Mess Level: Low
Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 25 min
- 2 15oz cans Diced Tomatoes
- 1 Medium Yellow Onion
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- Salt to Taste
- Thinly slice the onion.
- Heat a soup pot to medium-high heat. Add the butter and let it melt, then add the onion. Saute the onion for 3-5 minutes or until lightly translucent. Add salt to taste.
- Add the canned tomato to the onion and stir, scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pot.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, covered.
- Carefully scoop the soup in batches into the blender, being careful not to fill the blender more than halfway. Puree the soup and add it back into the pot.
- Stir in the heavy cream (You may use less than one full cup if desired).
- Taste and add plenty of salt.
- Serve with an optional garnish of heavy cream, a drizzle of olive oil, or basil. Enjoy!
Did You Make It? Tag Us!
- Gluten Free: Yes! This dish is naturally gluten free.
- Vegan: Yes! To make this soup vegan, substitute oil for the butter. You can also use oil at the end instead of heavy cream or you can use full-fat coconut milk for a slightly different flavor profile. I recommend adding a pinch of curry powder if you choose to use coconut milk. (Be sure to mix the coconut milk will if using from a can as the cream often separates from the milk and can be chunky).
Meal Prep: Follow these steps if you want to prep ahead of time:
Complete it to the very end. Soup is typically better the next day and will reheat beautifully.
Do I have to blend it?
- You do you!
No, I would recommend finely dicing your onion instead of slicing it if you choose not to puree the soup but ultimately it’s up to you!
What if I don’t have heavy cream?
- Put down the milk jug!
It won’t be quite the same but you can stir in some olive oil or add it when you blend the soup. I would recommend oil over adding milk, the goal is adding fat to mellow out the acidity of the tomatoes and milk has too high of water content.
Ramblings of a Line Cook
I remember the mood of the kitchen would change around 10:30 am. Lunch service started at 11:00 and line cooks scrambled to get their stations set up and then to run outside for a smoke before tickets started pouring in and they were glued to the line for the foreseeable future.
I was working as a prep cook and I would arrive at 8:00 am to stand outside the back door with the rest of the day crew, in the -17 degree Colorado winter, while we waited for one of the sous chefs to arrive and let us in.
My job was to start the big projects such as 100 meatballs, 24 quarts of bolognese, breaking down 20 whole chickens, and cook 48 quarts of winter squash, and tomato soup.
I was slow, sloppy, unsure, and clumsy. The recipes were all outdated and I wouldn’t find out what was supposed to be changed until after I had done it wrong. The line cooks were mostly male and sported primarily bad attitudes and shitty work ethics. This, in turn, drove the sous chef to distraction who worked 18 hours days, was responsible for everything getting done and the food being perfect while receiving absolutely all of the blame and none of the credit.
This tomato soup was like my lifeline during this period. So simple to make you couldn’t possibly mess it up. Every time I walked in and saw it on the prep list I breathed a sigh of relief, I knew I could do this and do it well.
This rhythm will stay in my head forever and bring back the sounds of the kitchen and the smell of winter mingling with butter and onions:
Slice onions, Saute in two pounds of butter, salt, salt, salt.
Haul ten commercial sized cans of tomatoes up from the basement and crank them open two at a time, then dump into the soup pot, rinse and recycle because there wasn’t enough counter space to do more than two at once. Repeat with all the cans.
Stir the soup with a metal oar that could easily paddle a canoe. Adjust temperature, repeat every 10 minutes for two hours.
Shut off the heat, dump in one gallon of heavy cream. Plug in the 30lb immersion blender and blend until your arms felt like they would come off. Salt, salt, salt.
The soup sold like wildfire, people loved it! We served it with a big slice of grilled bread and it was amazing. That restaurant in Colorado was my first taste of what real kitchen life is like. It was also the place that taught me sometimes the simplest is the best.