Thursday, January 1, 2015

Fast tomato soup

The first bitter day of winter is the first day of 2015. I made soup yesterday to take on a winter picnic, but we ended up eating fried clams, instead, sitting in a car pointing at a freezing New England beach. So we ate the soup today, for lunch.

This is quicksoup, cheapsoup, cheatsoup, and it is goodsoup. It is excellent New Year's Resolution soup, being thrifty, nourishing, satisfying and comforting. Take care of yourself, your family, your soul and your heart. All in one soup!

Use canned tomatoes. That is what winter is for. The fewer ingredients on the label the better. Hopefully just "tomatoes." The Splendid Table has a helpful list of good brands. I like Muir Glen [2020 update: especially their fire-roasted labels!]

1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
1 large can - 1 lb 12 oz (28 oz/793grams) - crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup water or broth
1 teaspoon chile flakes
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Pinch of salt - more, or less

In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the garlic, stirring a little every few minutes. Cook for about 5 minutes until the slices turn translucent - do not brown.

Add the contents of the tomato can. Rinse the can with broth or water and pour that in, too. Stir, and allow the liquid to begin bubbling. When it does, turn it low enough to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for another 10 minutes. Taste, and add the sugar, and the salt. Add the chile. Taste again. It is ready.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and pour it into a waiting thermos. Head out for a winter picnic.

At home? Best served with strands of sharp cheddar and a twist of black pepper, and cheese sandwiches.


  1. Oh, yum! I have to try this...maybe with a toasted cheese sammmich.

  2. Marie I use Passata {imported from Italy (Fairway)} I find it's thicker, uncooked (tomato puree) consistency improves the flavor.... 16F/-9C on Cape Cod at midnight . Happy New Year! Gabriela Harvey P.S. I hope one of your Spring Walks finds me in NYC....


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