Tomato Alphabet Soup

Tomato Alphabet Soup

A taste of nostalgia can be comforting. Inspired by the childhood favorite, canned tomato soup, this homemade version yields a lush and satisfying meal culled from kitchen staples. The process of separating your canned tomatoes from their juices, cooking them until caramelized and enhancing their strength with concentrated tomato paste helps develop deep roasted tomato flavor. If you can’t find alphabet pasta, any other small pasta will be delicious.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Heat oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy pot over medium heat. Stir in onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until onions are softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Step 2

    Stir in carrot and celery, and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Step 3

    While the vegetables cook, strain the tomatoes over a bowl, separating the juice from the whole tomatoes, then squeeze the tomatoes over the liquid. Add the squeezed tomatoes and the tomato paste to the pot and cook, stirring frequently, until tomatoes start to caramelize, about 15 minutes.
  4. Step 4

    Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted boiling water according to packing instructions. Reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid, strain, then return pasta to the pasta pot and gently stir in remaining 2 tablespoons butter; season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
  5. Step 5

    Add the tomato juices from the bowl and 2 cups water to the soup pot, stirring to scrape up any caramelized bits. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook, partly covered, until the vegetables are very tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Step 6

    Using an immersion or countertop blender, pureé the soup until very smooth. (If using a countertop blender, blend in batches with a kitchen towel over the lid of the blender.) Stir in pasta water as needed to thin soup to desired consistency. Stir in buttered alphabets and adjust seasoning. Divide among soup bowls.