Monday, November 15, 2021

Easy tomato soup

We picnic in most weather. And when winter rolls round we need something hot to heat our frozen, mitten-wrapped paws. An easy tomato soup is one of my winter picnic staples.  

It is quicksoup, cheapsoup, cheatsoup, and it is goodsoup. It is also thrifty, nourishing, satisfying, and comforting. Take care of yourself, your family, your soul and your heart. All in one soup! (I sound like the eccentric Dr. Bronner's soap label - it's our pandemic handsoap so I know it by heart.) 

I use canned tomatoe because that is what winter is for. The fewer ingredients on the label the better. Hopefully just "tomatoes." I am partial to the Muir Glen brand, especially the fire-roasted versions.

Jazz up this basic recipe with optional extras: grated cheese (cheddar for gooey cheese-strings, or microplaned Parmesan for punch), fresh herbs, and different seasonings: Urfa biber, Aleppo pepper, East African berbere, freshly cracked black pepper, or cumin each make it interesting. 

Fast Tomato Soup - Serves 2

1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
1 large can - (1 lb 12 oz) - crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup water or broth
1 teaspoon chile flakes
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Pinch of salt - more, or less
Freshly snipped chives or field garlic

In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the garlic, stirring a little every few minutes. Cook for about 5 minutes until the slices turn translucent - do not brown.

Add the contents of the tomato can. Rinse the can with broth or water and pour that in, too. Stir, and allow the liquid to begin bubbling. When it does, turn it low enough to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for another 10 minutes. Taste, and add the sugar, and the salt. Add the chile. Taste again. It is ready. If you used a chunky blend of tomatoes you may now want to whizz the soup around in a blender to make it smoother. Up to you. 

When it is ready our the soup into a waiting thermos. Head out for a winter picnic. Or stay in and sip quietly.


  1. Sounds tasty; I look forward to trying it on a cold day!

  2. I have frozen little cubes of olive oil packed to the brim with ripped basil leaves. I think that's how I'll start this amazingly simple cheapsoup idea. Thank you!


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