Not Your Mom’s Creamy Tomato Soup (VGN/VGT/OMN)


Yeah I need a food photographer for sure.

Ever notice how so many recipes out there on the internets make the claim “just like Mom’s” or “just like Grandma’s”? Anyone else have the reaction, “Wow, actually that’s the last thing I want in a recipe”? All due respect to the ladies in question, in my household tomato soup consisted of Campbell’s. Which is decidedly NOT what I want from tomato soup.

Further compounding my ire over this trope is that it was actually my father who did most of the cooking in my family. So stick it, ya sexists! But his domain was the cuisine of the Olde Country, San Diego (which is next to America). In case you didn’t know, that basically translates to Fresh Mex all the way, which does not include tomato soup. Besides that, trust me, you don’t even want to know what passes for Italian food to Southern Californians.

Anyway, you can see how my best hope for a decent tomato soup is my own damn self. While my husband has Italian ancestry, he has little to contribute on this subject apart from the ability to tell me whether I’ve nailed it or not. (By the by, the latter points obviously make more sense if you know that tomato soup is Italian.) Moving on …, I love this because it’s easy and versatile, and you can throw it together with a few ingredients one normally has on hand (and if one doesn’t, one should).


– Olive oil
– One white onion, sliced
– 3 large cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
– 28 oz canned tomatoes (whole, diced, whatever) OR equivalent combo of fresh tomatoes and canned tomatoes OR equivalent amount of fresh tomatoes
– 2 c. Veg stock or water
– Heavy cream* to taste (Optional. Obviously not vegan. I use about 1/3 cup.)
– Salt and pepper to taste
– Chopped basil for garnish (optional)


In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil on medium, then throw in the onions and garlic. Sauté, stirring regularly, until onions are translucent and golden.

Transfer onions and garlic to food processor and add tomatoes. Purée until smooth.

Return mixture to pot and heat on medium, stirring regularly until slightly reduced and thickened. Add stock and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until reduced to desired consistency.

Salt and pepper to taste (probably around 1-2 teaspoons salt should do it). Stir in cream* (if desired) until blended.

Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches or crusty bread or whatever you want.

*Vegans take note: I have said before and I will say again that for some recipes, it is not worth trying to use dairy substitutes. None of the plant-based milks of the world would add anything to this soup except for broken dreams. I’d suggest enjoying it on its own in all its nightshade glory.

One Response to this post.

  1. David's Gravatar

    Posted by David on 10.01.19 at 7:33 pm

    I love tomato soup! I am going to have to try this recipe.

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