Last summer I made some tomato soup from scratch with fresh tomatoes and it was delightful but I’ve been meaning to make a quick version with canned tomatoes ever since. I definitely needed something quick and satisfying today so I whipped up a pot.
The recipe below is skeleton recipe that can be taken in about a million different directions. Here are a few ideas:
- Low carb: skip the brown sugar and bread crumbs and add 1/4 cup of half and half instead.
- Smoked Paprika: add a dash of this super versatile spice for a smokey, earthy flavor.
- Spinach: Stir in a handful of fresh baby spinach for extra flavor, fiber and nutrients.
- Sour Cream: Stir a spoonful of light sour cream or plain yogurt into your bowl for extra creaminess
- Fresh Herbs: If you have access to fresh basil, slice it thin and stir it in for a punch of flavor.
- Vegetarian: Use vegetable base or broth in place of the chicken base.
And I’m sure there are many many more possibilities! Of course, it’s great by itself too. A few goldfish crackers or a grilled cheese and you’ve got a great, simple lunch.
Super Quick Tomato Soup
- 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.22
- ½ med onion $0.16
- 1 clove garlic $0.07
- 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes w/ basil $1.48
- 1 Tbsp chicken base $0.30
- 3 cups water $0.00
- ¼ cup plain bread crumbs $0.08
- ½ Tbps brown sugar $0.02
- to taste fresh cracked black pepper $0.05
- a pinch red pepper flakes (optional) $0.02
- Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Cook in a medium pot over medium heat with olive oil until the onion is transparent (about two minutes).
- Add the can of tomatoes, the chicken base and water. Stir to combine. Season with freshly cracked black pepper, brown sugar and red pepper flakes. If you’d like to add other herbs (fresh basil, bay leaf, oregano), do so at this time.
- Stir in the bread crumbs. Allow the soup to simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to your liking.
- At this point, you can either serve the soup as is (slightly chunky) or puree with an immersion blender. If you decide to puree in a regular blender, be very very careful. Blending hot liquids can be dangerous. The soup pictured here has not been blended at all and, as you can see, is still fairly smooth.
Step By Step Photos
Start by dicing the onion and mincing the garlic. I used minced garlic from a jar (which made the recipe even faster) because I’m trying to use it up. Plus, garlic in a jar tends to have a nice mellow flavor. If you use jarred garlic, use about 1/2 Tbsp.
Cook the onions and garlic over medium heat until the onions are softened and transparent. This should take only about two minutes.
Add the can of tomatoes, chicken base and water. If you’d rather use chicken stock or broth, use three cups in place of the chicken base and water.
Season the soup. Add the brown sugar (this balances the tomato acids), freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes. You can also add other herbs or spices that you like (basil, smoked paprika, bay leaf…).
Lastly, stir in the bread crumbs. Bread crumbs give the soup body so that it’s not just runny, watery tomatoes. If you blend or puree the soup at the end, the bread crumbs will pretty much dissolve in. Otherwise you might be able to see the bread crumbs but there won’t be enough to really give any sort of flavor.
Eat plain with a grilled cheese or garnish with whatever looks good! I stirred in some fresh spinach and added a few pieces of shaved parmesan. YUM.