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June 7, 2011

Recipe for slow cooker tomato herb soup

Slow cooker tomato and herb soup

My friend Marcia, who used to live up the road until she moved to New Mexico last year, shared a recipe for "spicy tomato soup" that she picked up in a soup workshop at the local food co-op. I couldn't figure out what was spicy about it, and I had herbs in the garden that needed to be trimmed, so her spicy soup morphed into my herby soup. Quick and easy in the slow cooker, this is a recipe for all seasons; I used canned diced tomatoes, but later in the summer I'll try it with garden-fresh tomatoes. Marcia, thanks for the inspiration!

Slow cooker tomato herb soup

Serves 4-6.


1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
1-1/2 cups chopped onion (2 medium onions)
1 tsp chopped dill weed
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 Tbsp roughly chopped fresh basil
1 tsp fresh black pepper
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
28-oz can diced tomatoes, with their juice
1 Tbsp agave nectar or honey
1 Tbsp mayonnaise (I used Hellmann's)
Extra herbs for garnish


In a small nonstick frying pan, heat the olive oil and butter. Sauté the onions until translucent, then add to a 3- or 4-quart slow cooker with the herbs, pepper, salt, tomatoes and agave nectar. Cook on HIGH for 1 hour.

Stir in the mayonnaise, and continue cooking for 1 hour. Using an immersion blender, pureé the soup to the desired consistency; I pureéd half and left the other half chunky. If you want a thinner soup, add 1/4 cup of water. Taste, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if needed.

Serve hot, garnished with dill, basil or thyme leaves.

Print recipe only.


Posted by: Kalynskitchen | June 7, 2011 at 11:12 AM

This sounds so good! I love the herbs you're using and anything with a touch of mayo is a hit with me!

Posted by: Sri | June 7, 2011 at 06:29 PM

Lydia, this sounds so good, it could be added as a pasta sauce :-). One question in the directions. Is the total cooking time 2 hours? or you add the mayo during only a 1 hour cooking process?

Posted by: Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) | June 7, 2011 at 06:33 PM

Kalyn, my friend Marcia doesn't like mayo (really!) and uses sour cream instead, but the mayo really worked for me.

Sri, the total cooking time is two hours on HIGH (equivalent four hours on LOW), with the mayo added only in the second hour (or, if you're cooking on LOW, add the mayo after the first two hours).

Posted by: CJ McD | June 8, 2011 at 12:32 AM

Perfect put together, then go work in the garden soup. Thanks Lydia. This looks like it would be good hot or cool.

Posted by: Liz | June 8, 2011 at 06:22 AM

I was all set to try this, until I saw mayo on the ingredient list...really? Mayo? That sounds kind of odd to me...I see in the comment above that you could add sour cream instead, I might try it that way.

Posted by: Lydia | June 8, 2011 at 06:27 AM

CJ, I'm determined to do more soups like this in the slow cooker this summer, so I'm glad you like this first one.

Liz, if you think of mayo as its components (mustard, egg, oil), then you understand its role in the soup, as an emulsifier. You could use anything similar to add a bit of creaminess; both sour cream and yogurt will add tang (from the acid) as well, and each will taste just a bit different. I promise you will not taste mayo in this soup, but please use whichever creamy thickener you like best.

Posted by: Marcia | June 8, 2011 at 08:49 AM

Great twist on the recipe; I'll try it this week. Look forward to more
slow cooker soups from Chick. As I think about 'spicy', I think
it was a translation problem and probably was tangy : i.e.,
the dill and as you said, the sour cream.

Posted by: Mama Chicken | June 10, 2011 at 07:45 PM

I just stumbled across your blog today - and I am so glad I did! You will be "Picky Chicken's" (picky grade-schooler) nemesis - who has declared "we eat too much soup!" ha ha!

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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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