Recipe Review

Pinch of Yum’s Tomato Soup Is Rich and Smoky, Thanks to One Surprise Ingredient

published Jan 18, 2023
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Tomato soup by Pinch of Yum in a bowl
Credit: Photo: Linda Xiao; Food Stylist: Jessie YuChen

I was immediately drawn to the classic flavors in Pinch of Yum’s Simple Homemade Tomato Soup. Onion, carrot, and thyme are the flavor base for the soup, but it’s the addition of smoky, salty bacon that made this recipe stand out from other recipes with similar ingredients. I’m a big fan of bacon as a backbone of soup ingredients, so I was extra curious how it would work here.

Get the recipe: Pinch of Yum’s Simple Homemade Tomato Soup

How to Make Pinch of Yum’s Simple Homemade Tomato Soup

You’ll start by cooking four slices of bacon, add chopped onion and carrot, and cook until soft. You’ll caramelize some tomato paste in the pot, then sprinkle over some flour. Crushed canned whole tomatoes are then stirred into the aromatics. You’ll add a quart of broth, thyme, and a bay leaf. Simmer for a half an hour, then purée and stir in heavy cream, if you like. 

Credit: Photo: Linda Xiao; Food Stylist: Jessie YuChen

My Honest Review of Pinch of Yum’s Simple Homemade Tomato Soup

This soup was pretty straightforward to make. The most finicky part of the recipe was crushing the tomatoes by hand in a bowl before adding them to the pot. You can definitely skip this step. Just add them directly to the pot and crush them with your spoon as they cook and soften. The recipe does not indicate whether to use an upright or immersion blender to purée the soup. I tried my immersion blender first and it definitely could not handle breaking down the bacon. The recipe also doesn’t remind you to remove the bay leaf before puréeing, which I forgot to do! I didn’t necessarily notice it when I was eating, but it’s probably best to take it out. 

This soup was very good, but the bacon flavor overwhelmed. In fact, my 10-year-old said, “This tastes just like ham.” She wasn’t exactly correct, but not far off — the smoky pork flavor dominates. And despite the fact that this soup had the highest ratio of stock to tomatoes, this was also the heaviest soup. The pork fat and added protein made this a much more rib-sticking soup than I would have anticipated when I think of tomato soup. It definitely does not need the optional cream stirred in at the end.

When I heated up leftovers the next day, the smell of the bacon hit me and made me think of split pea soup. I couldn’t get that thought out of my head as I was eating it. It was definitely tasty — just not quite what I was expecting. 

Otherwise, I did like the other flavors and seasonings. The carrots and herbs pushed it in a soup direction rather than leaning more towards a tomato sauce for pasta.

Credit: Photo: Linda Xiao; Food Stylist: Jessie YuChen

If You’re Making Pinch of Yum’s Simple Homemade Tomato Soup, a Few Tips

  1. Consider reducing the bacon to two slices. Either purée it into the soup as indicated, or set it aside, chop, and use as a garnish on top. 
  2. Avoid dirtying an extra bowl. Skip hand-crushing the tomatoes. Instead, just add them straight to the pot and crush them with a wooden spoon as they simmer. 
  3. Taste before adding the additional cream. You likely won’t need it if you’ve used the full amount of bacon.

Overall rating: 7/10