Easy dinner recipes: Three great fresh tomato soups in 55 minutes or less

Easy dinner recipes: Three great fresh tomato soups in 55 minutes or less
Recipe: Zuppa di pomodoro fresco (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)

Love a great tomato soup? Our most recent Culinary SOS request, from reader Ruth Benson in Los Angeles, was for the soup from Angelini Osteria:

"I had a wonderful soup at Angelini Osteria. It was a tomato-based soup that was the best I've ever had in my life. Full of vibrant flavor. I have emailed the restaurant, but they have not replied. It may be that there is no recipe — just a cook's inspiration of the night before, who knows? But I would love to see if you can get them to share."


With just a few ingredients, this inspired soup is also simple. Gino Angelini was happy to share his fresh tomoato soup recipe so you can have a taste of his Los Angeles restaurant at home.

Prefer your tomato soup chilled? It doesn't get any more fresh, simple or fast than Obika's chilled organic tomato soup. Essentially a chilled puree of fresh tomatoes, this is one dish in which the quality of the ingredients makes all the difference.

And if you're looking for a great basic soup recipe that you can dress up in all sorts of ways, you can't beat this fresh tomato soup recipe. The basic soup is perfect on its own, but with a little tweak here or there you can transform it into a Latin American-, Moroccan-, or Middle Eastern-inspired version in almost no time. You can find the recipe below.

And all three of these refreshing soups can be on the table in less than an hour.


Total time: 55 minutes | Makes 8 to 10 cups

    2 tablespoons olive oil
    2 tablespoons butter
    1 large onion, diced
    4 shallots, diced
    1 large carrot, peeled and minced
    1 stalk celery with leaves, minced
    2 tablespoons minced fennel bulb
    4 cloves garlic, minced (or more to taste)
    3 pounds mixed ripe tomatoes, diced with juices reserved
    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    1 tablespoon sugar
    1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
    1 tablespoon gin
    Kosher salt
    1 to 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
    1/2 cup cream, optional
    Freshly ground black pepper
    16 large basil leaves, sliced crosswise into thin ribbons, for garnish

Step 1In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onion, shallots, carrot, celery and fennel and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Stir in the minced garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute until aromatic.

Step 2Add the diced tomatoes with their juices, along with the lemon juice, sugar, paprika, gin and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the tomato liquid reduces and the mixture has thickened slightly, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool slightly.

Step 3Transfer the vegetables, in batches, to a blender jar and puree until smooth, then return to the pot. Add the broth, one cup at a time, until the soup reaches desired consistency, stirring to thoroughly combine.

Step 4Bring the soup to a gentle simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. Add the cream if desired and adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and black pepper. Garnish each serving with basil.


Latin American: Add 2 teaspoons ground cumin and 1 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano when cooking the vegetables. Substitute lime juice for the lemon juice. To serve, top the finished soup with 1 tablespoon of crumbled cotija or grated queso blanco, diced avocado and chopped cilantro.

Moroccan: Omit the cream and basil. Add 1 tablespoon each of fresh grated ginger and ground cinnamon when cooking the vegetables. To serve, top with chopped cilantro and diced Moroccan olives.Each of 10 servings: 95 calories; 2 grams protein; 10 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 5 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 6 mg. cholesterol; 262 mg. sodium.

Middle Eastern: Omit the cream and basil. Add one-fourth to one-half cup of cooked rice to each bowl. To serve, top with chopped mint and a dollop of plain yogurt.

Love cooking as much as I do? Follow me @noellecarter