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Tomato Soup with Orange & Cumin

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Serves six; yields about 10 cups.

What makes this tomato soup extraordinary is the fresh orange and cumin that flavor it; they lend a mysterious, extra-special something to this modern version of a classic.

  • 1 small yellow onion (5 oz.), peeled and quartered
  • 2/3 cup fresh orange juice (from about 1 large orange)
  • 1 medium baking potato (9 oz.), peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 2 oz. (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. ground cumin
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 cans (28 oz. each) peeled whole tomatoes (without basil), with their juices
  • 1 Tbs. packed finely grated orange zest (from 1 large orange)
  • 1 Tbs. kosher salt; more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Snipped fresh chives for garnish

Put the onion, orange juice, potato, butter, cumin, bay leaves, and 3 cups water in a large (at least 4-quart) saucepan. Cover, bring to a boil over high heat, and reduce to a simmer. Cook until a skewer easily pierces the potato, 15 to 20 min. Add the tomatoes with their juices and the orange zest. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to maintain a steady, low simmer, and cook, uncovered, until the potato chunks are falling apart, another 20 min. Discard the bay leaves. Purée the soup with an hand blender, stand blender, or food processor. Strain through a medium sieve; discard the contents of the sieve. Season with salt and pepper. If not serving immediately, let cool completely before refrigerating or freezing. Heat gently, adjust the salt and pepper as needed, garnish with the chives, and serve.

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Strain through a sieve before serving.

Photo: Scott Phillips

Quick recipe. The straining and the potoato give the soup a velvety texture. I was not fond of the cumin - found it a bit overpowering. Would sub another herb in future.

We made this per the recipe but did not strain it. Absolutely fantastic!! It's a large batch, so the next day for lunch, we added sriracha. So tasty! And, since I love anything with a runny egg on top, I added a poached egg. Just can't go wrong with this recipe.

Delicious! Made as per recipe and wouldn't change a thing.

I have been making this soup for years, and it's a useful recipe since it doesn't use stock. I usually omit the cumin or add just a little. It's great for vegetarians, and it's delicious. I don't bother to strain it.

Delicious light tomato soup! Very easy to make and a nice change from the heavy cream versions with less fat and calories. The citrus from the orange adds a fresh flavor.

This is a very useful recipe. However, I used 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme in place of the cumin, which my family does not like. I also served it garnished with a swirl of sour cream. Works well as a cold soup, too

loved it and so healthy. being able to freeze it is a big plus for me

I made this soup for Christmas dinner. It was nice and light as a starter. The taste of cumin was very strong and I would suggest using half the amount in the recipe. I added about half a cup of half and half cream to tone down the strong cumin taste and it helped. I also served the soup drizzled with a little bit of heavy cream and chives. The soup improves over time. I made it two days before it was served.

A great fall tomato soup. I have made this soup several times and its always a big hit. The orange, cumin and tomato compliment each other and the flavor is a welcome change from your typical tomato, basil, and cream soup.

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