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

4.48 from 17 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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Oooh this looks so great. It's like a winter tomato soup with warm spices. The coconut milk and cream sounds interesting! I can't wait to try this. I love how you add grains and all those toppings to your soup bowls. I've taken to this strategy as well.


Love how easy this is!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

This looks delicious. It's going to clean out the last of my stash of home-canned tomatoes, but it seems totally worth it.


If I've read this correctly you don't have to use the coconut milk?

HS: Hi Kristen, correct - you can use all of it, none of it, just the cream on top.


Tomato soup is one of my favourite meals - but I've never made one with spices and coconut cream before - and I can't wait to try it! Over brown rice with some extra herbs sounds mid-blowing. Thanks for introducing me to Melissa Clark - I haven't come across her before and will definitely be on the lookout for her books now :)


I have never looked at tomato soup in this way ever, but I am glad I can now. It is simple, and so pretty. I love the addition of the brown rice, it is my favorite part.


This is what I call a tomato soup - love the spices and coconut cream!!

Belinda @zomppa

Thanks Heidi, lovely recipe, spicy simple tomato soup, absolutely yummy!


Tomato soup is one of my favorites! In fact, it's for lunch today!

Blog is the New Black

tomato soup with curry sounds delicious i'll have to try it


You had me at "simple", then "tomato" and then "coconut milk". I have decided that coconut milk is the vegan's bacon, it just makes everything taste good!!


Heidi, Thank you for your post. Have been thinking about a nice warm Tomato Soup all week. Will be making this tonight.

Denise - Lodi, CA

Love how simple this recipe is but let's not forget the grilled cheese sandwich to go along with it. That is a favorite dinner for my kids!


Making this tonight. I am sure it will be a hit in my house, as all your recipes are. Thanks Heidi for all your inspiration


what is pan fried paneer?


this looks absolutely scrumptious! soup is my favorite food by far. cannot wait to make this!!


I have freezer bags full of frozen whole tomatoes from the garden. When I put them into a soup/sauce the skins slip right off, have great flavor (good things) and they totally disintegrate, seeds and all (sometimes not so good). Will this make my soup too watery? I suppose I could always cook it down for a bit. Looks tasty!


This looks wonderful! However, I have a quick question that would actually help me out a lot. Living in Belgium, it's hard to come across anything that has that wonderful smokiness of being fire-roasted. And poblano? You can forget about that too. Do you have any idea of a combination of spices that I could mix together to achieve a similar smokiness for this soup? I've always missed it since living here and if you have any insight, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! HS: Nothing exactly the same, but seek out some chipotle powder, or aleppo peper would be nice.


Tomato soup is always a winner in my home... This looks fabulous!!! Coconut milk, this sounds pretty interesting ingredient for tomato soup. I have to try this!!!

Reem | Simply Reem

Canned tomatoes can contain high BPA (as can any canned acidic content, especially pineapple- the acid interacts with the plastic lining of cans). Consider using fresh tomatoes or those glass containers (tetrapack has the same issues as cans)

HS: See updated recipe headnote for suggestions.


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