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Oprah's Basic Tomato Soup
Oprah's basic tomato soup
Flatiron Books / Flatiron Books
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I've never met a tomato soup I didn't like. It looks rustic, it feels rich, and it tastes, well, honest. Here's a base that's beautiful just on its own — I like freezing a couple of batches to have on hand.

In the summer we take [the tomatoes] fresh off the vine, and in the winter we roast them to concentrate the flavor when good tomatoes are almost impossible to find.

Tip: Feel free to dress up this soup with a swirl of pesto and garlic croutons, sauteed zucchini and corn, or a touch of soft goat cheese and sauteed mushrooms. 


    • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
    • 2 medium ribs celery, finely chopped
    • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
    • 6 medium fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
    • Salt
    • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • 1/4 cup tomato paste
    • 6 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
    • 3 cups chicken stock
    • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional Garnishes

    • Fresh basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons
    • Grated Parmesan cheese
    • Red pepper flakes
    • Tomato concassée (peeled, seeded, and chopped tomato)


Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and basil. Season with salt, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not colored, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, until aromatic. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, then add the tomatoes and chicken stock and season with salt and pepper. Increase the heat to high and bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes to break down the tomatoes and blend the flavors.

Working in batches, pour the soup into a blender and blend until smooth (or leave part of it chunky for one of the variations), returning the soup to a new pan. Spoon into bowls and serve with your choice of garnish.

Reprinted by permission of Food, Health, and Happiness by Oprah Winfrey, Flatiron Books. Copyright © 2016.

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