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Tomato-Orange Soup

(recipe, Carrie Floyd)

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Portland's Elephants Delicatessen makes a wonderful tomato-orange soup. When the local daily paper published the recipe, I decided to lighten it up by using less butter and cream. My version isn't as rich, but it's still very good; it's even good without any milk or cream.


  1. 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  2. ½ medium onion, finely chopped
  3. 1 can (28 ounces) unsalted diced or whole tomatoes, chopped, with juice
  4. 1 tsp. kosher salt
  5. ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  6. ¼ tsp. baking soda
  7. 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  8. 1 cup fresh orange juice
  9. ½ cup whole milk or half-and-half


  1. Melt the butter in a stockpot or large saucepan; add the onions and sauté over medium heat until they begin to soften. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, baking soda, and thyme. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
  2. Purée with an immersion blender or in a food processor or blender. (If using a blender, avoid burning yourself by only filling up the container halfway before blending.) If desired, strain the soup through a sieve, then return the soup to the pot.
  3. Stir in the orange juice and the milk or half-and-half. Bring back to a simmer and taste for seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, and milk or half-and-half to your liking. Serve hot.


Dried thyme can be substituted for fresh; use ½ tsp. instead. Triple this soup recipe by using a 6-pound can of tomatoes and skipping the milk; freeze the results, then add the milk when you're warming up the thawed soup.