Tomato soup is considered one of the most popular comfort foods in the US. It can be made from scratch, but it is also available in shops in powder form. Although instant powder soup is very fast to prepare, it may contain food additives and preservatives, which make it not so healthy. Besides, a homemade soup made with fresh, high quality ingredients will always taste much better.
Ingredients for 4-5 servings:
- 7-8 medium size, ripe, fresh tomatoes
- 1 medium size yellow onion
- 5-6 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- 4 cups chicken broth (for a vegetarian version of this tomato soup recipe, use vegetable broth instead)
- 1 teaspoon salt
Peel and slice the onion. Core and chop the tomatoes. Peel and crush the garlic cloves.
In a pot, melt the butter, then add the onion, garlic, Stir, cover and cook over low temperature for about 5 minutes. You don’t want the onions to go brown. After 5 minutes add the garlic, stir, then add the tomatoes. Gradually add the chicken broth and simmer with the lid on for about 20 minutes.
Puree the soup using a food processor or a blender. Return the purred soup into the stockpot, add salt, peppercorns, bay leaf and fresh basil and bring it to a boil. Serve the soup hot. Croutons are a nice addition.
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 1 parsnip, chopped
- 1 celery root, chopped
- 2 ripe tomatoes, diced
- 1 large potato, diced
- 1 cup whole kernel corn
- 1 cup cabbage, chopped
- 1 cup kidney beans
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- salt, pepper
Put the onions, celery, carrots, parsnip, beans and potatoes in a soup pot, half filled with water. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add salt, tomatoes, cabbage, corn and bell pepper. Simmer until all vegetables are tender (which is probably 10-15 minutes). Add parsley. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Serve hot, with fresh ground black pepper sprinkled on top.
Recipe variant: for more flavor, you can saute the onions in extra virgin olive oil before adding them to the soup.
Leek and potato soup is one of the cheapest and easiest homemade soups. Besides, it’s so tasty that even fussy eater children will love it. Here’s a basic recipe which you can tweak by adding your favorite spices.
- 2 leeks
- 2 potatoes
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 vegetable stock cubes
- 4 cups water
- salt and pepper
Clean the leek, trim the top and bottom and remove the outer layer. Section the leek longitudinally in quarters, then chop them. Rinse the chopped leek thoroughly in running water. Peel and dice the potatoes.
In a deep skillet, melt the butter, then add the leek, garlic and potatoes and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes. Stir for a few times. Add water, vegetable stock cubes and a little salt (if stock cubes are already salty, you may not want to add more salt at all). Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are done. You can check them with a fork after the first 15 minutes of cooking to see if they are soft.
If you prefer your leek and potato soup to have a chunky texture, you’re done. Ladle it into bowls, sprinkle some chopped fresh parsley and some ground pepper on top and serve it hot.
If you’d rather have your potato leek soup creamy, just let it cool for several minutes, then blend it with a handheld food processor. You’ll need to reheat it a little before serving.
Cabbage soup is my favorite whenever I’m a bit under the weather. Even if it doesn’t take away the cold, it makes me feel better. That’s why it’s high on my comfort foods list, especially in winter time.
- 1 small cabbage, cored and chopped (or 1/2 of a big cabbage head, in case you can’t get a small one)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, peeled, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 carrot, grated
- 4-5 garlic cloves, peeled, chopped
- 1/2 cup whole kernel corn
- 1 can diced tomatoes in tomato sauce
- 6 cups chicken broth
- salt, pepper to taste
In a big pot, heat the olive oil, then saute the onion and garlic for about 4-5 minutes. Do not let the onion brown, you only want it to become translucent.
Add the chicken stock, celery, carrot, corn, salt and pepper. Bring it to a boil.
Add the cabbage and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, bring it to a boil, then set the heat to low and simmer the soup for about 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently.
Vegetarian version: replace the chicken broth with vegetarian soup stock and you’re done.