Winter Tomato Soup

A homemade tomato soup recipe, where slow-roasting draws summer flavor from canned tomatoes. Six variations, one for the slow cooker.

Last winter after a big snow, the dog attached me to her leash and took me for a walk through Tower Grove Park, a Victorian jewel here in St. Louis and a four-season mid-city modern oasis turned silent beneath a winter muffle. Just days before, it had been unseasonably warm – 70s in January?! – so with new cold, the open water around the fountain was shrinking, constricting the resident ducks who nevertheless quacked with apparent content.

So too is our winter food supply constricted although imports from the summer of the southern hemisphere disguise the fact. In the void that is winter fresh food, we turn to our pantries, our freezers, happy to lighten the load on their shelves and our waistlines.

Bounty may be overrated. Some times, fewer choices are worth a quack of contentment.

EXTRA RECIPE CREAMY TOMATO SOUP Winter Tomato Soup is a hearty and intensely tomato-flavored soup. For something more delicate, stir in milk or cream.
TOMATO ORANGE SOUP For a fruity variation, stir in a cup of orange juice and a half cup of cream.
TOMATO COCONUT CURRY SOUP For Thai-style flavor, stir in a can of coconut milk. To add a bit of curry heat, mix a dab of Thai red or green curry paste into some of the liquid before adding.
ALANNA's TIPS What cook doesn’t lose leftover tomato paste in the back of the fridge where it turns to fur? Instead, watch for tomato paste in toothpaste-like tubes. Just squeeze out what you need, refrigerate the tube: no waste! In summer, when fresh tomatoes are bountiful, you'll want to try Summer's Tomato Soup.


Roasting, slow-cooking draw out flavor
Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Time to table: 4 - 5 hours
Makes 6 cups
  • 2 large cans (28 ounces each) diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 leeks, white and green parts only, trimmed, halved lengthwise, washed well, sliced into half moons (for a photo tutorial, see how to clean leeks)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste (see TIPS)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups vegetable or other broth

Set oven to 475F. Drain tomatoes in a colander, reserving the juice. Arrange tomatoes in single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with brown sugar and roast for 20 minutes plus whatever preheating time remains.

Meanwhile, melt butter on medium heat in large pot or Dutch oven (oven-proof if finishing in the oven). Add leeks and sauté until golden, stirring often. Stir in tomato paste, nutmeg and flour; cook for a minute, stirring. Slowly add the broth, stirring to incorporate each addition before adding more. Stir in roasted tomatoes and reserved tomato juice.

OVEN OPTION: Reduce heat to 350F. Cover and cook for 3 hours.

CROCKPOT OPTION: Transfer to slow cooker. Cover and let cook on high heat for 3 hours.

STOVETOP OPTION: Cover and let barely simmer for 3 hours.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Cup: 125 Cal; 3g Protein; 4g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 22g Carb; 5g Fiber; 556mg Sodium; 10mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 2 points

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Send a favorite soup recipe to e-mail.
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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. OR - use your slow-roasted tomatoes that you froze from your summer garden! ;)

    This sounds really good Alanna. It always surprises me when people put "spices" (nutmeg) in savory dishes. I never think of them. I'll have to try this.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna