Creamy Tomato Soup from 1913

Discover the Roux: A French culinary staple that transforms soups and sauces with its rich, velvety texture.

Lauren Thomann is an antique dealer, freelance writer, and editor with 16 years of experience and a B.A. in English and Linguistics. She specializes in antiques (mainly Victorian through Mid-Century), antique jewelry, old house renovations, and lifestyle and home-related content.
Tomato soup

This classic tomato soup recipe comes from the 1913 cookbook Fifty-Two Sunday Dinners by Elizabeth O Hiller. The recipe is a testament to the timeless appeal of simple, wholesome ingredients. It begins with a can of tomatoes or a quart of fresh, peeled tomatoes cut into pieces. The tomatoes are mixed with aromatic slices of onion, sprays of parsley, a hint of bay leaf, cloves, peppercorns, and a few gratings of nutmeg. You’ll cook everything together, infusing the tomatoes with a depth of flavor that forms the heart of this comforting soup.

The second part of the recipe introduces a roux, a mixture of melted butter and flour cooked to a smooth paste. This roux is then diluted with the tomato mixture to achieve a pourable consistency. The soup is then seasoned with salt, a few grains of cayenne for a subtle kick, and an additional grating of nutmeg for a warm, spicy undertone. The final step is to reheat and serve the soup with crisp, toasted Saratoga Wafers. But any crouton or cracker will add a delightful crunch that perfectly complements the smooth, rich soup.

Cooking Quick Fact

A roux is a cooking technique that originated in French cuisine, used as a thickening agent for sauces, soups, and stews. It’s a mixture of equal parts fat (usually butter) and flour, cooked together until they form a smooth paste. The cooking duration influences the color and flavor of the roux, ranging from a light, delicate taste to a deeply toasted, nutty flavor. The use of roux spread from France to various cuisines worldwide, becoming a fundamental building block in many classic dishes, including gumbo and béchamel sauce.

Tomato soup

Creamy Tomato Soup Recipe

Serves: 4 to 6 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 120 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • 1 can tomatoes, or 1 quart tomatoes peeled and cut in pieces
  • 2 slices onion
  • 2 sprays parsley
  • Bit of bay leaf
  • 4 cloves
  •  1/2 teaspoon peppercorns,
  • Few gratings nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Salt, pepper, cayenne


  1. Cook the first six ingredients together twenty minutes.
  2. Rub through a puree strainer, keep hot.
  3. Melt butter in a saucepan, add flour and stir to a smooth paste, let cook one minute; dilute with tomato mixture to the consistency to pour.
  4. Combine mixtures and season with salt, a few grains cayenne, and a grating of nutmeg.
  5. Reheat and serve with crisp, toasted Saratoga Wafers.

Tomato soup recipe from vintage cookbook

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