Simple, rich and satisfying, this tomato soup has everything we want in a classic comfort meal. Zaynab recommends mixing in a touch of honey and balsamic vinegar for sweetness and depth of flavor. Of course, the soup isn't complete without some freshly cracked black pepper, croutons and grilled cheese to pair.


  • ¼ cup olive oil 
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ½  medium carrot, roughly chopped
  • ½ rib celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons double concentrated tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1, 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon good quality, thick balsamic vinegar (should be slightly sweet to the taste)
  • ½ cup of half and half or barista style milk alternative 
  • Freshly cracked black pepper


  • Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and add the butter and olive oil. Once the butter has melted, add the carrot, celery, onion, and tomato paste and season with with kosher salt. Stir to break up the tomato paste and cook until the paste has darkened in color and the vegetables have softened, about 10 minutes. 

  • Add the whole peeled tomatoes, stock, honey, and balsamic vinegar, and stir. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the flavors have come together and soup has reduced a bit, about 25 minutes. 

  • Using an immersion blender, blend everything together until smooth. Alternatively, carefully transfer contents of pot to a blender. Blend on high until smooth and return to pot. Remove from heat and stir in the half and half and taste for salt. 

  • Finish with lots of freshly cracked black pepper and serve with croutons or grilled cheese.