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January 10, 2011

Recipe for double goodness tomato soup


Growing up in the 1950s, I lived in a house with a pantry full of red-and-white soup cans, the kind that Andy Warhol painted larger than life. Chicken noodle soup ruled, with tomato soup a close second. Paired with any kind of toasted or grilled cheese sandwich, tomato soup was the perfect afterschool snack, the perfect weekend lunch, and the perfect dinner on a busy night. This version comes right from my grown-up pantry, and it's even better than the soup of my childhood, because it contains two types of tomato: slow-roasted tomatoes and home-canned tomatoes, made at the peak of goodness last summer and stored in the freezer. You can substitute sun-dried, oil-packed tomatoes and store-bought chopped tomatoes (make sure to use 100% tomatoes, such as Pomi, that don't have any citric acid).

Double goodness tomato soup

Serves 6.


1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter (omit for vegan soup)
1 large leek, trimmed, washed, chopped
20 slow-roasted tomato halves (or oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes)
1/2 tsp oregano
42 oz canned chopped tomatoes
1/4 tsp mild red pepper flakes
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper


In a Dutch oven or heavy sauce pan, heat the oil and butter over low heat. Add the chopped leeks, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes, until translucent but not yet starting to brown. Stir in the slow-roasted tomatoes and oregano, plus 2 cups of water, and cook for 3 minutes. Pour in the canned tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and balsamic vinegar. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

Remove the pot from heat, and puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender (or, carefully, in a stand blender). Taste, and add salt and pepper. If the tomatoes aren't sweet enough, add a teaspoon of sugar.

Stir in 1 cup of water, blend again, and return the soup to the stove. Simmer for 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning again, if needed, and serve hot. Or, allow to cool completely and freeze.

Print recipe only.


Posted by: Judy | January 10, 2011 at 08:12 PM

I love tomato soup, too, and I'm always looking for good recipes. My mom used the same can yours did. She added a can of milk to make it creamier, mmm.
Do you think roasted plum tomatoes (from the market now, not from the summer) would be more flavorful than sundried? If so, approximately how many would you suggest? Thanks, Lydia!

Posted by: Lydia | January 10, 2011 at 08:15 PM

Judy, I'd use 10 tomatoes, cut in half and slow-roasted. They will shrivel a bit with the roasting, which concentrates the flavor. Drizzle them with chopped garlic and olive oil when you roast them. (There's a good recipe on The Perfect Pantry.)

Posted by: Julia | January 10, 2011 at 09:19 PM

Mmm. I was just thinking about tomato soup too! I froze some basil this summer which I was curious to try and bet would be great with this soup.

Posted by: Kalynskitchen | January 10, 2011 at 10:13 PM

I grew up on the red and white cans too. Now I can't imagine eating soup from a can. I would eat this soup though, any time!

Posted by: pam | January 10, 2011 at 10:18 PM

Nothing beats homemade tomato soup. Seriously.

Posted by: Lydia | January 10, 2011 at 10:22 PM

Julia, this is a great basic tomato soup that would love your basil or almost any fresh herb.

Kalyn, when I was a kid, I thought those canned soups were great, because my mother never made soup from scratch (except chicken soup, which is part of our DNA!). Now, on the rare occasions when I taste canned soup, I can't believe how salty it is.

Pam, you bet. Nothing at all.

Posted by: Jeanette | January 11, 2011 at 06:49 AM

I have some roasted tomatoes and pesto in my freezer, so this is perfect, I'm going to try this (vegan) recipe.

Posted by: Lydia | January 11, 2011 at 11:26 PM

Jeanette, sounds like you have a well-stocked pantry!

Posted by: pam | January 16, 2011 at 06:45 PM

mmmmmmm, I roasted the tomatoes this morning and made this lovely soup this afternoon. What a wonderful treat on a cold Michigan evening! Well worth the extra effort (if I can even call it an effort) of roasting tomatoes! Thanks for another wonderful recipe!

Posted by: Emily Flippin Maruna | January 19, 2011 at 11:19 PM

I LOVE tomato soup! Its my favorite!

Posted by: manuela | August 18, 2011 at 08:19 PM

Dear Lydia, first of all thank you for the wonderful recipes you share, I greatly admire your work.

I was wondering whether this soup could be made in a slow cooker?


Posted by: Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) | August 18, 2011 at 08:21 PM

Manuela, of course! It would be a great candidate for the slow cooker.

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  • I'm Lydia Walshin, a longtime food writer who lives and cooks in a real log house. If I could, I'd eat Chinese noodles, grapes, ice cream and soup every day.
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