Mom’s Tomato Soup

Thanks to Anna Gorman, Child Programs and Extra Helpings Administrator for the recipe and photo


  • 4 tbsp butter OR neutral oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2-28 oz cans whole tomatoes, drained and chopped OR 2-28 oz cans diced tomatoes, drained OR equal amount of fresh tomatoes, peeled.
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • OPTIONAL SPICES: 1/2 tsp curry powder, 1/2 tsp paprika


  • Heat the butter or oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the celery, onion, and carrot and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Stir in flour. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Add tomatoes, sugar, basil, bay leaf, and chicken stock. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaf after 30 minutes.
  • Puree 1/3 of the soup at a time in a blender until smooth (if you have an immersion blender, you can do this directly in the pot).
  • Add milk and any optional spices. Stir to blend.


  • Make a double batch of this soup and put half of it in the freezer before you add the milk. When you want to have a super quick dinner, defrost the remaining soup and add 1 cup of milk.
  • My mom’s original recipe for this soup called for cream; you’ll see here it’s been slimmed it down to whole milk. Feel free to go even leaner if you want, but using a low-fat or non-dairy milk will definitely make this soup thinner and not as creamy.
  • Toppings for this soup include, but are not limited to: crushed Saltine or Ritz crackers, feta or goat cheese, a dollop of sour cream or yogurt, croutons, a sprinkle of Parmesan, a drizzle of pesto, or chopped herbs like rosemary, basil, or thyme.