Basic tomato soup

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Recipe review

The originals are the best

4.6/5 You cannot beat a recipe like this, I bet my mum made this same recipe, 70 years ago! The Judge

Basic tomato soup
Basic tomato soup
Calories per serving:266
Ready in:2 hours, 10 minutes
Prep. time:10 minutes
Cook time:2 hours
Recipe author:JuliaBalbilla
First published:6th December 2015

This is a simple recipe for a basic tomato soup as commonly eaten in the first half of the 20th century.


Printable 🛒 shopping list & 👩‍🍳 method for this recipe


  1. Melt the butter, dripping or lard in a heavy bottomed pan over a low heat.
  2. Add the vegetables and bacon and saute until the onions are slightly softened.
  3. Stir in the sugar and cook until the vegetables are beginning to caramelise.
  4. Let it take as long as it needs to do this.
  5. Add the herbs, tomatoes and stock and simmer, covered, for about 1-2 hours
  6. Remove and discard the herbs, rub the soup through a fine sieve and return to the pan.
  7. Take a little of the stock and mix with the cornflour.
  8. Return to the pan and bring to a gentle boil.
  9. Cook for a few minutes and season to taste.
  10. Garnish with croutons or a little chopped parsley.

Serving suggestions

Serve with white bread rolls

Recipe source

  • *Radiation Cookery Book' (1935)
  • *Ma Cuisine - Auguste Escoffier (1934)


If you have a good blender, then you can blend the soup after removing the herbs, rather than passing through a sieve. You can used milk to replace some of the stock, in which case do not add it until you have brought the soup to a boil after mixing in the cornflour. Re-heat by simmering only.

Chef's notes

You can use fresh tomatoes instead of tinned, providing they are tasty and ripe. The flavourless, under-ripened ones commonly sold in British supermarkets are not suitable. For my personal taste, I think a teaspoon of sugar is needed, but does depend on the acidity of your tomatoes.

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