Creamy Tomato Soup – Quick!

Tomato soup is an old standby for us.  The addition of white beans makes it more nutritious and hardy, and definitely a comfort food.  It’s really quick and easy and everyone in my family loves it.  I always try to have cooked white beans (or garbanzo beans) in my freezer , in case I need dinner in a pinch.  I defrost them in warm water, just enough to get them out of the jar, and then it only takes about five or ten minutes to make the soup and get it on the table.   Optimally, you can your own tomatoes; for the rest of us, see the note about tomato options in the dead of Winter. 

You can make this soup as simple or as elaborate as you like; the possibilities are practically endless.  We like to stir in some quinoa and then serve it with a salad.  The kids (and my husband), of course, love to have it with grilled cheese.  Check out the modification below for Creamy Mac and Cheese made with leftover soup, or you can use it as a pasta sauce, etc, etc, etc. 

First, I’ll list the basic recipe, then a few of the many options for embellishing…

  • 3 cups cooked white beans (or garbanzo beans)
  • 3 cups chopped tomatoes, grilled, roasted, or sauteed (strained tomatoes are much more concentrated, so bring it down to about a cup)*
  • 1/2-1 cup vegetable broth, or more for the consistency you like (water will work too, but you’ll need to add extra seasoning, or maybe a little white wine)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

* When tomatoes aren’t in season, canned or jarred tomatoes are a good option.  I have to confess that, while I generally avoid canned food, I do really like Muir Glen Organic Roasted Tomatoes and sometimes use them in this (and other) soup.  Another good option, though, is Bionaturae jarred strained tomatoes (also organic) with the addition of a little smoked sea salt. 

Throw it all in the blender and process until smooth.  Heat (the red from the tomatoes will brighten up quite a bit as you heat it) and enjoy!

Optional embellishments:

  • sauteed or roasted onions or shallots
  • sauteed or roasted garlic
  • sauteed greens
  • Italian herbs (basil, oregano, etc)
  • pesto
  • chopped parsley
  • Mexican seasoning
  • cooked whole grains
  • white wine
  • Parmesan cheese

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

  • Cooked pasta
  • leftover tomato soup
  • grated cheese

Heat the soup in a saucepan.  Add pasta.  Stir in the cheese and heat until melted.  Top with a little extra cheese.  I like to add some greens, but my kids are purists, so I usually put them on the side instead.

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