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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Wonderful, simple recipe with so much satisfying flavor. I paired this with some chicken satay and garlic naan tonight. Thanks for the inspiration.

Michelle Nicolet

Fantastic! Simple, flexible, delicious. We loved it with just a few spoonfuls of coconut milk. Also we sliced and roasted brussel sprouts and added it into the soup- YUM! A couple days later I re-heated some with leftover roasted asparagus and roasted red pepper (and a few spoons of coconut milk) - WOW - double/triple yum!


I made this soup last week and we really liked it. I made it with the coconut milk (lite) and we had leftovers, so I made the oregano drizzle for it, that stuff is totally addicting. Thanks for a great and very simple recipe


What a great idea. Serving with a big scoop of brown rice and especially sliced almonds transformed this soup. I added cashew milk - grind 1/4 cup cashews in coffee grinder, heat in pan with water and cook 5 minutes. Delicious.


Made this for a house full of guests last night - so good! I used Muir Glen tomatoes, NOT fire roasted, and I omitted the red pepper flakes as well (I'm not a spice person). I added the full 6 cups of water, but let it simmer for closer to half an hour so the mixture would cook down some and intensify in flavor. I served over a spoonful of brown rice, then put a poached egg, a squeeze of lemon, a TBL-sized dollop of coconut cream, and a small handful of sliced almonds (untoasted) on top. Delicious! My guests and I each went back for seconds!


This soup was amazing!!! I added extra pepper flakes to add more heat. I also mixed this with barley, which added extra texture to the soup. Thanks for the recipe Heidi.


Made this soup for dinner this evening. It was fantastic! The spices really made it stand out among tomato soups. Paired perfectly with red wine and homemade wheat bread.


Hi Heidi, This recipe looks great! Cannot wait to try it, it's going in to winter in Australia where I’m from and I am excited to try my hand at this tasty treat! I find it very interesting that coconut milk has been used! I had never even thought of this often just adding some sour cream to my standard tom soup, but with all of the other ideas you suggested particularly croutons, a poached egg or over brown rice I now have quite a few different things to try and can't wait! Your blog is great! Keep up the excellent recipes :)

Miss M

This soup recipe looks very simple, yet delicious! The coconut milk in the recipe is very unique, and I can't wait to try it! Thanks for the post, -Ali


I made this soup yesterday. It was delicious. Wonderful recipe!


felt compelled to report that after making a huge batch for soup nite sundays, I had around 6 cups left over and wondered how it would work as a poaching broth for fish. i had saved the soup, together with the left over paneer croutons and oregano drizzle. i sauteed shallots, added the same curry powder as i did in the soup. then 6 cups of soup and a lb. of tilapia that I had i coated with ground cumin, ground coriander, salt, and madras curry powder. served with same toppings and coconut rice (the coconut water saved after scouping coconut cream for topping). see what you think!


Simply beautiful! Just thinking of making one for myself is enough to make me drool! I was always a fan of tomatoes and this unique mixture of ingredients, I'll bet, will be epic!


Wow, this looks great and real simple. I'll have to try this.

Waterman's Kitchen

i followed the recipe pretty closely. the only addition i recommend is adding some sugar (i added brown sugar). it's a bit acidic/tart without and about 2 teaspoons seems to do the trick. i served it with your Black Bread recipe (with purple potatoes instead of carrots), the caraway pair nicely with the flavors of this soup. thanks for another smashing success HS!


Made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious. I also cut the water down, but also cooked it covered. Really really good.


I am looking forward to making this for dinner tonight, Heidi! One quick question: I did a quick search of your site for curry powder and came across your recipe for the Sri Lankan-inspired blend you make at home. Is that the one you used in this?

HS: I think the one I used was a bit different, but that might be quite nice.


Made this tonight for dinner. Cut the water in half (mostly because my 3.75L Le Creuset wouldn't accomodate any more liquid) and added a good dollop of coconut milk meat at the end. Was very spicy. The perfect amount of warmth for a rainy SF evening.


I loved this post mostly because for the month of March I have been featuring recipes from your 'Super Natural Every Day' cookbook on my blog! There are so many great ones to choose from, it's been difficult to choose what to make and what to blog about! Thanks for being an inspiration to all who try to cook as much as possible using whole, unprocessed foods!

Great recipe and healthy too! Can I add also whole-grain pasta, what do you think about it?

Magda @DayBite.com

I made this last weekend and it was the best tomato soup I've ever tasted! My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Thank you!


This was delicious! Thanks for sharing!

Full Flavored Life

This is a wonderful interpretation of the humble tomato soup. I made this for dinner tonight with the last crop of Tommy-toes and the addition of dried bush tomatoes that are native here to Australia (it adds a lovely caramel richness to tomato based dishes). The brown rice along with the poached egg thickened the soup to a delightful texture which I first thought would make it quite heavy but it wasn't at all. The fresh herbs and salty cheese (I couldn't get my hands on paneer this time round so I fried off some haloumi which worked just as well) along with the crunch of the almonds made it comfort food in heaven which was absolutely perfect for all the rainy weather here. All in all, I loved it.


Wow! I made this this evening with my frozen whole tomatoes, however (excuse me if this is blasphemous) I kept it fairly concentrated and used it as a braising liquid for venison (sans coconut milk while cooking). I also added a bit of smoked paprika since my tomatoes weren't roasted. YUM. This will be a keeper, both as a veggie soup and as a delicious way to cook our bounty from the forest, part of my natural foods pantry! The spice mix is spot-on.


Made this today-it is a spectacularly good recipe! So simple, but the blend of flavors was a big hit. Def a keeper! Thanks so much for sharing it.


This looks like a good brew and perfect for this murky wet winter weekend in London... Lovely photography too x


This was incredibly delicious. I went with the suggestion of pan-fried paneer tonight, along with some brown jasmine rice and a little scoop of coconut cream, but my husband and I also riffed on the oregano drizzle idea by blending a big pile of chives, olive oil, garlic and salt together. It complemented the soup beautifully.


Hi Heidi! this soup looks really tasty...I cook different tomato soups, but i've never tried them with coconut milk. I prefer using a good scoop of goat ricotta or creamy cheese, on top of it...and yes I do agree, cooked farro or rice are a hit with this kind of soups ;-)) Roberta p.s. I liked the ingredients being both in oz and grams, it is really a help for those of us living in Europe...


I can't wait to try this. i have a favorite tomato soup recipe but it has a lot of heavy cream....I only use San Marzano for my canned tomatoes. Grown in the U.S. and NOT genetically altered!


mmm. I love the cumin, coriander and curry powder flavours with the tomatoes. I've never used coconut cream in tomato soup before so definitely giving it a go.

Adam Levy

Sounds wonderful! And a great way to use some of this coconut milk I bought... :)

julie @ the semi-reformed nerd

Made this sinfully delicious tomato soup:I used a whole can of full fat coconut milk & "cream." Incredibly good - used San Marzano tomatoes. Baked your seed crusted amaranth biscuits - except I used quinoa flour instead of amaranth - as a wonderful, warm accompaniment. Loved the meal so much - delicious, satisfying, home food. Kudos Heidi!


Just finished my first bowl. I made the recipe as stated except for the coconut milk. Instead of the milk, I added a dollop of white bean (cannelini) basil hummus and a few pumpernickle (from my own homemade pumpernickle) croutons. Perfect for me!


it's a wonderful riff Heidi!


This looks amazing, and simple to make. I will definetly give it a try sometime this week for dinner! thanks for the recipe :)

Kara Jackson

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