Midwinter is the perfect time to enjoy hot and hearty soup. In the dead of winter, a bowl of scrumptious soup can make you feel very alive! This keto Creamy Garlic and Tomato Soup is ideal wintertime food: it tastes cozy, it’s easy to make, and it warms you up. And, this soup pleases both ketoers and non-ketoers alike — so be sure to remember it when you’ll next time have guests coming over. In this soup, mellow garlic taste combines with creamy tomato. A secret ingredient makes the soup extra creamy.
Tips for making the Creamy Tomato and Garlic Soup
This soup is really quick and easy to throw together. Moreover, you can also vary it to your heart’s content. See tips at the end of the post.
Use as natural coconut milk as you can find — meaning there are no thickeners or preservatives used, but preferably only water and organic coconut as ingredients. Here’s an article reviewing different brands of coconut milk. Maybe you find your favorite from there.
Coconut manna is the secret ingredient in this soup – a perfect natural thickener. Coconut manna is basically just pureed coconut flesh. If you cannot find it (you can order it also online), see the tips at the end of the post for substitutions.
But let’s take a look at how to make this splendid soup. It’s practically effortless!
Just combine all ingredients (except salt) in a saucepan. That is, add the crushed or diced tomatoes…
…and the crushed garlic or garlic powder.
Heat the soup over high heat, all the time mixing…
…until boiling. Reduce the heat to minimum.
Cover with a lid and let simmer 15 minutes.
Looks good now.
Add the salt.
Puree with an immersion blender or in a regular blender until smooth. Handle the hot soup carefully! The color turns deeper red. Do you see?
Serve, topped with cubed mozzarella cheese…
…or with high-quality extra virgin olive oil. Delicious!
My Creamy Tomato and Garlic Soup experiments
The credits for the idea of adding coconut manna to a vegetable soup belongs to Olli, my business partner with whom (and coincidentally with another Olli, one of the most influential social media persons here in Finland) we recently established a company to develop and bring keto-friendly ready meals to the Finnish market. Well, but the thing with coconut manna is that Olli had made pureed vegetable soup experiments with coconut manna and got great results. So, I also wanted to try what kind of taste and mouthfeel the coconut manna lends to a vegetable-based soup.
I knew Olli had done his soup experiments with different varieties of vegetables, like cauliflower, carrot, etc. however, I had slightly other plans. Namely, I have been planning a veeeery long to make a version of the creamy tomato soup my mom used to make when I was young. I loved the thick consistency of that faint red-colored soup, its rich tomato taste and creamy, satisfying mouthfeel. But as it was a high-carb and gluten-filled soup with wheat flour as a thickener, I naturally haven’t had this soup for many years as I have been gluten-free for far over a decade. But now, it was about a time to create a version of this superb soup.
So, I combined my mom’s approach using tomato paste and Olli’s idea of using coconut manna in the soup. As I wanted to create a dairy-free version, I decided to use coconut milk instead of regular milk that my mom used in her soup. Anyway, I thought I will try a dairy version with heavy cream later to see how it turns out.
I was about to conduct the first experiment and was pondering the amounts of ingredients. 1 can (400 ml) coconut milk, 1/4 cup (60 ml) tomato paste, 1/4 cup (60 ml) coconut manna, and 1 teaspoon natural salt sounded like a good start.
I prepared the basic soup just by combining all ingredients in a saucepan and cooking the soup for 15 minutes. The result was quite smooth, but I still pureed it with an immersion blender to a really velvety consistency.
As far as I can remember, my mom didn’t add any seasonings to her soup. However, I wanted to test some seasonings to give the soup more flavor. I took garlic powder, onion powder, Cajun seasoning, and dried oregano that I added to small batches of the soup. Like this:
Usually, when making my seasoning experiments, I test plenty of different spices and seasonings. However, this time, I just took the seasonings I thought would go best with this tomato soup. And I didn’t want to make it too spicy as my purpose was to make a family-friendly soup. But here are my ratings, following my traditional scale * = inedible, ***** = incredible:
- Onion powder ***½ (Very basic but very good, nothing mind-blowing but enhanced the flavors in a natural way)
- Garlic powder **** (I was careless and accidentally poured in far too much garlic powder! But boy was the soup tasty! Garlic “fits like a fist in the eye,” as we Finns say, meaning it suits well this soup. But yes, pouring in too much garlic powder didn’t matter; the taste was super-delicious!)
- Dried oregano *** (Quite tasty but something was missing. To my surprise, oregano wasn’t able to carry the other flavors that well — if you know what I mean. So, not the best option here.)
- Cajun seasoning ** (I was expecting that Cajun seasoning wakes up my taste buds and lends a full-bodied flavor to the soup. Nope. To my huge disappointment, it left a very “thin” taste experience and mouthfeel. No idea why, but that’s how I found it.)
As you can see, garlic powder was the winner of this not-that-serious test. So, I decided to use it in the final recipe — except I wanted to try out a version with fresh garlic, too.
One thing was bothering me, though: the ingredients made too little soup. I had planned the batch to feed 4 people, but the amount was simply too little. Of course, I could double the batch, but that didn’t feel like the right choice. Then, I got the idea to try out a full 400-gram can (14 oz) crushed tomatoes instead of tomato paste. That should give more volume — and more tomato flavor.
I made an experiment with 400-gram can (14 oz) crushed Italian tomatoes, 400-ml can (14 oz) coconut milk, 1/4 cup (60 ml) coconut manna, 2 crushed garlic cloves, and 1 teaspoon Himalayan salt. I cooked the ingredients for 15 minutes — except added the salt in the end — and pureed the soup with an immersion blender. Wow! How tasty it was! My family — including me — was enjoying it a lot. I served the soup with cubed mozzarella and high-quality Greek extra virgin olive oil.
But I still wanted to try out a version where I replaced the coconut milk with heavy cream. It was delicious, too, but it required a tad longer cooking time to get as thick as I wanted it to be. The heavy cream-based soup is an excellent option for those who don’t like coconut flavor – as you can clearly taste the coconut milk in this soup. On the other hand, the coconut manna didn’t give any flavor, but it added up to the consistency, helping to make it thick.
Now it’s your turn! Just surprise your family or guests with a bowl of this tasty soup on a cold winter day. I bet they will be raving about it (and your cooking skills – not knowing how easy it was for you to prepare the soup!)
Oh yes, a version of this soup is also going to appear in my Finnish cookbook:
But, here’s finally the recipe for you to enjoy:
|Per serving if 4 servings in total
Tips for variations
You can get variation easily to this soup by adding more seasonings or by serving it with different toppings. For seasonings, make your own taste tests and try, for example, cumin, caraway, ginger, rosemary, curry, white pepper, marjoram, tarragon, or smoked paprika.
For toppings, try toasted nuts or seeds like pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, or macadamia nuts. Fresh herbs look both beautiful and give superior flavor. Try basil, oregano, thyme, mint, or parsley.
If you want to make the soup more satisfying, top it with cooked and cubed chicken or meat. Chopped boiled eggs or shrimp are elegant options, too.
Cannot find coconut manna? Just omit it and cook the soup a bit longer without a lid until it gets thicker — or use creamed coconut instead.
Happy New Year! How did you celebrate? With friends, good food, and appropriate drinks? We celebrated the New Year’s Eve in quite a traditional Finnish way — except instead of potato salad, we enjoyed mock potato salad that has been our family’s tradition for several years. Usually, Finns eat potato salad and sausages on New Year’s Eve. However, since I’ve been doing keto for over 10 years, I’ve created my own keto version of the salad already several years ago. My version uses cauliflower — the keto staple — instead of potato. The recipe is going to appear in my cookbook, so here’s the photo:
I often love a glass of sparkling wine to welcome the new year, but this time had a bottle of this wonderful kombucha. Usually, kombucha is relatively high in carbs, making it a no-no for a ketoer, but I finally found a brand that is really low in carbs, just 1.8 grams net carbs per 100 ml (3.5 oz) of kombucha. The drink is a bit bubbly and tastes heavenly — and as it’s naturally fermented, it pampers your gut as well:
Next week I will be in Lieksa — the other side of Finland — doing some product development for our keto meals. However, I try to post a recipe here on my blog anyway. I already have an idea that I’m going to test later today – keep your fingers crossed that it will be a success (and if I don’t manage to perfect it, I have another wild idea what to post!).