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A Family Table Recipe: Tomato Soup

Once the weather turns fall-ish, my family starts craving tomato soup. The first tomato soup of the season is a big deal in our house and I can remember each of the recipes I’ve made in the years past. They were all delicious; I’m not sure I’ve ever had a bad tomato soup. Actually, scratch that. When we lived in Savannah the Sweetie Pie and I had lunch at an Italian restaurant and I swear they served me watered down spaghetti sauce and called it soup. Blech.

Anyway, when the wind grew crisp and the leaves started turning and the morning glories were nipped by the frost, we knew it was time to use up the final harvest of tomatoes and make soup. I have a large stash of proven recipes I could have made, but I don’t like making the same thing again when there are so many other recipes to try! I found this one in a charming cookbook that I turn to in the fall and winter; the recipes are so cozy and homey. Besides, the subtitle of the book is “Meals to Share with Friends and Family” which makes it just perfect for Family Table Night.

I served it up with a drizzle of olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and some homemade pesto. And of course some crusty bread for dipping into the soup.

The Sweet Pea and the Peanut picked a final bouquet of fading flowers for the table. We played a guessing game to see who knew the names of the flowers. No one knew what to call the frost-bitten marigolds, but they were the Peanut’s favorite flower.


Print Recipe

Tomato Bread Soup

Use canned tomatoes if fresh ones aren’t available.

Makes 16 cups.

Source: Lost Recipes by Marion Cunningham (adapted)

Course: Soup and Chili


  • 5 Tbs butter
  • 1 onion sliced thinly
  • 2 cups tomatoes chopped and peeled
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 7 cups water
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 loaf Italian bread torn into pieces (about 4 cups)
  • 3 large cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • pepper to taste
  • olive oil for serving
  • shredded Parmesan for serving


  1. Melt the butter in a soup pot, saute the onion until soft. Add the tomatoes and the tomato paste. Cook, stirring often, over low heat for about 15 minutes. Add the water and the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add the bread, garlic, basil, and salt. Simmer until the bread is saturated and falling apart. Puree with an immersion blender. Serve with olive oil and Parmesan.

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