Thyme-scented tomato orange soup


Elephants Delicatessen in Portland makes a terrific tomato orange soup. It’s creamy and comforting with some brightness and zing from the hit of orange. Perfect on a winter day.

Unfortunately for me, it has quite a bit of dairy in the form of butter and cream, so I’ve had to skip it. The good news… I found that Elephants published their recipe in the local paper, and not only is it quick and easy to make, it was a cinch to adapt it to make it dairy free.

I substituted 4 tablespoons of ghee for the stick of butter (no need for more) and 1/2 cup of full fat coconut milk for the 1/2 cup of cream called for in the original Elephant’s recipe. And that’s it. It was as rich and creamy as the original. I like the buttery taste provided by the ghee, but you could easily substitute olive oil to make it vegan.

It’s been really chilly in Portland this week, so it’s been nice to warm up at lunch with an old favorite. I had mine with a smoked salmon and mashed avocado sandwich on toasted Happy Campers gluten-free Party Hearty bread.


Thyme-scented tomato orange soup
Serves 4

1 medium onion, diced
4 tablespoons ghee (or olive oil for vegan option)
28 oz canned diced tomatoes (organic, BPA free can like Muir Glen)
2 teaspoons salt
Black pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup orange juice (fresh-squeezed is best)
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk

Melt the ghee in a soup pot. Add the onions and sauté until transparent. Add the tomatoes with their juice, salt, pepper, baking soda and dried thyme. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Add orange juice and coconut milk and heat through. Serve chunky or blend with an immersion blender to desired smoothness.

2 thoughts on “Thyme-scented tomato orange soup

  1. Hi There! I l love elephants deli but agree that some of their soups are loaded with dairy and cream. Thanks for the updated dairy free recipe and even better a gluten free sandwich to go with it! Check out my blog, for other gluten free products, restaurants, and happenings in Portland! Love finding other Portland bloggers, so many delicious places to venture to in this city:)

    • Thanks Kristen! Totally agree that we live in a pretty amazing place! And thanks for the link to your blog, it sounds like you’ve shared lots of great info, I will definitely check it out.

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