Curried Tomato Soup (Simple, Creamy & Dairy-free)

Curried Tomato Soup (Dairy-free, creamy, and so simple)

This gentle tomato soup has plenty of pep with both curry powder and garam masala to flavor it, and coconut milk to make it incredibly creamy. This fast and easy soup is perfect for the spring days we are currently experiencing – a mix of spring rains, and sunny days. Some days are worthy of a sweater still, and there are lovely days where we break out our summer dresses. One way or another, this soup has been soothing our souls, and nourishing our bodies often. It reminds me of my Simple Thai Broth because it is so easy and simple to make, is incredibly soothing when under the weather, and also can easily be made into a main dish soup by simple additions.

We first discovered it at a local store and we all loved it with the exception of my youngest who found it too spicy. My version, which boosts better ingredients and is completely allergy-friendly for us, is kept flavorful without as much spice so that even my three-year-old enjoys it. I will be making this often.

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A few notes on ingredients:

  • I make my own chicken broth. It’s both cheap, and very nourishing. You can get my basic recipe here, and my bare-bones most frugal recipe here. (Both are delicious).
  • I used Pomi Chopped Tomatoes in this recipe. I love that they are unsalted (allowing me to add my own unrefined salt instead of the cheap salt usually used), that they are so incredibly rich in flavor, and that they aren’t canned in traditional cans (I always taste that “tinny” taste). You can substitute whatever brand you prefer easily though.
  • I used Mountain Rose Herbs Curry Powder. Delicious!
  • I used this brand of coconut milk, which is guar gum free (my oldest seems to get stomachaches from gaur gum). Another great gaur gum free, and delicious brand is this coconut cream. 
  • This is one of those recipes where owning a hand blender is really helpful!
Curried Tomato Soup (creamy-but-dairy-free, and Easy!)
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 6
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Easy to adapt and play with, this simple recipe is flavorful all on its own, or make it a main dish with the addition of precooked rice, fresh spinach and chicken chunks (it will only take a few minutes at the end of the cooking time to reheat the rice and cook the spinach and chicken). Other possible additions include topping it with fresh cilantro, fried onions or garlic, or a squeeze of lemon juice of a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. It's also perfect to serve with grilled cheese.
  • 1 large yellow, white, or red onion, or 2 small onion, peeled and chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoons of fat or oil of choice (such as coconut oil or avocado oil)
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced or put through a garlic press
  • 4 tablespoons arrowroot powder (or similar starch or flour), optional
  • 1½ tablespoons each curry powder and garam masala
  • 6 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 carton of Pomi chopped tomatoes, 750g/26.46 oz (or brand of choice)
  • 1 14 oz can of full fat coconut milk
  • 3 + teaspoons of unrefined salt (unless using presalted tomatoes and broth, then salt to taste).
  1. Heat the fat in a large pot over medium-high heat, until hot. Add onions, and sprinkle with a little salt. Cook, stirring here and there, for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are starting to soften. Add the garlic, and cook for about 1 more minute.
  2. Add the arrowroot, and stir into the onions. Add the tomatoes, and curry powder, and garam masala, and stir until mixed. Add the chicken broth and coconut milk, and, if using unsalted broth and tomatoes, add 3 teaspoons of salt. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes or so.
  3. Blend using a hand blender (or, carefully in batches in a regular blender) for a smoother texture. I like mine with small bits of onions still left in it. Adjust to taste with salt. And serve.

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Easy Thai Curry Noodle Soup

Thai Curry Noodle Soup

By Katie Mae Stanley, Contributing Writer

Light and flavorful, this simple Thai curry noodle soup will warm you on a cool evening. It is a perfect, frugal meal to throw together when you are short on time and is bursting with flavor.

Using homemade chicken stock adds an extra boost of nutrition to this tasty soup. Fresh stock is a frugal and easy way to nourish your family. Coconut milk not only makes your dish creamy and decadent is bursting with nutrition as well.

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When buying coconut milk it is important as part of a real foods diet to know what is in your milk. Many brands contain carrageenan, sugar and other preservatives. There are a few suitable options out there. Native Forest, is an excellent brand that is organic and BPA free. Another good brand is Thai Kitchen, which is not BPA free but the company claims that their product is “BPA safe”. Thai Kitchen is more creamy and has always been my favorite brand. And check out this brand, and this one, for guar gum-free coconut milk.

Thai is one of my favorite cuisines, there is no denying that. There is few thing less satisfying for me than creating ethnic dishes at home. When you use your own ingredients you can know that your food will be free of unhealthy oils, sugars and preservatives that are frequently found when dinning out.

Homemade Thai Inspired Recipes:

Thai Curry Noodle Soup
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Thai
Serves: 4-6
Light and flavorful, this simple Thai curry noodle soup will warm you on a cool evening. It is a perfect meal to throw together when you are short on time and is bursting with flavor.
  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 16 oz vermicelli rice noodles
  • 1 lb chicken breast or thighs, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ lb fresh sugar snap peas
  • 2 tsp thai red curry, or curry paste of choice (I use this one)
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 inch of lemon grass, split
  • optional garnishes
  • Fresh basil (Thai is preferred)
  • Fresh spearmint leaves
  • Fresh cilantro
  1. In a large sauce-pot add the coconut milk, curry paste, lemon grass, garlic and ginger. Cook on low for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the onions cook for another five minutes.
  3. Pour in the broth and add the chicken and sugar snap peas. Simmer for about 5 minutes for until the chicken is cook through.
  4. Add the rice noodles, turn off the heat and cover until the noodles are softened.
  5. Garnish with thai basil, spearmint leaves and cilantro if desired.


Pasta e Fagioli (Italian Pasta and Bean Soup)


By April Swiger, Contributing Writer

Rich nourishing bone broth with frugal beans and pasta make Pasta e Fagioli  perfect for a large family dinner on a cold night.

(Kimi – This recipe is a perfect example of how simple and delicious it is to get beautiful, nourishing, health-building broth into your family, which is why we wanted to share it along with my post, 10 reasons homemade broth should be part of your diet!  Read the introduction to our series, 21 steps to a nourishing diet, and find out what a nourishing diet can and cannot do for you here. )

This recipe can be easily adapted for gluten-free and vegetarian diets by using vegetable broth instead of chicken, and eliminating the pasta completely or using a gluten-free brand of macaroni instead. Kimi recommends this brand. (Amazon links are affiliate)

Pasta e Fagioli is traditionally a peasant dish, as the ingredients are incredibly frugal. This particular recipe is one that my Italian family has been using for multiple generations. Even today when I walk into my 93 year old grandfather’s kitchen, this soup, bubbling away in his big aluminum pot, always comes to my mind.

My mother lovingly served our family this soup all throughout my childhood. “Bean Soup” nights were always my favorite! It wasn’t until after I graduated from college, and moved overseas for a year, that I finally learned to make it myself. I was living in China, and missing the traditional Italian food that was so easily accessible in the states. That was the year that I learned how to cook for myself from scratch, continuing the tradition of passing this recipe down the family line.

This soup is easily adaptable to whatever ingredients you have on hand. My grandfather, and mother, would frequently use a scoop of marinara sauce, instead of diced tomatoes. If you make this during the summer, fresh diced tomatoes, and herbs from the garden would work great as well. I like my pasta e fagioli heavy on the garlic, and with a nice kick from the crushed red pepper. You can adapt this to your family’s taste quickly and easily.

To keep this soup as frugal as possible, it’s best to use dried cannellini (or white kidney) beans. By soaking the beans overnight to remove irritating phytic acid, cooking them, and adding them to the rest of the ingredients, you’ve saved quite a bit of money! If you’re in a pinch, and need a fast meal, canned beans work great too. I often use Eden Organic’s canned cannellini beans, because the beans have been soaked and cooked with kombu seaweed, and their cans are BPA-free. They are a little pricy, but are a very good option if you are not able to use dried beans.

This soup is always better the next day, after the flavors have melded together overnight. If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, enjoy a bowl for a wonderfully nourishing lunch!

Pasta e Fagioli (Italian Pasta and Bean Soup)
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 6-8
This nourishing soup will warm your family up on cold winter nights! The recipe can be easily adapted to your taste buds or dietary needs.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5-6 Cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3 15oz Cans of cannellini beans (I like Eden Organic's BPA-free canned beans), or 1½ cups of dried cannellini beans that have been soaked overnight, and cooked (about 5 cups cooked)
  • 7 Cups of chicken broth (vegetable broth to make it vegetarian)
  • 1 Cup chopped tomatoes (I love Pomi chopped tomatoes in a BPA-free carton)
  • ½ teaspoon Dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon. Dried oregano
  • ⅛-1/2 teaspoon. Crushed red pepper flakes, depending on how much "kick" you like
  • 1lb Ditalini pasta, or other short cut pasta like elbow macaroni or tubetti (a gluten-free pasta can be easily substituted as well)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • OPTIONAL: Parmesan cheese and chopped flat leaf parsley
  1. In a large pot heat the olive oil, and sauté the minced garlic for a minute or two. Be sure that it doesn't brown.
  2. Add your beans (previously cooked, or canned with liquid), broth, tomatoes, basil, oregano, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper.
  3. Allow the soup to simmer for 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Shortly before the soup is done, boil salted water for the pasta, and cook it al dente according to the package.
  5. When serving, spoon ¼-1/2 cup of the pasta into bowls, and ladle soup on top. I prefer not to store any leftover pasta in the leftover soup as it typically soaks up a lot of the broth and becomes soggy.
  6. Sprinkle grated parmesan cheese or freshly chopped parsley on top.

Other soups you may enjoy:

Knefla – A Savory German Stew (The Healthy $1 Menu)


By Katie Stanley, Contributing Writer

There is something comforting about a pot of soup. It draws people around the dinner table with a sense of warmth and togetherness. It encourages you to slow down and enjoy one another’s company. Growing up,  soup was served at least once, normally twice,  a week for dinner with leftovers for lunch. My favorite was soups made from nourishing homemade chicken broth. If dumplings were added then I was on Cloud 9.

Soup Ladle is a little soup and sandwich place in the town where I grew up that is only open from ten to four. They have two speciality soups everyday. Wednesdays are Knefla day. Knefla is a stew that is attributed to the Germans and South Dakota. About once a month my mom would pick some up for dinner. The key was to remember to call in first thing after they opened to reserve your portion. She would order a gallon and, if you convinced her, a loaf of their famous “crunch bread” which actually tastes a bit like Dandelion Speckled Muffins.

There are different variations of Knefla but everyone seems to agree on three important things: chicken broth, dumplings and potatoes. From there you will see a verity of options such as adding cream to the broth, kielbasa, shredded chicken or vegetables. I like to keep my version simple – like how I remember it tasting growing up – using broth, dumplings, kielbasa and  potatoes. Homemade chicken broth really is the key. You can use cartons of broth from the store but you will miss out on the delicious flavor and nutritional benefit.


Knefla is a budget friendly dish even though it uses costly ingredients like kebasa and bacon. Only small amounts are used to build the flavor of the stew. This recipe costs me just over $1 per serving. Depending on where you live the prices for these ingredients will vary. In the end you may end up spending a little more or a little less than I did. Regardless, this recipe should be a frugal choice.

Recipe Break Down Per Serving (at my cost): 

Whole Wheat Pastry Flour- .06
Fresh Parsley .04
Salt- .02
Kielbasa- .39
Potatoes- .21
Egg- .04
Black Pepper- .01
Apple Cider Vinegar- .04
Chicken Broth- Free

Total- $1.01

Slow down a bit in the next few days and gather your family or friends around the table to enjoy Knefla. It can be a meal on it’s own or enjoyed with sauerkraut and bread fresh from the oven slatherd with butter.

Knefla- A Nourishing German Dumpling Stew
Recipe type: Soup/Stew
Cuisine: German
Serves: 6
A simple German stew brusting with flavor from homemade chicken broth and kebasa. Dumplings and pototoes are added to make this dish a meal on it's own!
  • 4 quarts homemade chicken broth
  • 4 medium russet potatoes peel and cut into large cubed
  • 8 oz kielbasa, cut length wise and quartered
  • ½ cup yellow onion, diced
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  • 4 slices bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 recipe dumplings
  • Dumplings
  • 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 TBS apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  1. Knefla (Dumplings)
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, milk and apple cider vinegar 8 to 24 hours before you want to make your soup. Mix until the ingredients are well combined. Cover the bowl and leave in a warm place for 8-24 hours.
  3. When you are ready to male your soup, add the egg, baking soda and salt. Knead with your hands until the ingredients are well combined.
  4. Divide the dough into 4 parts. On a lightly floured surface roll each part into a "snake" about ½ inch thick.
  5. Cut each roll of dough into ¼ inch pieces.
  6. Set aside and continue with the recipe below.
  7. Stew
  8. In a large soup pot cook the bacon over medium heat for about 5-8 minutes or until crispy. Remove and set aside leaving the grease in the pot.
  9. Add the onions to the pot. Sprinkle with 1 tsp of salt. Sautee over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  10. While the onions are sauteing slice the kebasa length wise. Cut each half length wise again. Cut each quarter into small pieces.
  11. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil.
  12. Add the potatoes and dumpling. Allow the broth to return to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on. At first the dumplings will drop to the bottom of the pot, then they will rise to the serfice.
  13. After 10 minutes add the kielbasa and simmer for an additional 5 minutes or until the potatoes or tender.
  14. Serve each bowl with a bit of the reserved bacon and chopped parsley.