A Simple Tomato Soup Recipe

A simple tomato soup recipe inspired by a Melissa Clark recipe - pureed, warmly spiced, and perfect topped with everything from toasted almonds and herbs, to coconut cream or a poached egg.

A Simple Tomato Soup

I know many of you have (and love) Melissa Clark's books. There's a ringer of a pureed tomato soup included in Cook This Now, and I wanted to highlight it today. It is a bit brothy, bright, warmly spiced, and just the sort of thing I crave this time of year. Various riffs on it have been on the table here all week.

Brothy Tomato Soup RecipeBrothy Tomato Soup Recipe

I tend to make a big pot. Melissa's original recipe has you add a good amount of coconut milk to finish, but I'm usually inclined to keep it straight tomato (and the recipe below reflects this). You can soften it up later with a bit of the thick, luxe cream skimmed off the top of a can of coconut milk if you're inclined.

I also like it with fresh herbs, paneer croutons, a poached egg, etc. Sometimes all of the above. At once :) And, lastly, I can also promise it is A+ ladled over cooked farro or brown rice.

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A Simple Tomato Soup

4.55 from 20 votes

A number of you are concerned about the BPA liners in a canned tomatoes. Seek out tomatoes packed in glass jars, alternately I'm aware that Muir Glen has transitioned to BPA-free liners, although it's tricky, because those cans aren't labeled BPA-free. Look for cans with expiration dates as far out as possible, those are more likely to have the new liners.

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, olive oil, or coconut oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 3 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile flakes
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes (pref. fire-roasted)
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
  • to serve: any of the following that sound good to you - cooked brown rice, lemon wedges, toasted almond slices, pan-fried paneer, fresh thyme or oregano, oregano drizzle, a poached egg
  1. In a large pot over medium heat melt the butter. Add the onions and salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions really soften up - 10 minutes or so. Not so much that they brown, just until they're completely tender and unstructured.
  2. Stir in the curry powder, coriander, cumin, and chile flakes, and cook just until the spices are fragrant and toasty - stirring constantly at this point. Just 30 seconds or so. Stir in the tomatoes, the juices from the cans, and 6 cups / 1.5 L of water. Simmer for fifteen minutes or so, then puree with a hand blender until smooth. This is the version you see up above (minus the toppings). That said, at this point you can decide if you'd like your soup even a bit thinner - if so, you can thin it with more water, or if you like a creamy version, with some coconut milk. Taste and adjust with more salt to taste.
  3. This soup is great served simply with a dollop of cream from the top of a can of coconut milk (a little goes a long way) and a toasted wedge of good bread. That said, I love it most with the coconut cream, served over a scoop of brown rice with a squeeze of lemon, some toasted almonds, and a jolt of herbs (fresh, or the sort of oregano drizzle I used here).

Inspired/Adapted from the Curried Coconut Tomato Soup in Melissa Clark's Cook This Now.

Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
30 mins
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Wow, I love the spices in this along with the coconut milk! Definitely must give this a try.

Jessica @ bake me away!

Ooh that sounds good! A little unusual spin, love that. Lately I've been really feeling ick about buying canned tomatoes though...I try to get them in glass. The acidity and BPA linings of the cans, oy.

Michelle @ Find Your Balance

What about the sodium content. I'm always hesitant to use canned anything because of the high sodium content. I know they have low sodium canned tomatoes, but does that make the soup too bland?

HS: Hi Don, you could certainly roast your own tomatoes when they're in season, in a hot oven. And use those in this soup, with whatever amount of salt/spices tastes good to you.


Ah I love the idea of cooking through a cookbook with a group of friends. And thanks for this post--if nothing else, you provided awesome ideas of what to pair plain tomato soup with. Beautiful pictures, Heidi!


This is what we call 'Tamatar Shorba' here in India. It's a staple in our home, and my Nani (grandma) used to make a killer version - heavenly with fresh steamed rice and a dollop of melted ghee!


I love how you take some simple like tomato soup and turn it into a completely unique meal by adding things like rice and a flavoured oil drizzle..


This is how I like my tomato soup!


I love the idea of using coconut milk in this tomato soup as I'm not a big fan of cream. It looks so healthy and warming. Just what I need on this wet and windy day in London.


Beautifuuul. My eye was drawn to the photo, and then I read what this was. The soup even SOUNDS beautiful to read the recipe in print. I can't wait to try this one!

Sarah (Winner Celebration Party)

Yum. I was just thinking of tomato soup the other day, a deep, rich one with red wine in it. This version sounds fantastic, thanks for the post!


The soup looks wonderful and I noticed the first line of the recipe that coconut oil was a suggestion...I bet that would be fabulous in here!

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga

Wow, I've never had tomato soup like this. Looks and sounds delicious!


Oh wow I love the simplicity of this. Perfect for a university student in Montreal where its still chilly enough to crave a bowl of something warm and hearty!


I'm making this now, but have also added fresh mint, fresh coriander and some mussels and serving it with brown rice. It smells divine so far!


I love the spices in this, you can't beat a good tomato soup!


I second Emily's question. This recipe sounds lovely. In our household we tend to go for store-made tomato soup when we're in a clinch for time dinner-wise. Is this soup freezer-friendly? I'd love to make a big batch and freeze it for those stressful "I forgot all about dinner" days. HS: I have a bag of it in the freezer as we speak. :)


What a creative twist on tomato soup!! I'm sure my Indian relatives would love this - can't wait to make it for them!

Anjali @ The Picky Eater

I have never seen this take on tomato soup - adding coconut milk and serving over a grain. These are wonderful ideas! I try to avoid cooking with a lot of dairy, so coconut milk is a staple in my house...I have 4 or 5 cans stocked up at any given time. . . I have actually contemplated using it in tomato soup, but thought it would clash with the regular italian seasoning/basil repetoire...since you add curry spices, it seems like all flavors come together magically. This is a definite must-try recipe for me. Thanks Heidi!

Julia {The Roasted Root}

Never thought of combining tomatoes and coconut milk in a soup...but I'm a cooking rookie with much to learn. Gonna definitely try it this week! Thank you for another amazing recipe.

Mike @TheIronYou

This looks great. Tomatoes are almost done here in Australia, so I think I'll make the most of them with this.


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