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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This soup looks fantastic! I can't believe that I never thought of the sweet/tangy union of tomato and coconut before. I have some really fun exotic curry powders that I can't wait to try from World Spice Merchants in Seattle.


Nice and simple recipe. Thanks.

Philip La Rocca

I'm trying this one for sure...looks delicious! And adding the coconut milk is a great idea. Thanks for all of the great recipes and photos!


I normally find tomato soups to be kind of bland, but this sounds anything but! I feel like right now I'm cooking my way through SNE. I think in the last 2 days I've made at least 3 recipes.


Wow, that looks amazing. I just got Cook This Now after having several major successes with In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite. Love Melissa's books. I sooo gonna make this soup tonite. I hope you'll post your ventures with the book. I'd love to follow along.

Michele Wynne

The title alone had me just about ready to lick the screen. beautiful recipe! Big hugs! Inés SimplyClassyMe.blogspot.com


This sounds SO delicious! I would love a bowl now! Poached egg please! :)

Villy @ For the love of Feeding

Haven't we all made tomato soup 'forever'? Yet this recipe is not only easy but so appetizing to read I simply cannot wait to actually prepare it with/without the additions suggested - or my own the time and palate may suggest :) !


There is so much joy for me in a truly delicious bowl of tomato soup. I like the thick, creamy soups, but a thin, broth-like tomato soup that really lets the tomato and herbs sing is heavenly. I will definitely be trying this recipe!


I made this soup tonight and it was so good. I roasted the tomatoes first but am not sure if this step has made any difference. I was hesitant to add all the water in the recipe as I thought it would dilute the flavor, but it was great. I love this blog


My favorite tomato soup is really just a thinned out version of Marcella Hazan's tomato sauce...butter, onions and tomatoes. But I'm game to spice it up a bit. I'm actually doing an Indian food event this month with two others. It's not my forte at all but I love the food and spices from Indian and want to travel a bit outside of my comfort zone and experiment more. This sure sounds right up that alley!

Barbara | Creative Culinary

Sounds wonderful! I make something similar with chopped fresh rosemary and canned chickpeas added.


After two sunny 70 degree days Boulder is now cloaked in a gray cloud and temps are in the 20's. I woke up this morning thinking tomato soup, and here it is! This will be lunch, I think.

la domestique

Your tomato soup looks sumptuous! I WILL be making it here at home right away! YUM!


Love this soup!!! I'm addicted to this and your magic sauce!!


RE: BPA in Muir Glen tomatoes -- you can tell instantly when you open the tomatoes if you have a BPA lined can (inside will be white) or not (inside will be metallic). They stopped using BPA liners with the 2011 harvest and I have not found any of the cans I've bought so far this year to have the old liners.


This looks like just the bright and bold cure for this dregs of winter doldrums.


Exactly how tomato soup was meant to be. simple and warming!


A truly tomato soup is one of my favorite things, and I'm so intrigued by the spices here. I feel like it's so many of my favorite flavors in one place! Definitely going to try this soon.


I just made tomato soup for the first time this week- wish I had this recipe and the flavors sound amazing!

Simply Life

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