KITCH 121: Tomato Soup




I am not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day, so my apologies, but you won’t find any pink or heart-shaped desserts here. While this recipe may break one of the so-called rules of romantic meals (it has garlic), it is delicious and even red, which makes it a little bit festive.

Depending on the season, you may want to use canned toma­toes. Many people seem to be afraid of canned tomatoes because they think they will have less taste or because they are not as good as fresh ones. However, canned tomatoes are often canned when they are at their freshest to preserve flavor. So especially when it is winter and tomatoes are not in season, canned tomatoes are a great option. For this recipe, you can use either diced or crushed; the crushed will make the soup a little bit thicker.

This soup has very little active prep time (hands-on cooking, such as chopping). However, it does take some time to cook so that the flavors develop. So you can certainly make the soup ahead of time. If you are making this soup a couple of hours before you want to serve it, you can simply turn off the heat and leave the pot covered until you are ready to eat it. (Of course, you will want to turn the stove on to reheat the soup before you are ready to serve it.)

While this soup definitely has plenty of flavor on its own, it can be even better with an added topping or side. For example, you can serve it with fresh bread or a grilled cheese sandwich, add diced avocado, shavings of asiago or parmesan cheese, fresh basil or just about anything else you can think of!

3 tbsp of olive oil

2 tbsp of minced garlic

1 large yellow onion, diced

2 or 3 full sized carrots or 10 to 15 baby carrots, thinly sliced

1 red bell pepper, diced

3 tbsp of tomato paste

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

3 cups (or a 28 oz. can) of chopped or crushed tomatoes (see note above)

3 to 5 cups of water

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and sauté for about five minutes, until they start to become translucent. Next, add the carrots and peppers and cook for another five minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the tomato paste and liberally season with salt and pepper. After about three minutes, stir in the tomatoes and the water (start with a couple cups and add more until desired consistency is reached).

Turn the heat up to medium-high and wait for the soup to come to a boil. Once it reaches a boil (you will see the soup bubbling and most likely hear it as well), reduce the heat to low. Let it simmer for at least twenty minutes, stirring occasionally. The more it simmers, the more flavorful the soup will be. So if you have an hour to spare, I would rec­ommend leaving the soup to simmer.

Serve with desired garnishes and enjoy.


Emily Suskin at [email protected].