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tomato orange soupFor more than 35 years, folks have been coming back for more Tomato-Orange Soup at Elephants Delicatessen in Portland, Ore. Some claim it has magical healing powers or that even a taste of it brings back childhood memories. For generations of folks, it’s one of the tastes of Portland.

It’s a unique, tangy and sweet version of a creamy tomato soup. It’s lighter fare, yet packed with flavor; a nice alternative to heavier holiday fare.

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup heavy cream

In a saucepan, melt butter; add onion and sauté until translucent. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, baking soda and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered about 15 minutes or until slightly thickened. Puree in a food processor or blender; strain through a sieve or food mill. Return to saucepan and stir in orange juice.

At this point, the soup can be refrigerated until ready to serve. At serving time, add the whipping cream and heat gently, stirring constantly, bringing to a simmer and adjust seasonings if necessary.