Canned tomato soup often contains common food allergens such as wheat and milk, but you can make your own allergy friendly version that tastes even better than canned!
I am a trial and error vegetable gardener - I put a bunch of seeds in the ground and hope for the best! In the 10+ years of fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants gardening, I have learned one thing: ANYBODY can grow tomatoes (even me!) Usually, I plant too many tomato plants and end up with a bumper crop leading me to look for creative ways to use them up.
I like to freeze some of them to use in soups and stews but last year I discovered an even better way to use them up - tomato soup!
For a while, we were able to buy one from Healthy Choice that was wheat and dairy free but haven't been able to find it at the store for a while.
Making my own takes a little work up front but I freeze it in pint-sized canning jars (filled 3/4 full) so it is easy to thaw and heat up (just like the canned stuff!)
Also, it's totally worth the extra work because this is WAY better than canned soup!
I use my Instant Pot to make this tomato soup. Don't have an Instant Pot? What are you waiting for? This is a kitchen appliance that doesn't just take up space in your pantry. It is great for making soup, cooking meats fast, and making entire dinners in minutes (like this Instant Pot Pasta).
The great thing about the Instant Pot (or other pressure cooker) is that you can throw a bunch of stuff in the pot and leave it alone for a while. No need to leave the stove on and keep an eye on it.
With that said, if you don't have an Instant Pot, you can make this soup on the stove top. I have tested it both ways and, while I think the texture is better when making it with the Instant Pot, it still tastes great either way.
After the soup cooks in the Instant Pot, it gets pureed to a smooth consistency. An immersion blender works the best for this job!
Don't have an immersion blender? When I first started making this soup, I didn't have an immersion blender either. To puree the soup, I transferred it in batches into my blender. This process is messy and takes more time but it works!
If you're going to use a blender (or food processor), here are some tips:
- Do not fill your blender more than 1/2 full.
- Remove the inner plastic cover from the blender lid and cover it with a towel. This allows the steam to escape from the blender. I learned this tip the hard way. Trust me, after hot liquid explodes from your blender, you don't make that mistake again!
- After blending each batch, put all of it into one big bowl or pot and mix it well before transferring to containers. This helps to evenly distribute the ingredients.
To prepare the tomatoes for this recipe, start by cutting around the core at the top and removing it.
Next, cut it in half crosswise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon (or your fingers work well, too).
That's all you do! No need to remove the skin or chop them up into small pieces. The cooking process will make them soft and easy to puree at the end.
I sometimes only have one or two ripe tomatoes at a time or don't have time to make soup when I do have tomatoes ready. In these cases, I freeze them as I harvest them and, when I have enough (tomatoes and time), I make the soup.
Freezing tomatoes is easy. Just drop them in a pot of boiling water for a minute, then place in an ice-water bath. If the skin isn't already starting to peel off, just use a knife to cut an "x" into the tomato skin and peel the skin right off. If it isn't peeling off easily, drop it back in the boiling water for a bit longer and then into the ice-water bath again.
Next, cut around the core at the top of the tomato and remove it.
Then, cut the tomato in half crosswise and then scoop out the seeds in each section with a spoon (or just use your hands).
Put those tomatoes in a freezer bag, press out as much air as you can, and keep in the freezer for 2-3 months. When you have enough tomatoes to make this soup, you can just throw them in the Instant Pot. No need to defrost!
I use 3 tablespoons of tomato paste in this recipe which is about 1/2 of a 6-ounce can. I freeze the leftover tomato paste in a small container and use it for my next batch of soup or another recipes calling for tomato paste.
Another option is to buy tomato paste in the tube so you can just take what you need as you need it.
I usually make my own chicken stock in the Instant Pot but you can use any stock/broth that works for you.
When I don't have homemade broth available, I use this broth base from Orrington Farms which is gluten free and free of the top 8 allergens. I usually use the chicken-flavored variety but you can also use the vegetable-flavored variety in this soup.
Tomato soup might not seem like a nutrient-packed dish, after all, it's just tomatoes, right?
Actually, tomatoes are a great source of vitamin C and vitamin A. Both of these vitamins play a role in tissue repair and help to keep your immune system healthy. Vitamin C also helps your body absorb iron so pairing this soup with an iron-enriched grain such as bread, crackers, or pasta gives your body an iron boost.
What goes best with tomato soup? A grilled cheese sandwich, of course! Our grilled cheese sandwiches consist of these ingredients:
Food for Life Brown Rice Bread - This bread is gluten/wheat, egg, dairy, soy, peanut, and tree nut free. It also does not contain yeast. My son does not like breads that have a lot of seeds on top. This one only contains chia seeds in the bread so it isn't detectable. We keep it in the freezer so it doesn't dry out. Being that it is yeast-free, it isn't a light airy bread but it works well toasted and for grilled sandwiches!
You could also make a wrap or quesadilla to go with this sandwich. For this, we like Food for Life's gluten free tortillas!
Dairy Free Margarine - I spread this generously on both pieces of bread. If you can't find dairy free margarine at the store, you can also brush the bread with another type of cooking oil such as extra virgin olive oil.
Dairy free cheese - Dairy free cheese options have come a long way in the past 16 years! We use slices or shreds - whatever we have on hand.
Ham or turkey - Sometimes, we add a slice or two of ham or turkey to the sandwich to "beef it up" a bit!
More soups and stews
Allergy Friendly Tomato Soup
- Instant Pot/pressure cooker (recommended but optional)
- An immersion blender (recommended but optional)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or other oil such as canola or grapeseed
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3 ribs celery, chopped
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 6 cups gluten free, low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- 6 large tomatoes cut in half, seeds removed
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- Fresh basil, chopped (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
For Instant Pot
- Add the oil to the Instant Pot/pressure cooker and press the "saute" button. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and saute until onion is translucent and vegetables are tender (5-10 minutes). Add the garlic and cook another 1 minute. Add the tomato paste, stir to coat the vegetables, and cook for 1 minute. Press the "cancel" button to turn off the saute function.
- Add the broth, tomatoes, and basil to the pot and stir to combine. Put the lid on and turn the pressure valve to "sealing". Cook using the manual setting set it to 10 minutes. When the timer goes off, do a quick pressure release, remove the cover, and add the sugar and vinegar to the pot. Stir to combine.
- Puree the soup with an immersion blender in the pot until smooth. Alternatively, you can puree in a blender but take care not to overfill and remove the jar lid center cap and cover with a kitchen towel to prevent the liquid from exploding. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately topped with chopped fresh basil (optional). Or transfer soup into freezer-safe containers (I use pint-sized jars and fill about 3/4 full) and freeze for up to 2-3 months.
- Add the oil to a stockpot and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and saute until onion is translucent and vegetables are tender (5-10 minutes). Add the garlic and cook another 1 minute. Add the tomato paste, stir to coat the vegetables, and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the broth, tomatoes, and basil to the pot and stir to combine. Bring the soup to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the vegetables are softened. Add the sugar and vinegar to the pot. Stir to combine.
- Puree the soup with an immersion blender until smooth. Alternatively, you can puree in a blender but take care not to overfill and remove the jar lid center cap and cover with a kitchen towel to prevent the liquid from exploding. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately topped with fresh chopped basil (optional) or transfer soup into freezer-safe containers (I use pint-sized jars and fill about 3/4 full) and freeze for up to 2-3 months.
Did you try this recipe?
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