Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

comfort essentials: autumnal tomato soup

a recipe by
Andy Anderson !
Wichita, KS

Okay, let us pretend that it is late Autumn, or possibly the “dead” of Winter. You would just kill for a good pot of tomato soup; however, it is Autumn, and there is not a fresh tomato in site. What do you do? Well, how about canned tomatoes. Believe it or not, canned tomatoes can be every bit as tasty as fresh… If you work with them a bit. So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.

serves Several
prep time 15 Min
cook time 1 Hr 15 Min
method Stove Top

Ingredients For comfort essentials: autumnal tomato soup

  • 2 Tbsp
    grapeseed oil
  • 2 Tbsp
    sweet butter, unsalted
  • 1/2 lg
    yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 md
    leek, chopped, just the white parts
  • 2 stalk
    celery, chopped
  • 2 clove
    garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp
    flour, all-purpose variety
  • 2 c
    stock, not broth, more on this later
  • 28 oz
    plum tomatoes, 1 can, more on this later
  • 1 pinch
    red-pepper flakes
  • salt, kosher variety, to taste
  • white pepper, freshly ground, to taste
  • sugar, granulated variety
  • crushed fennel seeds
  • cumin powder
  • cayenne pepper
  • lemon juice, freshly squeezed

How To Make comfort essentials: autumnal tomato soup

  • 1
  • 2
    Getting the “right” can of tomatoes will make all the difference to making an average tomato soup, into an amazing tomato soup. I posted two recipes: One that talks about selecting the right type of canned tomatoes, and another one that talks about getting rid of the bitter taste in tomatoes. I strongly suggest that you read through them when making this recipe.
  • 3
    You could use veggie stock, chicken stock; even beef stock, for a hardier flavor. However, I would stick to stock, and not broth.
  • 4
    If you want to make this a cream soup, add about 1/4 cup of heavy cream at the very end, and warm into the soup.
  • 5
    Gather your ingredients (mise en place).
  • 6
    OPTIONAL STEP Go to my article on removing the bitter taste from canned tomatoes, follow the enclosed steps, and then reserve. This is an optional step; however, it will make a flavor difference to your tomato soup.
  • 7
    Add the oil and butter to a pot over low heat.
  • 8
    When the foaming subsides, add the onion, and leeks, then cook until they soften, but do not brown, about 10 – 15 minutes.
  • 9
    Add the celery and cook an additional 5 minutes.
  • 10
    Add the garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes.
  • 11
    Chef’s Note: We are looking for a low, slow heating process here. I want the veggies to release some of their liquids and get to know each other. If, at any time, the veggies look like they are browning, lower the heat. As a matter of fact, I would say that at this point in the recipe, we are sweating the veggies not cooking them.
  • 12
    Chef’s Note: Since the heat is low, low, it will not hurt the veggies if you allow them to sweat for another 15 or so minutes. Just be absolutely sure that they do not brown. The longer you sweat the veggies, the more intense the flavor will be.
  • 13
    Add the flour and stir for 2 – 3 minutes.
  • 14
    Add the stock, and reserved tomatoes, stir to combine, and bring up to a simmer.
  • 15
    Start with the sugar… Give the soup a taste, if it still has a bitter taste, add a pinch or two of sugar. If you followed the steps in my other post, it should not have a bitter taste; however, a small bit of sugar can go a long way to removing any bitterness.
  • 16
    Add salt, pepper, and a pinch of red-pepper flakes to taste.
  • 17
    Cover, reduce the heat to low, then allow the soup to simmer for about 30 – 40 minutes.
  • 18
    Allow the soup to cool slightly, and puree in a blender or food processor, fitted with an S-blade.
  • 19
    Return to the pot and keep warm (not hot) until ready to serve.
  • 20
    Chef’s Tip: Do a final tasting for proper seasoning.
  • 21
    Notes On Optional Items: Sugar can reduce the amount of bitterness in this recipe; however, a little goes a long way, and I do not want a “sweet” tomato soup. So, add a pinch or two at a time, give it a bit of time to incorporate into the recipe, and then add a more if necessary. Crushed Fennel Seeds: I cannot imagine a good Autumn tomato soup without a few crushed fennel seeds. Cumin and Cayenne: Cumin give depth, and cayenne gives heat. As the temps get cooler, I add a bit more of both of these spices… Helps to warm the soul. Lemon Juice: Added at the very end, it helps to brighten the soup up, and is a great addition.
  • 22
  • So yummy
    Serve warm, maybe topped with a bit of cheese; with crackers or bread on the side. Enjoy.
  • Stud Muffin
    Keep the faith, and keep cooking.