Gluten-Free Tomato Soup

A yummy tomato soup with a secret. Shhh!

Sneaky Tomato Soup

A old school family favorite- tomato soup. Right? Here's an easy kid-friendly recipe. With a secret. When I was a little girl cabbage was a stinky word. Cabbage was something you wrinkled your nose at. The mere mention of the word conjured the smell of my grandmother's house- which was, in truth, an olfactory bouquet of Lucky Strikes, boiled eggs and kielbasa. Cabbage was only the top note. And how I hated it.

In those golden culinary days of the 1950's and '60's, the favored method of cooking cabbage was to boil it to death. Often, with potatoes. And apparently without opening the windows. Come to think of it- I don't ever remember seeing an open window in my grandmother's house. I have no images of curtains sailing upward in a gusty cool spring breeze. No sense memories of distant humming lawnmowers to distract from the television. No conjuring of fresh air. Was this lock-down by some unseen divine plan? Or maybe a generalized exercise in denial? Who knows?

All I knew was that the end result of the boiling-cabbage-to-death method was rather like eating swampy unidentified mush. Not exactly tantalizing for a texture and fragrance sensitive child. Why would anyone eat this? my tiny girl heart would question. Because it's good for you, was the inevitable answer.

Turns out, of course (and you knew this was coming), cabbage is, indeed, very good for you. Especially for those of us healing from the ravages of celiac disease. Cabbage, it turns out, heals the gut. So, what if your childhood included smelly bowls of boiled cabbage and you simply can't make yourself- or someone you love with all of your buoyant and hopeful heart- eat the damn stuff? Bubela. 

Have I got a soup for you.

Sneaky Tomato Soup Recipe

Just pass this off as tomato soup. Or vegetable soup, if you don't like to lie out right- technically, it is a vegetable soup. And though it tastes like kicked up Campbell's, it's way better for you. Because, you know, it's got that secret ingredient. The c-word. (Did you know cabbage helps heal a troubled gut?) Um um good.


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 sweet onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 small head green cabbage, cored, chopped
4 carrots, peeled, chopped
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 28-oz can Muir Glen Organic Crushed Tomatoes with Basil
2 14-oz cans Muir Glen Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles- use plain tomatoes for a milder taste
A quick splash of balsamic vinegar- or cider vinegar
A pinch of organic sugar or dab of organic raw agave
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon smoked or sweet paprika
Fresh water, as needed


Heat a soup pot over medium high heat and pour in the olive oil. Add the onions and stir to cook. When the onions have softened, add the garlic, sweet potato, cabbage and carrots. Season with sea salt and ground pepper. Stir and cook for ten minutes or so to soften a bit.

Don't worry, your house won't smell cabbage-ish .

Add the the crushed and diced tomatoes; add vinegar, pinch of sugar, dried basil and paprika; stir to combine. Add enough fresh water, as needed, to cover the vegetables; stir. Cover the pot and bring to a simmer; lower heat and cook on a steady simmer until all the vegetables are tender. This could take anywhere from 35 to 45 minutes, or so, depending upon the size of your dice, the pot, your altitude, the weather, the mood you're in. Just keep an eye on it.

When the veggies are soft, remove the pot from heat and blend with an immersion blender. For those without this nifty power tool- puree the soup in small batches in a blender (covered very tightly!) or food processor, till smooth. If you like your soup silky smooth blend it longer; for more texture, blend it briefly, to your texture preference.

Taste test. Does it need a little salt? Another pinch of sugar? A splash of lemon juice to brighten it? Does it need more liquid? You can add water, or kick it up with my new favorite- Hemp Dream plain hemp milk (it has those yummy Omegas that are now de rigueur).

Heat through gently till serving. Serve piping hot in warmed bowls. 

Mucho tasty with my Gluten-Free Ryeless Rye Bread.

Serves 4 to 6.

Yes, this can be easily cooked all day in a slow cooker. Just remember to open a window. (Just kidding. Really. It smells yummy. No crinkled noses.)

This recipe is South Beach Diet friendly in phase allowing carrots; or omit.

Try my Roasted Tomato Soup Roasted Tomato Soup recipe here.



Nicole said...

Karina, this soup looks wonderful! Love the color! To tell you the truth, I hate canned tomato soup but my husband loves it. Since I know I'll enjoy this one much more, maybe it's something we'll both enjoy!

kyrie said...

wow, i had no idea about the healing effects of cabbage. my two celiac girls' (i have a two and a one year old) grocery store request is ALWAYS cabbage- it's a huge favorite! i guess your body really knows what's best.

i just saute it with a little butter and salt. sweet and delicious!

Kenora said...

Oo, this looks amazing! I'm so thankful for your slowcooker note - I have one that I'm very new to using, so this is great. I also love that you use the whole cabbage! I hate using a bit for "1c chopped cabbage" and ending up having the rest rot before I figure out what to do with it.

Kalyn said...

It sounds fantastic. I love cabbage and can't imagine why anyone wouldn't like it! Also, I love seeing that new picture of you here too.

mamabunnyco said...

I hope this isn't a silly question, but is the sweet potato cooked before you put it in, or does it cook entirely in the soup?
I'm wondering, because I think it would be a great way to use left-over potatoes, which we always seem to have.

Karina said...

Hey Nicole! Cool. It is yummy, and you can puree it to the texture he likes.

Kyrie- Dr. Cynthia Rudert is a believer in cabbage as one of those "super foods" celiacs should enjoy as often as possible. I love it stir-fried, too. And as coleslaw.

Hi Kenora! I've made this in a slow cooker, too. I cooked it on high for six hours (I'm at high altitude so cooking takes longer- follow your own guide for where you are).

Hola Kalyn! You are sweet, my cabbage loving friend. xoxo

Hi Mamabunnyco- Not a silly question at all. You can absolutely use cooked sweet potato in this. Add it in after the vegetables are cooked; stir; puree; heat through till piping hot. ;)


Lynn Barry said...

You certainly are sneaky...I know what you mean about the smells like you have a sneaker held to your nose cabbage overcooking smell...LOL Great blog! HUGS

Slacker Mom (aka Mrs. GF) said...

Yum!! Yum!! Great for th cool, wet spring days that we are getting lately.

Love the sneaky part!! :)

Jess said...

what a cool idea - I would never have thought to use cabbage in tomato / vegetable soup!

SusanV said...

Oh, yum! I like cabbage, especially in soup, and now after living my life without it, I've discovered tomato soup. So I will definitely be giving this one a test drive!

Also, LOVE your new photo!

Farmgirl Susan said...

Yum! This soup sounds wonderful. I love blended soups, I love tomatoes, and I really love the idea of putting the cabbage in there. Thanks for such a great recipe!

Karina said...

Hiya Lynn! Eeeewww. Sneaker mush!

Hi SM! Hope spring weather continues for you- it's snowing again here!

Jess- He he he. I sneak in cabbage whenever I can. ;)

Susan- Thanks! This soup is right up your alley. I bet you'll add something smoky to it. ;)

Hi Farmgirlsusan! Thanks! Love your little sheep!


celticjig said...

How did I not know that cabbage is a gut healer? I love Mexi style cabbage slaws with lime, cilantro and green onion. That beautiful crunch and crispness! One thing I never do is sneak it into soups, great idea and it will put my immersion blender to more frequent use than just making red chile sauce.

Karina said...

Ginger- Red chile sauce? I'm there.



Maggie said...

This sounds great! I love tomato and cabbage soup. I think I'd prefer it not pureed though.

Erika Pitera said...

Karina, what a fantastic recipe! I made this last week for dinner and ended up eating it for lunch for two days after! Tomatoes and cabbage are two of my favorites, and this soup really blends the two well. Thanks for the great recipes!

~Erika @

Karina said...

Maggie- Eat it chunky, Darling! Whatever your little heart desires.

Ericka- Totally cool. I love that you love tomatoes and cabbage as much as I do. Comfort food, right?


Renee said...

Can this soup be frozen?

Karina Allrich said...

Renee- I don't see why not. {We usually finish all our soups so I don't have a lot of experience freezing them; but there's nothing in here that would cause trouble during freezing.} xox


Athalia Critcher said...

This is fabulous! I dropped everything in my slow-cooker and let her go on high for 4 hrs. Pureed and and served it to for lunch. Everyone loved it!

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