Outside the Salad Bowl: Soups

**This post is part of a month-long series as I participate in the Salad as a Meal Challenge.

I can’t believe the Four Weeks of Salad as a Meal challenge is almost over! Don’t forget to comment on at least one post for a chance to win a copy of the cookbook!

One of the easiest and most wonderful things to do with vegetables is to make soup! Salad as a Meal has a super easy no-cook recipe for tomato soup that is just delicious. The base for flavor is a combination of heirloom tomatoes, tomato paste, vinegar, chili (I used smoked paprika instead), and cilantro (I used basil).

I left my soup a little chunky because that’s how I like it, but you can puree it smooth if that is your preference.

Cilantro-Flecked Heirloom Tomato Soup


1 1/2 pounds ripe heirloom tomatoes, cored and quartered (do not peel)
1/2 cup imported Italian tomato paste
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 teaspoon ground piment d’Espelette or other ground mild chile pepper
2 tablespoons best-quality sherry-wine vinegar
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, plus extra for garnish (I use a variety of cilantro called Delfino)


  1. Combine all the ingredients, except the extra cilantro leaves, in a a blender or a food processor. Add 1 2/3 cups water and puree to a smooth liquid. Taste for seasoning. The soup can be served immediately, but the flavors benefit fromripening for at least 3 hours and up to 24 hours, refrigerated. Serve in soup bowls, garnished with cilantro leaves. (Store without the garnish in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reblend at serving time.)

Food processor or blender? In most cases, the food processor and blender can be used interchangeably. But for many soups—especially those that are made in quantity, such as this tomato soup—I find the blender is more accommodating. Even large food processors tend to overflow with a larger volume of liquid. And while the food processor purees, the blender can turn soups into a thicker, emulsified liquid.

Selecting the best tomato paste: Be sure to read the ingredients label when purchasing tomato paste. Many domestic brands contain sugar and other sweeteners. Brands from Italy generally contain nothing but tomatoes and salt. In this recipe in particular, where a quantity of tomato paste is used, the pure version is a must.

Join the Conversation


  1. When does something cross from being a soup to a salad or for that matter a dip for you? I think this sounds like it would be great to put on top of a pita with hummus or maybe serve with fish…

    Anyways, I guess my question really boils down to a matter of taste as to where and how you would like eat something like this recipe and I was just curious mostly. Including this no-cook soup in a salad book got me thinking a little. I always find people’s expectations at meals interesting, especially when they differ from my own. 🙂

  2. Hi Brian, thanks for your question! Honestly, I think some things are fluid between soup/salad/dip. This soup is pretty liquidy, although you could definitely use it as a dip. I think being creative with the types of food you make is great! For example, my cauliflower soup would be great as a vegan cheese sauce over pasta–it just all depends on how you want to eat it!

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