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Creamy Tomato Soup with Spider Web Topping

An ideal accompaniment to monte cristo sandwiches, this tomato soup is also delicious without any half-and-half -- or with twice as much. Add 2 cups of cooked white rice to make tomato-rice soup.

  • Servings: 8

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, October 2005


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 5 cups homemade or low-sodium canned chicken or vegetable stock
  • 3 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 1/2 to 1 cup half-and-half, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup sour cream


  1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook, stirring until translucent, about 6 minutes.

  2. Add tomatoes, stock, and oregano; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer gently until thickened, about 45 minutes. Remove oregano sprigs. Puree using an immersion blender, or in batches in a blender.

  3. Slowly add 1/2 cup half-and-half, stirring constantly, until desired consistency is achieved. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. In a small bowl, combine sour cream with remaining 2 tablespoons half-and-half; transfer to a squeeze bottle. Draw a spiral shape on surface of soup; carefully drag a toothpick from the center of the spiral to the perimeter of the soup. Repeat around perimeter to create a spider web. Serve immediately.

Cook's Notes

The soup will keep for up to 2 days in the refrigerator; it can be frozen for up to 3 months without the half-and-half.

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