Ridiculously Easy Tomato Soup

This is just one step up on the swing-o-meter of ease from opening a tin of condensed tomato soup, dumping it into a pan, and then filling the empty tin with water, pouring it into a pan, stirring and waiting while it warms up. And the benefits are numerous: less salt, less sugar, fewer chemicals and way more tasty than that fake condensed stuff.

Besides a pot to warm it up, you’ll also need a hand blender or food processor to whiz it all up. Oh, and a sharp knife to cut up the veggies. And a finger to pull the ring-tab and open the tin of chopped tomatoes.

Suggestion 1: Grab your knife and start chopping first; do all the prep-work before you even look at your pan. This recipe moves along quickly, and you don’t want to be caught out with your pot scalding away when you’ve forgotten to chop up the onion or the celery.

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Suggestion 2: This recipe is also a good base for adding fresh, evenly cut-up veggies (beans, lentils, corn, peas, leeks, carrots…), or little pieces of al dente pasta, or even leftover rice. Actually almost any leftover can be added to this soup, and it turns it into something new each time. Be inventive!

I love making soup from leftovers, as I detest throwing away food. What do you do with your leftover food? I’d love to hear your inspirational ideas!

Ridiculously East Tomato Soup


1 dessert spoon olive oil
400 ml chicken broth (from cube/granules is fine: 1 cube + 400ml boiling water)
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 ribs of celery, chopped
pinch of chilli flakes
2 teaspoons hot horseradish (not the creamed variety)
400g  tin of chopped tomatoes
1 dessert spoon crème fraîche (or sour cream)
3-4 sprigs each fresh basil and parsley, chopped


Finely chop 1/2 onion, celery, garlic, basil and parsley. Set the basil and parsley aside until needed later.

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Warm the pan on medium heat, and when warm, add the olive oil. Swirl and then add the chopped onion, chilli pepper, celery and garlic. Clap the lid on your pan, and immediately turn down the heat to low so that these ingredients can ‘sweat’. They should turn opaque and release their juices in approx. 5 minutes. Keep your eyes on it; don’t let the onion of garlic brown. Remove the lid, stir well, and add 1 teaspoon of horseradish. Stir again. Add chicken broth. Stir again. Now add the chopped tomatoes, basil and parsley, and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Take the pan off the heat, and whiz with hand blender (or pour into a food processor) and process until all of the ingredients are blended and silky-smooth.  

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Taste, add the remaining teaspoon of horseradish if required, and adjust seasoning (salt and pepper). Just before serving, warm bowls and partially stir in a dollop of crème fraîche.

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This recipe serves 2 very hungry adults for lunch, or 4 servings as a dinner starter in a small bowl.

© MiskMask 2011

14 Comments Add yours

  1. I’ve never put horseradish in a soup – splendid idea, thanks Misk. I was taught a red soup with red peppers and sweet potatoes that was rather yummy last year though.

    Leftover bread, if merely stale and a bit hard, can be soaked and added into new bread, particularly those dark ryes. They do that in Germany a lot and it adds lots of umami flavour to the new bread, just a small quantity, maybe 80 g of old soaked bread into a bread with 500 g of new flour, I’ve heard of people doing it with ryvita or rye crackers too 🙂

  2. MiskMask says:

    Red peppers are so delicious, so I can well imagine that the combination of that with sweet potatoes (or maybe yams?) would be very good. Was the broth base chicken or vegetable stock?

    I am going to try adding some of Peder’s stale Danish rye bread to my next bath of 3-Minute Spelt bread. It might produce the colour I’m looking for also. Brilliant idea. And speaking of stale bread, have you made Danish Apple Cake (Dansk æblekage)?

  3. Misk Cooks says:

    I just had a thought: I wonder if I can tweak my recipe for æblekage so that it’s sugar-free for Peder. Hmmm … I’m going to look up my mother-in-law’s recipe.

  4. No I haven’t made that cake, though I have read recipes for it and wondered if I have ever eaten it… If you cut the old bread thinly and then bake it again in the oven till it goes a bit darker, then freeze it till you want to add it to your bread. To make an old bread soaker you simply soak it the night before in water, just remember to weigh the water and allow for it when you mix the final dough. I have a recipe on my blog somewhere I will email you a link.

  5. Misk Cooks says:

    The southern Fyn version of æblekage is quite simply chunky applesauce layered with toasted white breadcrumbs that are slightly sweetened. A dollop of crème fraîche is propped on the top for good measure. I’m going to play with the æblekage recipe this week. At least I aim to. (sigh) You know how time can slip away, eh?

    What a clever use of bread! I’ll look forward to that link. Thank you.

  6. drfugawe says:

    Besides being the house cook, I’m a gardener too – each summer, I do up my tomatoes by roasting/freezing and then make up whatever tomato dish using those – it’s been ages since I’ve used a ‘prepared’ tomato sauce. Strangely, I’ve not done up a tomato soup such as yours, but perhaps I’ll remember your idea and do some soon. Thanks for the inspiration.

  7. Misk Cooks says:

    Hello, and welcome! I have a greenhouse pumping away tomatoes and cucumbers right now. It’s going to be a good year for toms and cucs. Perhaps if you grow your own you’d appreciate my recipe for Roasted Tomato with Stilton soup. Here’s the link for it:
    https://miskcooks.wordpress.com/2011/05/26/roasted-tomato-stilton-soup/ My husband’s not keen on warm blue cheese, so his bowl is without and mine is laced with it.

    Do you have any photos of your garden? I’m also a very keen gardener, as you might see at http://braendeholm.wordpress.com

    1. drfugawe says:

      Yes, I’ve already treated myself to a tour of your garden space and the tale of your greenhouse and shed construction – beautiful work. My garden has been documented in my blog over the past sev years – I think you can access it by looking under my ‘garden’ category. But please don’t expect a garden such as yours – my body aches and pains keep me from proper care, so the garden does its best without such – which gives it a ragged look, I’m afraid.

      And we shall try adding some Stilton (our absolutely fav blue!) to the tomato soup – I can’t see how it wouldn’t be fantastic.

  8. Misk Cooks says:

    Your garden is lovely and welcoming and heart-warming. As are your photos. I look forward to seeing more of it in the future!

    I just added a few more photos and commentary from my garden today. Things are just growing like crazy right now. Everything except my chilli plant, which has stopped growing. It’s very disappointing. Have you ever tried growing chilli plants?

  9. drfugawe says:

    We live in a wonderful but quite moderate climate area – it tends to favor the brassicas, beans, lettuces, and many of the Asian plants – but heat is one element we are short on – although the occasional summer will have enough to get the tomatoes over the top, but even more infrequently for the peppers and eggplant. We have a saying, “it’s either a tomato year, or a cabbage year” This year looks like another cabbage.

  10. Misk Cooks says:

    I think I read that you’re living in Oregon. I was born and raised in Seattle, so I know a bit about web-toes and ‘moderate’ climates. I moved to the UK 22-years ago. Just a few short of the number of years that I lived in Seattle before marrying my husband and starting a life-long adventure of moving around the world.

    I believe The Year of the Cabbage is also called La Niña, correct?

  11. drfugawe says:

    Yeah, it could very well be – I’ve never really given it much thought. Seattle, huh! I used to go around telling that supposed Mark Twain quote, “The warmest winter I ever experienced was one summer in Seattle.” And then I learned it was more likely San Francisco in his quote. Frankly, I’d be more likely to think it’s more true of Seattle! But actually, I love Seattle – only Vancouver BC is better.

  12. Misk Cooks says:

    I’ve lived in all three of those places: Seattle, San Francisco (Mill Valley), and Vancouver, B.C. Lovely all of them.

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