Before we dive into the tomato soup recipe Croatian style, let’s set some expectations.
Do you put cream into your tomato soup? Because, in Croatia, we most certainly don’t.
Croatian style tomato soup is made with fresh tomatoes, especially in the summer. And, although my tomato soup is made from scratch, expect a simple and easy recipe.
Croatians eat soup as a starter, before the main course. You won’t be served toasted bread or grilled cheese with our tomato soup. But, we do amp up the yumminess factor with egg dumplings, cooked straight into the soup.
The full fresh tomato soup recipe is below. Before you dive in, let’s consider some important details.
1 | How to prep tomatoes for tomato soup
I love making tomato soup from fresh tomatoes. This is a signature flavour of the late summer. The time when you can get garden fresh heirloom tomatoes.
All the vegetables in the soup sing a rhapsody of aromas. The pulpy and juicy tomatoes give sweetness and acidity... the celeriac (celery root) adds a note of tanginess... the onion gives a full body, almost as a bass boost.
The best homemade tomato soup is with those large, craggy heirloom tomatoes. Those that don’t win a beauty contest but excel in their taste.
To prep them properly, you need to peel them first. The best trick is to cut a shallow cross on the top of each tomato and submerge them in hot water for a few minutes. The skin easily comes off that way.
Then you just need to chop them up to add to the soup.
2 | How to cook the rest of the veggies
Whenever I make a vegetable (based) soup, I do a sofritto. This Italian word means to sub-fry, or to fry on low temperature. In the case of onions, this creates a sweet, well-rounded flavour. Celeriac, parsley and carrots will also release their aromas without turning bland.
Once all the vegetables are sub-fried, I add water and cook my tomato soup.
3 | Why no cream in the tomato soup?
Let’s first see why cream in the first place? Because anything creamy tastes better, I can hear you say.
Some people also say that cream counteracts the acidity from the tomato.
If you ever tried Croatian cultured cream, you know that it is quite sour. After all it’s called kiselo vrhnje (sour cream).
Check out my library of Croatian recipes.
To add a note of sweetness to your tomato soup, use a tablespoon of sugar. If you’d rather avoid sugar, a date or grape syrup will make a great substitute.
Lastly, if you make tomato soup with fresh tomatoes, the level of acidity will be much lower. Canned tomatoes, tomato paste or juice are more sour.
4 | Tomato soup and egg dumplings combo
What to eat with you tomato soup? In Croatia, it’s some kind of egg pasta. You can use egg noodles (rezanci), grated egg pasta (trenica or tarana)... but the most common is to serve tomato soup with egg dumplings (žličnjaci).
Our fresh flour and egg dumplings are boiled straight into the soup. You will find the exact recipe and the instructions below.
Make sure you follow the measures to the latter. A batter as simple as this one can be deceiving. A bit of this and a bit of that. But it’s really easy to make egg dumplings too hard. And you don’t want that.
Remember, if you don’t have time for the dumplings, serve tomato soup with some rice. This is also a typical Croatian match.
Let me know how you make your tomato soup. With or without cream? With or without pasta? With fresh tomatoes or from concentrate?
Ultimate cookbook of traditional savory Croatian Dishes
This glossy, full color edition boasts: 100 step-by-step recipes, 386 pages, 700 images & expert cooking tips
Fresh Tomato Soup
For the tomato soup
- 1.5 kg ripe tomatoes (3.3 lbs )
- 1 medium onion (chopped)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 medium carrots (diced)
- 1 medium parsley root (diced)
- 3 cloves of garlic (roughly chopped)
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Dried rosemary/thyme to taste
- 1 l water (4 cups )
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- Chopped parsley leaves to garnish
For the egg dumplings
- 2 medium eggs (weighing c. 115 g (4 oz))
- 70 g all-purpose flour (1/2 cup )
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Cut a cross into each tomato before leaving them submerged in hot water for 2-3 minutes. Then peel and cut into larger chunks. Squeeze and strain through your hands to remove as much liquid and seeds as possible.
- Sauté the onion in olive oil until translucent. Add the sugar.
- Throw in the carrots, parsley roots and garlic. Season with salt, pepper and herbs. Simmer for a few minutes to release the flavours.
- Add the tomato chunks and bring to a simmer. Pour the water in, bring to a boil and cook on medium heat for 30 minutes.
- While the soup is cooking, make the dumplings. Whisk the eggs and season with salt. Gradually add the flour and keep stirring with a fork, about 5 minutes. The mixture will be runny. Cover with cling film (plastic wrap) and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- After the soup was cooking for 30 minutes, blitz it with the immersion blender into a silky texture. Add the tomato paste.
- Take the egg dumplings batter out of the fridge and stir a little more. The mixture will be a bit thicker now.
- Scoop a small amount of the mixture onto the tip of one spoon and push it off with the other spoon. This creates oval-shaped dumplings. Drop them gently into the pot. Dip the spoons in the liquid between each dumpling.
- After they rise to the top, continue to cook for about 10 minutes. They will puff up. Some will turn out shaggy and uneven, but this is normal for egg dumplings.