Provencal Tomato Soup | Recipes | Cook For Your Life
Tomato Provencal Soup

Provencal Tomato Soup

Rated 4.2 out of 5
4.2 out of 5 stars (based on 14 reviews)

Clock Icon for Prep Time 20 min prep
Person Icon for Serving Size 4 servings
Carrot Icon for Number of Ingredients Size 12 ingredients

This simple Provencal Tomato Soup is a favorite at our classes. It can be made with either fresh or canned tomatoes and eaten hot in the winter or cold in the summer. Some cooks...

In France,à la Provençale means lots of garlic. There may seem to be a lot in this soup, but fear not — the way it’s cooked gives the soup a soft, rich flavor. Garlic is such a good cancer-fighting vegetable, so it’s great to have this delicious showcase for it — and with tomatoes, too. Tomatoes are bursting with lycopene, a cancer-fighting antioxidant that becomes more accessible to the body with cooking. Who knew healthy could taste so good?


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • ¼ teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 pounds tomatoes, diced or 1 (28 ounce) can chopped tomatoes
  • 6 to 8 cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1 quart low-sodium stock or water
  • ¼ cups pearl barley
  • Parmesan rind (optional)
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Fresh basil or pesto (optional, for serving)
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Nutrition Facts


245 cals


11 g

Saturated Fat

2 g

Polyunsaturated Fat

2 g

Monounsaturated Fat

7 g


30 g


11 g


5 g


10 g


1183 mg


  1. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a wide, heavy-bottomed pan. Add the onion and cook for a minute. Turn the heat to medium, add the bay leaves and sweat the onion until it starts to soften, about 8 minutes. It shouldn’t color, so stir from time to time to prevent sticking and burning.
  2. Turn the heat up to medium-high. Add the cayenne pepper and sugar, cook for a minute, then add the tomatoes and garlic. Cook, stirring until the tomatoes take on an orangey hue and have reduced a little.
  3. Add the pearl barley, Parmesan rind, if using, and the stock, plus salt to taste. Bring to a simmer, lower the heat and cover. Cook until the barley is tender enough to smash with a spoon against the side of the pan, about 40 minutes. If substituting Arborio rice, it will take about half the amount of time to cook.
  4. Let the soup sit for a few minutes. Remove the bay leaves and blend thoroughly, in batches, using either a wand blender or a freestanding one. Return to the pot, check the seasoning, and add a grind or two of black pepper. Serve as is or with a few torn basil leaves or a little pesto stirred into it.

Registered Dietitian Approved

Our recipes, articles, and videos are reviewed by our oncology-trained dietitians to ensure that each is backed with scientific evidence and follows the guidelines set by the Oncology Nutrition for Clinical Practice, 2nd Ed., published by the Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, a professional interest group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the American Institute for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society