My mum is excellent at making soup. My childhood winters were filled with the most delicious leek and potato soup with crispy bacon, or carrot and coriander soup with crusty bread. However, when it came to tomato soup, it was always from a can thanks to good old Mr Heinz.
As a result, I avoided tomato soup from the age of 18 until this afternoon, when I decided to have a go at making it myself. I bought some of the tastiest looking vine tomatoes I could find, a bunch of fresh basil, and some mature English coastal cheddar (for the mandatory grilled cheese on toast that accompanies tomato soup). The result was this tasty classic tomato soup.
I wanted to keep it healthy, so I avoided putting cream in it. Instead, I added a small amount of potato to thicken it a little. I also added a splash of balsamic vinegar to give it a little more depth of flavor.
In terms of nutrition, this soup is low in fat and sodium, while being high in fiber, Vitamin A, and potassium. It is also rich in disease-fighting lycopene – the antioxidant that gives the tomatoes their red color.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 5 cups fresh chopped or canned whole tomatoes
- 1 medium potato, diced
- 1.5 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 tbsp minced fresh basil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and add the onion and carrot.
- Cover and cook for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are slightly soft.
- Add the garlic and cook for another 1 minute.
- Add the tomatoes and potato, cover, and simmer gently for about 5 minutes.
- Add the stock, balsamic vinegar, and salt, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove the lid, add 2 tbsp of the basil, and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and puree.
- Add freshly ground black pepper to taste, and a little more salt if needed.
- Serve with a sprinkling of the remaining basil, and a side order of grilled cheese on toast.