Creamy tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich – comfort food heaven, right?  Even better – it’s a kid pleaser!  I’ve been on a quest for some time to figure out the trick to make homemade creamy tomato soup that is 1. from scratch so it doesn’t have all the additives and is CHEAPER, and 2. doesn’t curdle the milk.

Well, I finally figured it out!  Being uncomfortably almost-12 weeks pregnant that I am, I’ve been really focusing on making foods that are simple and don’t mess up my kitchen too much, because the truth is I don’t have energy to cook dinner AND clean up.  My kitchen tends to get messy.  So what we need is Recipes for Tired Pregnant Cooks.  This is one of those.  I do end up using one extra pot, but you will see why in a minute.  It’s simple, delicious and is entirely homemade (except I DID buy the tomato paste).  And the funny thing is it’s just about as simple as using Campbell’s.  Okay maybe it takes like 30 seconds more to measure the spices and stuff, but that’s really minor, right?

I like to use tomato paste because it’s cheaper to buy than sauce for what you get.  Tomato paste is tomato sauce minus water, and so it’s almost always a better buy so I just stick with it.  Anytime I need to make tomato-y stuff that asks for sauce I use paste and a little water instead.

Creamy Tomato Soup

  • 1 12oz can (or 2 6oz cans) Tomato Paste
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Spices to taste
    Yeah, I know I’m awful!  But I don’t measure this stuff.  I just throw in a bunch of garlic & onion powder, a little salt, pepper, paprika, dried basil, oregano and parsley.  You’d probably be fine with Italian seasoning mix.  Don’t forget the garlic!
  • 3 cups milk

In a large saucepan, heat the first 5 ingredients all together over medium, whisking to make sure it is combined.  The baking soda will cause the mixture to expand and foam up a bit, so don’t skimp on the size of the pot.  Simmer for at least 10 minutes.

In a separate large saucepan, heat the milk.  Heat the pots until they are approximately the same temperature.  I don’t bother with measuring temps, I just have each pot on the same size burner and on the same heat level and wait until they seem about the same.

Just before serving, gradually start whisking the tomato mixture into the milk.  Go very slowly at this point.  Once they are whisked together, the soup is ready to serve with your best grilled cheese sandwich.  This recipe serves 4.

There are a few things that keep creamy tomato soup from curdling:

  1. Baking soda adds a bit of alkalinity to counteract the acidity of the tomato paste, with the acidity being what causes curdling to begin with.
  2. Adding the tomato mixture to the milk slowly helps gradually change the pH instead of suddenly all at once.
  3. Keeping the two “phases” separate until the last minute and combining them at the same temperature helps also, though I don’t really know why.

All in all, if you are looking for a good way to make homemade tomato soup on the cheap, this is it!  Canned tomato paste costs pennies, and is much better than the canned tomato soup which is full of preservatives, msg and high fructose corn syrup.

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16 Comments

  • Bev from The Make Your Own Zone says:

    Good recipe! I’ve added a link to this post to my “Goodies from my Google Reader” that I update every couple weeks. I tried making tomato soup from tomato paste but wasn’t too happy with my results. I think your approach of heating the paste and the milk separately should give better results. I also like that you added a few more spices to the mix too. :)

    • Bethany says:

      Thanks! Yeah it does make for a nice hearty soup. Something I was thinking about trying is using fresh herbs in a bouquet and steep it in the milk while everything is warming, then you still get the flavors of the spices but no “pieces.” My kids tend to get mad at me for putting them in… “Mom, there’s GREENS in my soup!”

  • DT says:

    I would recommend adding bouillon and then minus the salt.

    • Bethany says:

      oh that sounds like a good idea! I bet it would add a lot richer flavor. For that matter, even using chicken broth or stock instead of water would make it pretty good too I bet :)

  • Patricia says:

    I was sick today with a bad cold. Tomato soup sounded good but I had no cans of soup or tomatoes. But I did have lots of cans of tomato paste. So I did a google search for tomato paste soup and came to your recipe. I fixed a grilled cheese sandwich to go with it. The soup is delicious and I am sure I will make it again in the future. Thanks for the recipe :) Also I read the suggestion about the bullion after I made the soup, so I might try that later too. This is a perfect dish not only for pregnant ladies but also sick ladies that don’t feel like doing much work but need a hearty, healthy hot lunch that won’t make them sicker! Thank you!

  • Neal Stewart says:

    Yum that sounds really good. I have been trying to make my own vegetable soup recipe using low sodium chicken broth and freshly sliced tomatos. Some might say it’s a weird combination, but I think it improves the taste.
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    • Bethany says:

      No I don’t think that’s a weird combo at all! Do you cook the tomatoes or just put them in uncooked when the soup is done? I think chicken and fresh tomato is a good combo so I bet it’s good, especially with some fresh black pepper.

  • Karla Marie
    Twitter:
    says:

    I was checking the ingredients on canned tomato soup and thought,I’m not eating this! It included tomato paste,high fructose corn syrup,wheat,etc. I thought I’d Google for homemade tomato soup made with tomato paste and found this recipe. I like the fact you use milk cuz that’s how I like it,too. Thanks a bunch!

  • Laura says:

    Mmm! That was excellent!! Thanks so much for sharing this reciepe with the world, so easy and yummy!!

  • danielle sample says:

    I’m so happy I found this! I just searched google to see if it was possible to make tomato soup from paste because I don’t have any. I will probably use this from now on. I am 8.5 weeks pregnant and needed something easy to make for dinner because i’m so sick. P.S. Thanks for the human box checker. I hate captchas!! Oh how I love you right now.

    • Bethany says:

      Hi Danielle! Thanks for stopping by… and I’m SO glad you are going to benefit from this recipe :) I know what you are feeling all WAY too well, so I hope this soup does the trick :)

      Bethany

  • S Pierce says:

    I am temporarily living in Zanzibar, Tanzania (that’s Africa in case you don’t have a map handy), and am 18 weeks pregnant so let’s just say that this simple ingredient, easy to make recipe was PERFECT for me today! My husband, 3 year old daughter, and I all thank you for sharing!

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