Savor the simplicity and comfort of this classic Polish Tomato Soup, a delightful dish perfect for any season and easy to make with pantry staples.
This recipe is probably the simplest tomato soup recipe imaginable. In fact, I was wondering whether to even post it on the site, as it’s just a couple of pantry staples warmed up and stirred together.
But then I figured I’m not the only person who could use a 15-minute soup recipe that one can put together in a hurry. And that’s why it’s here.
I hope you’ll love it as much as I do.
Recipe At a Glance
- Quick and simple. As long as you have broth on hand (which you can buy), making this soup takes about 10 to 15 minutes, and it’s difficult to mess it up. No need to cut up veggies or undertake any other lengthy preparations.
- Easily adjustable flavor. Use heavy cream and tomato paste to get the exact flavor you like.
- Great for learning how to season. If you’re a beginner, this soup is excellent for learning how to taste-test and season soups (and food in general). You have three things to work with: salt, a source of sweetness (heavy cream), and a source of sourness (tomato paste). Add them one by one and taste the soup until you’re satisfied with the resulting flavor. The better you season it, the better it tastes.
If you’re making this Polish tomato soup for the first time, read the ingredient notes, step-by-step instructions, and tips. If you’re a veteran, feel free to jump to the recipe card.
Ingredients Notes and Substitutes
- Broth. Chicken broth is the typical choice in Poland, but any vegetable broth you have on hand will work too. Or you can go with bouillon cubes. I won’t tell if you won’t.
- Tomato paste. Using tomato paste instead of regular tomatoes makes preparing this soup a breeze.
- Heavy cream. You can use half-and-half instead.
- Pasta. I typically use angel hair pasta for this soup, but any type you have on hand should work well. If you’re working with spaghetti, make sure to break the noodles into halves or thirds, as they’re easier to scoop.
How to Make Polish Tomato Soup
- Cook the broth and add tomato paste. Bring the broth to a boil, then stir in the tomato paste. Bring the pot back to a boil and taste the soup. If you find the soup not sour enough, add another teaspoon or two of tomato paste until it’s a bit more sour than you’d like. You’re going to add heavy cream to counteract the sourness, so it’s okay if the flavor is a bit too intense at this point.
- Boil pasta. In the meantime, grab a separate pot and boil some water for the pasta. Once it starts boiling, add the salt and pasta (a handful per person, up to 2 oz or 56g, is usually okay) and cook the pasta following the instructions on the package. I typically cook it until it’s soft, 1 to 2 minutes more than the label suggests. Once the pasta is ready, strain the water and distribute it among the soup bowls.
- Add heavy cream. Turn off the heat on the soup, wait a minute for the bubbling to subside, and slowly pour in the heavy cream while stirring the soup constantly. If you’re worried the cream will curdle, warm it up using a microwave or a saucepan on low heat first. If your broth is fatty, limit the heavy cream to 2/3 of the suggested amount. Conversely, if you’re working with veggie broth with little or no fat, add more heavy cream to compensate.
- Final seasoning. After adding the cream, taste the soup again and add whatever is needed to enhance its flavor. If it’s not sour enough or too sweet, stir in some tomato paste. If it’s too sour, adding a bit more heavy cream will help. Finally, if the soup tastes a bit bland, add salt. This is often the case with homemade broth, which tends to be less salty than store-bought ones.
- Serve. Once the soup has the desired taste, pour it over the pasta and serve.
Tips for Making Polish Tomato Soup
Here are a few things to keep in mind when making the soup:
- Cook Pasta Separately. Cooking the pasta separately ensures that it’s neither over- nor undercooked and that the starch from the pasta doesn’t alter the soup’s texture.
- Mix Soup and Pasta in the Serving Bowl. If you expect to have leftover soup, don’t add the cooked pasta to the pot. Pasta that’s cooked and then reheated (when reheating the soup) doesn’t taste as good as pasta that’s only cooked once. Therefore, it’s best to cook only as much pasta as you need for each meal. Store any leftovers separately.
- Nail the Seasoning. The secret to success with this soup is to season it to your taste. Some might prefer it more sour, using even twice as much tomato paste, while others will like it exactly as in the recipe. Remember, you control the flavor not only by adding tomato paste but also with heavy cream and salt.
If you don’t have any suitable pasta on hand, you can make this soup with rice, simply replacing the pasta with cooked rice. White rice is the default option in Poland, but there’s no reason not to use brown rice or another similar grain.
Replacing pasta with rice is a great option for utilizing any leftover rice that you might have in the fridge.
Another common variation is adding meat leftover from cooking the broth. This makes the soup more substantial and a good choice if you’re looking for a small meal to keep you going for a while.
Storage and Reheating
After cooking, let the soup cool at room temperature for about an hour and a half with the lid off. Then, seal the pot and move the soup to the fridge, where it can be stored for 3 to 4 days.
As mentioned above, if you’ve cooked more soup than you can eat in one sitting, store the leftover soup and pasta separately. This prevents the pasta from becoming soggy and preserves the soup’s texture.
When you’re ready to reheat the soup, bring it to a boil over medium heat, let it simmer for a minute or so to ensure it’s safe to eat, and then pour it over the prepared pasta or rice.
Polish Tomato Soup
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth ~710 ml
- 3 teaspoons tomato paste
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Salt to taste
- Pasta any soup-suitable type, approximately 2 oz or 55g per person
- Broth Preparation: Boil the broth and mix in tomato paste. Adjust sourness with extra tomato paste, keeping in mind that heavy cream (that will make the flavor milder) will be added later.
- Pasta Cooking: In a separate pot, boil water, add salt, and cook pasta (up to 2 oz per person) following the instructions on the label until soft. Drain and set aside.
- Cream Addition: Turn off the soup heat, let it cool for a minute, then gradually stir in heavy cream. Pre-warm the cream if you're worried it'll curdle and adjust the amount of heavy cream based on the broth's fat content (the fatter the broth, the less heavy cream you need).
- Seasoning Adjustments: Post-cream, tweak the flavor with additional tomato paste for sourness, extra cream for reducing sourness, or salt if too bland. Salt is especially helpful for homemade broth, which often is undersalted.
- Serving: Pour the seasoned soup over the prepared pasta and serve immediately.
If you’re a soup lover always on the lookout for new recipes, check out the following:
- Polish Sour Pickle Soup. Discover how we make pickle soup in Poland. It’s simple, delicious, and you don’t even need broth to get started. Highly recommended.
- Polish Sauerkraut Soup. This is an easy-to-make but pretty time-consuming soup with lots of kraut. If you’re into sauerkraut, it’s definitely worth checking out.