Simple Tomato Soup

I’ve just heated through my Parsnip Soup (made from the Aldi 19p parsnips bought after Christmas and the chicken stock I made from the Christmas Day chicken, worked out about 5p per portion) and whilst waiting for the microwave I noticed that my colleague was warming through their Waitrose Tomato and Basil Soup. At £1.50 a tub (single serving) it really made me think –  why aren’t food bills the most obvious thing for people to cut down on when they are trying to make savings? One person, eating this soup daily for a week would cost £7.50. My parsnip soup cost me 25p for the week.


My 5p Parsnip Soup!

The ingredients for the Waitrose soup mentioned above are as follows:

Water, tomato (32%), tomato juice, tomato purée, carrot, onion, celery, garlic purée, basil, salt, oregano

The ingredients for the below recipe, amended from Jamie Oliver’s, cost around £3.75 on – and it makes 6 portions, with plenty of celery, stock cubes, garlic, tomato puree and basil left over for another meal. But really, you can make soup out of literally any vegetables, pulses or leftover meat. That’s half the price of the Waitrose one, for more portions – and that’s assuming you have none of this stuff in already. I also leave out the salt from Jamie’s recipe as the stock has plenty in but you can add more to taste. Chilli flakes would also be a lovely, warming addition. Serve with Jack Monroe’s Soda Bread for bigger appetites!

Simple Tomato Soup


  • 2 carrots
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • oil
  • 2 chicken or vegetable stock cubes
  • 2 x 400 g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • dried basil


  1. Peel and roughly slice the carrots, slice the celery, and peel and roughly chop the onions. Peel and slice the garlic.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan over a medium heat, add all the prepped ingredients, then cook with lid ajar for 10 to 15 minutes, or until softened.
  3. Crumble the stock cubes into a jug, cover with 1.5 litres of boiling water, and stir until dissolved.
  4. Add the stock to the veg pan with the tomatoes and a tablespoon of dried basil
  5. Give it a good stir and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat. Using a stick blender or liquidizer, pulse the soup until smooth.

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