This soup is thick, hearty, and filling! Tomato Vegetable Soup is in fact more like a stew than a soup! It has a dense, homestyle tomato flavour combined with the creaminess of tender white beans, and is paired with lots of fresh and good-for-you vegetables too. Yummy! Sounds good to me!
In our home, soup season begins as soon as all of the Christmas goodies are either eaten or tossed out. That usually happens around Old Christmas Day. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you are seeing more and more soup recipes being shared here at Lord Byron’s Kitchen right now. This one is delicious! Seriously, Dear Reader, I could barely get enough of this Tomato Vegetable Soup!
This soup is really, really good! In fact, I had to force myself to stop eating it long enough to take some photographs for this post! It is one of those soups that is very comforting and non-pretentious. You will not need any fancy ingredients or equipment to make this recipe. Truth be told, the fanciest thing in this recipe are the bowls I’m serving the soup in and they’re not fancy at all! Ha!
Lord Byron’s Kitchen is no stranger to good soup recipes. And, because John.e is a vegetarian who loves to eat soup, most of my soups are prepared without meat. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – a good soup or stew doesn’t need meat to be filling and hearty. Take a look at my Vegetarian Split Pea Soup or my Vegetarian Beefless Stew. Don’t they look good? And, there’s no meat in either of them! I applied the same meatless approach to my Tomato Vegetable Soup. In fact, not only is this soup vegetarian, but it is also vegan!
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INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO PREPARE THIS RECIPE
The following is a list of the ingredients needed to prepare this recipe. For exact amounts and measurements, refer to the printable recipe card located near the bottom of this post. This is a long list, so I’ll break it down into the following three sections: basics, pantry, and fresh vegetables.
- Olive Oil – I always use extra virgin light olive oil so that the flavour is muted. Olive oil has a high heat tolerance, so it’s perfect for sautéing.
- Vegetable Stock – Always use low-sodium stock when cooking. Most store-bought stocks are very salty. It is easy to add more salt at the end if needed.
- Bay Leaf
- Dried Herbs and Spices – You will need oregano and thyme.
- Salt and Pepper
- All Purpose Flour – This is used to thicken the soup broth.
- White Beans – I’m using store-bought canned beans. You can use white kidney beans like I’m using, or you can use butter beans or navy beans, etc. Be sure to rinse them well under cold running water.
- Canned Whole Tomatoes – I always make my own at the end of summer, so I’m using those, but you can find them in any grocery store. Use a good brand; one that you can comfortably afford – it will make a difference!
- Tomato Paste – In savoury dishes, tomato paste adds a deep, home-style flavour. It also adds colour to the dish and in some cases, will help to bind or thicken sauces too.
- Parsley – Fresh chopped parsley is great for garnish, but when added to savoury dishes, it adds freshness and colour too.
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- Onion – I use yellow, white, and sweet onions interchangeably. Either of them will do just fine.
- Carrots – I’m using small carrots and slicing them into rounds. If you only have larger carrots, you can peel and slice the carrot in half or into quarters lengthwise. Then, slice the carrots into 1/4-inch thick pieces.
- Celery – I love celery in soup, but it can overpower the flavour, so use it sparingly.
- Garlic – Fresh garlic will result in the best flavour every single time.
THE HOLY TRINITY OF A GOOD SOUP
Have you ever heard of a mirepoix? Sometimes, it’s referred to as the Holy Trinity of cooking. It is a flavour base made from diced vegetables cooked in some type of fat, usually, butter or oil. The veggies are sometimes cooked for a long period of time on very low heat. The goal is to not brown the veggies. Other times, they are cooked on a higher heat to bring out the natural sweetness. This is usually the case in soups.
A mirepoix is most often found combined with tomatoes or tomato paste. This creates a darker, brown mixture called a pincage. It is a long-standing cooking technique in French cuisine. Mirepoix is widely used to flavour a variety of Western dishes, such as stocks, soups, stews and sauces.
In Italian cuisine, the onions, carrots and celery are chopped to form a battuto. It is slowly cooked in butter or olive oil, becoming soffritto. It is used as the base for most pasta sauces, such as ragu, but occasionally it can be used as the base of other dishes, such as sautéed vegetables. Most of the time, the Italian version will also include garlic, shallots, or even leeks.
Ever try canning your own tomatoes at home? I prepare a huge batch at the end of every summer so that I can have freshly canned tomatoes all winter long. They’re best used in dishes that require chunks of cooked tomato. Think of dishes such as pot roast, or foods that require longer cooking times, such as soup, stew, or chili.
Having these tomatoes on hand eliminates the need to buy canned tomatoes at the store. All you need is three ingredients and a little patience. Besides, canning can be a family event. Get everyone involved and make it a fun day. The reward is enjoying the fruits of your labour in the winter months when local tomatoes are not available.
You can find whole canned tomatoes in most local grocery stores. But, the taste of homemade is much better. When you make your own, you can control the sodium. You also eliminate the use of chemicals and preservatives found in the store-bought variety. And, I find that most of the tomatoes you buy at the store leave some of the skin on the tomatoes. I don’t know about you, but I do not care for cooked tomato skins.
The skin doesn’t break down very well at all. If you get a fair-sized piece of it, you’re left with this weird, chewy bit that’s hard to swallow. Take the time to prepare tomatoes this summer and you’ll save yourself time and energy when preparing meals later!
MY RULES FOR CANNED STORE-BOUGHT TOMATOES
Listen, I’m not totally blind to the fact that everyone leads a different life. I know that not everyone is comfortable with, or has the desire to can their own tomatoes. And, I know that some of you will buy canned tomatoes from your local grocery store. Before you do, please read this section so that you can get the best results from store-bought canned tomatoes. I apologize if you’ve read this on my blog before, but it’s worth repeating.
First, if you need tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes, buy them in a glass jar. You can see what you’re buying. The colour should be bright and vivid; the sauce/tomatoes should look fresh and cohesive. If there are seeds or pieces of tomato skin, move on to another brand.
Second, if you need chopped or diced tomatoes, always buy whole tomatoes. When produce companies can the tomatoes, the best tomatoes are packed in cans marked “whole.” The blemished, not-so-perfect tomatoes, are crushed, chopped, or pureed and sold as such. I would rather buy canned whole tomatoes (they’re always the same price!) and spend the extra two minutes chopping them myself so that I know I’m getting really good and really ripe tomatoes.
HOW TO TOMATO VEGETABLE SOUP
Add the olive oil, celery, carrots, and onion to a large soup pot. Over medium heat, cook the vegetables for 5 minutes. Next, add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour. Stir well and cook for 1 more minute.
Pour in the vegetable broth. Add the beans, tomatoes, bay leaf, salt, and ground black pepper. Stir and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Do not cover the pot!
Finally, once the vegetables are fork-tender, taste for seasoning and adjust if needed. Turn off the heat and remove the bay leaf and add the chopped fresh parsley. Stir well and serve immediately.
Lord Byron’s Notes
So carrots cook faster than others and I often find that in soups especially, I may need to add a bit more cooking time to get the carrots cooked just perfectly. Feel free to cook the soup for another 5 minutes or so if you need extra cooking time to cook the carrots thoroughly.
Additionally, if the soup starts to thicken too much, add a quarter cup of water and stir well to combine. You can add more water if needed. Be sure to taste and re-season if you add more water.
LEFTOVERS AND/OR FREEZING
This Tomato Vegetable Soup recipe does make about six hearty servings, which might be too much or too little, depending on the size of your family. The recipe can easily be halved or even doubled. Just be sure to use a really big soup pot if you’re doubling this recipe! Once everyone has had their fill, you might have some leftovers. If so, you can transfer the cooled soup to a food-safe container and store it in the fridge. It will keep for at least 3-4 days. Otherwise, you can freeze it and it will last for 3 months.
If you do refrigerate or freeze the leftovers, you may need to add a bit of water to the soup when reheating. Start with just a few tablespoons of water at a time to avoid turning the soup into a broth! Of course, if you add more water, you will need to re-season as well.
Do You Like This Recipe?
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Tomato Vegetable Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
- 4 small carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch rounds
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 38 ounces canned white beans, drained and rinsed well (2 large cans)
- 28 ounces canned tomatoes with juice (1 large can)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried red chili flakes, optional
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
- Add the olive oil, celery, carrots, and onion to a large soup pot.
- Over medium heat, cook the vegetables for 5 minutes.
- Next, add the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Sprinkle in the flour. Stir well and cook for 1 more minute.
- Pour in the vegetable broth.
- Add the beans, tomatoes, bay leaf, salt, and ground black pepper. Stir and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Do not cover the pot!
- Finally, once the vegetables are fork-tender, taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.
- Turn off the heat and remove the bay leaf and add the chopped fresh parsley. Stir well and serve immediately.
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