Tomato Basil Soup w/ Lemon, Orange & Bay Leaf

Not like the typical canned “Cream of Tomato” soup, this gluten-free recipe is a light and healthy variation. Leave the pesto out for a dairy-free, vegan recipe, if desired. It’s easy to make and has a fresh combination of flavors that complement the tomatoes. Serves 6 or so.


  • 1 lg. onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2-4 bay leaves
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 16 oz. can tomato pieces (or 2 c. fresh, skins off)
  • 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 1/4 c. Virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 TBS. frozen orange juice concentrate (or zest of half an orange)
  • Pesto or fresh basil (or sub 1 tsp. dried basil)


1. Simmer until tender (1 hour or so): > 1 lg. onion, in chunks > 2 carrots, in chunks > 2 to 4 bay leaves

2. Set broth aside once veggies are cooked; remove bay leaves. Add to the pot: > Zest of 1/2 lemon

3. Process the above until smooth, using immersion blender or food processor. Add the following and process again: > 16-oz. can tomato pieces (or 2 c. fresh tomatoes, skins removed*)

4. Blend in (with immersion blender, or with processor running): > 1/4 c. olive oil > 2 tsp. salt > 2 TBS. frozen orange juice concentrate

5. Reheat the soup, thinning with water as needed. To serve, top with a spoonful of pesto, drizzled on, or add fresh chopped basil. Optional: Top with dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche, whirled in just a bit.

* To use fresh tomatoes, bring a half pot of water to a boil. Core tomatoes, score the bottoms with an “x”, plunge into the hot water for a few minutes, with the heat off. Pour off hot water and cool the tomatoes in a pot of cold water; skin should slip right off.

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