

Do not think that you put too little pasta in it. Orzo is an ideal noodle: left unchecked, it will expand to absorb all available fluid and fill all available space. This property of orzo makes it great for leftovers. Overnight it will have expanded again and you can make another complete meal by adding a bit of water. In fact, if you put in too much orzo you could find yourself doing this for two or three days as though you'd acquired some tasty but malevolent noodle cornucopia.

And here are your cooking footnotes:

  • Any onions will do. Because I cook for small children, Americans, and others who don't appreciate knock-you-dead onions, I generally use yellow ones, particularly the ones sold as 'sweet' or 'Vidalia' or 'Peruvian.' This is an onion-heavy dish and those varieties, while they do not brown and caramelise as well as others, work best for the many people who don't digest onions in bulk very well. It'll also work best for you if you have to sleep with those people afterwards.
  • Use only extra virgin olive oil. For this recipe I'd go for a slightly more golden one because you want a less intense flavour than you might with other dishes. If you have any kind of oil other than extra virgin, use it to grease your lawnmower and go buy something fit to serve to people.
  • Remember that you're working with an oil that has a comparatively low smoke point. Let the onions cook slowly and glaze before you decide whether you want to let them caramelise at all. It's not essential, just a personal preference.
  • It's okay to throw in a couple of beef-flavoured bouillon cubes if you're looking for a more broth-like and less tomatoey flavour
  • Notwithstanding its Mediterranean character, this soup does not need, and indeed should not use, either garlic or bay leaves
  • It does not matter if the onion or the orzo sticks a bit during cooking. In fact letting it do so adds a bit of fire-roasted flavour. The soup should be closely monitored during re-heating, though.

Finally, serve with bread. If you serve this dish without Real Bread with a Real Crust, such as a properly baked baguette, your hens will stop laying, your goat will eat your underwear, and small children will make the evil eye sign at you as you pass under their windows. So go buy some bread cazzo, and make sure you don't run out of it during the meal.

This soup may be served with sour cream, as North Americans and East Europeans are wont to do with an alarming number of foods. In countries where they don't regard a thing such as sour cream as a valid food item no creamers are used but, if your tastes incline to the creamier and paler, crème fraiche is permissible and effective. Garnish with parsley if you must.

Above all, enjoy.

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