Simplest Tomato Soup

(from kintyre’s recipe box)

Source: Stir

Serves 8 people

Categories: entree, meatless, not tried


  • 1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 28 ounce cans whole tomatoes, preferably Muir Glen
  • Pinch of baking soda
  • 1 cup water
  • Diamond crystal kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup whole milk, warmed (but not boiled)
  • Good tasting olive oil, to serve (optional


  1. In a large heavy pot, melt the butter over medium heat.

  2. When it foams, add the onion, and saute until it softens, goes translucent, and browns a little around the edges.

  3. Add 1 tablespoon of the vinegar to deglaze the pot, scrape up the brown bits with a wooden spoon or spatula, and turn down the heat to medium low.

  4. Add the flour and the tomato paste, and stir to incorporate.

  5. Add the remaining tablespoon of vinegar to deglaze once again, and scrape up any flour or tomato paste that may be sticking to the pot.

  6. Dump in the 2 cans of tomatoes and their juices and break them up a bit with a wooden spoon.

  7. (Watch out, they squirt.)

  8. Stir in the baking soda and water, season lightly with salt and pepper, add the bay leaf, partially cover, and simmer gently for about 30 minutes.

  9. Turn off the heat, remove the bay leaf, and use an immersion blender to puree the soup.

  10. (You can also carefully puree it in batches in a stand blender. As with the cream of asparagus soup on page 92, fill the blender only one-half to three quarters of the way full with each batch. Return the pureed soup to the pot.)

  11. Add the warmed milk very slowly, stirring constantly, just before serving.

  12. Top each bowl with a drizzle of olive oil, if you’d like, and a grind or two of black pepper.

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