Simple and Delicious Tomato Soup (Sewanee, How I Love Ya!)


simply delicious tomato basil soupSewanee, Tennessee is one of the most beautiful places in the South. Although I’ve only left the South twice in my life, were I better traveled I’m sure I’d say it was one of the most beautiful places in the entire world as well. Every time Mama and I drive through this town or walk along the mountain trails its as if our daily stresses are leached directly from our souls.

There is a peace here that I’ve not found anywhere else. I think the town realizes the value of that peace in how they preserve the natural landscape, burrowing structures among the trees and hills rather than mowing them down to make more room. Even though the famous University of the South is located there, folks have still found a way to keep their heads on straight when it comes to tradition and values.

My first visit to Sewanee was over fifteen years ago. Mama and I try to go there once a year for a quilting retreat at St Mary’s, (although I’ve regretfully missed the last few years and will miss this one as well). We sit and sew, talking and chatting with friends and looking out the windows at what appears almost be too beautiful to be real.3179269881_948924766c_b

There is also a labyrinth at St. Mary’s that I enjoy walking. The last time I walked it was when I was trying to decide if I should have a second child (Katy Rose is the outcome of that). Mama and I always take time to walk along the trails, often times ending up at the entrance to the convent or the Templeton Library (which has a fascinating history to it, ask any native when you visit for the somewhat tragic inside scoop).

We take time to visit our favorite gift shop in nearby Cowan, The Sampler, to pick up something pretty to bring back with us, and the little white tea room called The Corner House just across the street provides a perfect lunch. As we drive back up the mountain with its twists and turns we have to watch for the little turn off to go to a salt glazed pottery studio. I’m not sure if it’s still around but I think the name is Hallelujah Pottery. Mama has a beautiful vase she got from there and I hope to make it back soon to pick out a mixing bowl. From there we head on over to the township of Assembly once more to drive down the roads cut for carriages and visit the small community virtually untouched by time.

Our days in Sewanee are long, relaxing, and reflective. In Sewanee, we haven’t a care in the world. With no thoughts even for dinner. As each meal time draws close all we do is simply wait for a smiling lady to step outside the kitchen door and ring the dinner bell. It’s amazing how spoiled you can become in just a few days. St Mary’s cooks are known for their simple and delicious food. This is where Mama first had this tomato soup and brought the recipe back to me. I’ve tweaked it a bit but I’m sure you’ll enjoy the outcome.

I hope you try it soon and if you get a chance, do pay a visit to Sewanee.

(Surprisingly, this post wasn’t sponsored by them but just writing about my last visit has left me with a smile on my face and a calmer state of mind.)

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You’ll need: A can of petite diced tomatoes, a little pesto sauce, and a can of tomato soup.

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You’ll also need some milk. I’m using whole but you can use whatever is in your fridge.

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Pour soup into a sauce pot.

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Fill up the soup can with milk and add that.

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Pour in can of tomatoes, juice and all.

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Add a tablespoon of pesto sauce

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Stir that up and heat over medium until heated through.

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Serve warm. Make it a complete meal by adding a buttery toasted grilled cheese.

Take a deep breath and walk a mountain trail, if only in your mind.


Simple and Delicious Tomato Soup
  • 1 can Tomato Soup
  • 15 ounce can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 Tablespoon pesto sauce
  • Milk
  1. In sauce pot place tomato soup, tomatoes, and pesto sauce. Fill tomato soup can with milk and pour that in as well. Stir and heat over medium until heated through. Enjoy!

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.

~Confucius . Submit your quote here.


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  1. Traci Watson says

    So I think my little corner of Southern California, Mission Viejo, is the prettiest city in the USA. And then I see your pix of absolutely lovely Tennessee… wow! Thank you for your family weekend post! It was sweet and calming.

  2. Virginia says

    So very nice and calming. There is a place in Texas called Salado, in Central Texas. Wonderful B and B there. My huband and I used to go just to relax at the mill and waterfalls. Shopped around and looked around, so nice. My husband passed away but I still stop by and now the memories we made are more special and I am so glad for them.

  3. patty wilkerson says

    I am so glad I found your blog. I love your down home good old southern recipes. I enjoy reading your stories and what is happening in your life. Thank you so much for sharing your get-away spot in Tenn. It is beautiful. You have a lovely family and I can sense you are a lovely person with a heart of gold. Thanks for making our lives a little bit more enjoyable by posting on your blog daily.

  4. Alicia says

    I am from a small town about 15 miles from the foot of Sewanee. Sewanee is beautiful no matter the season. When it snows, it looks like a Winter Wonderland. Very cozy place to get away from the big city. I highly recommend a visit!

  5. Lynne says

    YEA! SEWANEE’S RIGHT!!!!! Christy, that is my Alma Mater, and my daughter is a freshman there this year! Until you experience Sewanee, as you say, it draws you in and makes you never want to leave. YSR!!!

  6. karen says

    Yummmm! I substituted Fire-Roasted Tomatoes for the Petite Diced Tomatoes & topped each serving with garlic & cheese croutons. A simple, delicous tomato soup turned fancy! Thank you, Christy, for the wonderful recipe.

  7. Jenny says

    I’ve stayed at St. Mary’s Conference Center on Monteagle Mountain for women’s retreats several times — and one time a quilting conference was going on the same weekend. It’s a fabulous place — oh so gorgeous!!!

  8. says

    I’m weird and don’t appreciate hunks of canned tomato in things, but I do something similar with tomato soup! Just use a can of it made with milk, then add pepper, garlic powder and Italian seasonings. My husband will not eat canned tomato soup unless I make it this way.

  9. Laura says

    What an amazing recipe. I don’t even like tomato soup, but my fiance does, so I made this hoping it wouldn’t be too awful. My fiance and I absolutely loved it. I can see this becoming a family favorite.

  10. says

    I concede that homosexual marriage is similar enough IN FORM to Marriage as to be defensible. (This is self-evident actually; since so many people can in fact conceive it, there would have to be formal similarities of some sort, unlike marrying a toaster.)

  11. Kellye Nading says

    I made this for a quick Sunday night supper and my husband loved it . It was soooo easy and I had all the ingredients on hand. the only change I made was to break up some of the big chunks of tomato with my immersion blender. My husband said this was his new favorite!

  12. Kelly Byrd says

    Oh My Gosh, is this anything like tomato basil soup in the restaurants? There is a restaurant that serves it about 1 hr from my home and I love,love,love it. I hope so because I will be having this tomorrow. Love all your recipes Christy<3
    Looking forward to trying this!!!

  13. Janel says

    Christy, I made your Chili the other night and it was great. I had been looking for a different Chili recipe and am so glad I tried yours. I had enough extra to put in the freezer so we’ll enjoying it for several other meals on down the road. Thanks again!

  14. Lynn says

    Christy, the next time you go up to Sewanee, see if you can coax the cafeteria ladies into giving up their turnip greens dish. I was up there singing with a group at the Music festival a few summers back and they cook/serve some wonderful food there! They were the best turnip greens I’ve ever eaten! But I couldn’t get the recipe nor have I figured out how they made it taste so good. Please? I bet you’re a lot more persuasive than I was. ;-}

  15. Jackie says

    My husband and I used to live next to Sewanee in Grundy County Tn. I loved to visit Sewanee. It’s a beautiful place. If you get a chance go to another beautiful place which is Grundy Co. I miss it but we now live in the Dessert of N.M.

  16. Christi says

    I love that when you wrote this 4 years ago you had only been out of the south twice, ever. How many times have you been out of the south since. So proud to have watched your journey, and to see you stay humble thought it ask, giving God the glory. (Hugs)

  17. Maria says

    A can of Cannellini beans caught my eye while looking for the tomatoes. I threw them in the crock pot on high with the rest of the ingredients. About two hours later poured some over that last piece of sliced Italian sausage that was hanging out in the fridge—-yummy!

  18. Dorothy Dunton says

    We can stewed tomatoes and when I want tomato soup I heat up a quart of stewed tomatoes, add milk or cream and then puree it. Really good with a grilled pimento cheese sandwich!

  19. Lucy Farrow says

    I made this last night and it was great! Served it with a crustless ham and cheese quiche and some French bread. I don’t know how it could be much easier unless the cans opened themselves!

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