Flying Elephant Tomato Orange Soup

tomato orange soupChris’ comments:  One of my favorite comfort foods is tomato soup.  There must be dozens of variations on this soup:  plain, creamed, bisque, with rice, with spinach.  The one I like best is the variety I’ve had at my favorite place to eat in Portland, Oregon, the Flying Elephant Deli.  What makes their tomato soup different?  The inclusion of orange juice and baking soda.


• 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans tomatoes (diced or pureed)
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 1/2 teaspoon pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon dried thyme
• 2 cups fresh orange juice
• 1/2 cup cream (heavy or whipping)


Saute onions in butter in soup pot until transparent.
Add canned tomatoes with their juice, salt, pepper, baking soda and dried thyme.
Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
Add orange juice and cream, heat through and serve hot.

Servings: 4
Prep time: 0:05
Total time: 0:20
Calories: 396

Chris’ Notes:  This recipe is simple to convert to vegan by substituting for the butter and omitting the cream.  If I’m in the mood, I’ll chop some baby spinach and add it right before I plate. 

Chris Donner also writes the popular blog for introverts, 61 Musings.  Cee Neuner’s photography blog hosts five weekly challenges for bloggers.  Sobha Vadlamani is just beginning her blogging adventure.


12 thoughts on “Flying Elephant Tomato Orange Soup

    • I’ve been wondering that, too. I’m betting it takes out a little of the acidity? It’s used in baking as a leavening agent, I know that, but in this case it would react with acids in the orange juice to cut some of that. I don’t really know, but it makes it taste lighter and fresher somehow.

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