the life and times of J T Frey

Creamy Tomato Soup

Adapted from a recipe I found online (source: Ted's Bulletin, an upscale comfort food diner in Washington). My daughters love tomato soup, but aren't excited for any deviation from basic tomato flavor — I once added some ginger and was chastised for making the soup "too spicy." This recipe elicits high marks from the kids and the adults.


  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 can San Marzano tomatoes in sauce (28 oz; I like Cento)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • pinch of ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ cup chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/3 cup half-and-half
  1. Add the tomatoes and sauce to a large bowl; if the tomatoes are whole, crush by hand. Mix in the sugar, salt, celery seed, black pepper, and chicken stock.
  2. Add the butter and olive oil to a 2 quart pot over medium-low heat.
  3. When the butter has melted, add the onion. Sweat over medium-low heat until translucent and soft (10 to 15 minutes).
  4. Add the flour and stir often for 5 minutes or until the mixture has developed a golden color (NOT brown).
  5. Pour the tomato mixture into the pot, stirring well to dissolve the flour-coated onion. Continue stirring until the mixture reaches a simmer, then reduce the heat and continue simmering for 30 minutes. Stir often, scraping the bottom of the pot.
  6. If you have an immersion blender, puree the cooked soup in the pot. Otherwise, carefully transfer the cooked soup to a blender and puree (you may have to do it in several batches; see this article for a good safe procedure).
  7. Add the honey and half-and-half to the pureed soup and stir well.

Serve with grilled cheese or a panini sandwich.

Written by Jeff Frey on Sunday January 19, 2020
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