Thursday, April 16, 2009


I absolutely adore this soup. Ever since I've been so sick this winter, this has been one of the few things that always tastes so good. Who knows, maybe when I totally get back my senses of taste and smell this might not be as good, but I don't think so.

It comes from Elephants Deli down town on the same block as Banana Republic, and right next to the Fox theatre.

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick) (less could be good, maybe)
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 - 1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)

In a saucepan, melt butter; add onion and saute until translucent. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, baking soda and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered about 15 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Puree in a food processor or blender; strain through a sieve or food mill.  Return to saucepan and stir in orange juice. At this point, the soup can be refrigerated until ready to serve.

At serving time, add the whipping cream if wanted and heat gently, stirring constantly, bringing to a simmer and adjust seasonings if necessary. Extra cream maybe drizzled on top of the soup immediately before serving for decorative effect.


Lori said...

That soup looks delicious. I just bought a bunch of oranges.

Anonymous said...

Hi Molly, thank you so much for posting the Elephant's tomato orange soup recipe! I used to live in Portland and worked in downtown for 5 years. Flying Elephant was my most favorite deli in downtown Portland, and I miss their soups after I moved to Washington DC. Thank you so much again, I will make the soup tonight!-- K

Anonymous said...

I visited Portland about 2 years ago and tasted this delicious soup during a culinary tour. I used to make it in MN and now that I live in Holland, I can't wait to make it with local ingredients. Thank you!

Rose City Reader said...

This soup is good! Since you had luck getting this recipe, can you get and post the recipe for Elephant's delicious ginger shortbread cookies? My sister in Germany is trying to replicate them. I think its the elephant-shaped ones -- they might not call them ginger shortbread, but they have a little ginger in them.

It's a random request, I know. But you did have the soup recipe!

Molly Loves Paris said...

The name of those cookies is "Petite Elephant Shortbreads" and I pretty sure I can't get the recipe, except I have a cousin who might know something. I'll see what she has to say. I've never eaten the cookie.

MoonLightOnWaterLover said...

I first tasted this soup during an epicurean tasting tour of Portland. I immediately guessed the "mystery" ingredient an d knew that I HAD to find the recipe. Thank you for posting, Molly...this was super fantastic and authentic. My modifications: fresh basil, red pepper flakes and orange zest instead of juice just prior to blending....absolutely sublime...I could eat my weight in this soup...!!

Molly Loves Paris said...

Great additions.