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Healthy Catalina Tomato Soup

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Catalina Tomato Soup is a healthy, delicious, deep roots kind of soup with an uncommon twist on your favorite recipe. A quick and easy soup with a handful of pantry ingredients you will fall in love with.

Two white bowls of healthy Catalina Tomato Soup on a wood serving board with whole wheat sourdough bread

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What is Catalina Tomato Soup?

While I have a history with this soup, it’s origins have been a bit unclear. So I did what I always do… I researched it. Beginning with the question, “Does this soup recipe originate from Catalina Island?”

The short answer is… “I’m not sure,” but I suspect it must. After hours of research, I came up empty. If you happen to know the origins, I’d love to hear from you!

What I did find was a recipe for Roasted Tomato Soup by Executive Chef Roberto Hernandez of Avalon Grille on Catalina Island. A delicious but more involved recipe than this, but with similarities.

Top view of 2 bowls of Catalina Tomato Soup with fresh parsley.

Where I Learned About Catalina Tomato Soup

Laurel’s Kitchen is a cookbook I’ve mentioned several times on the blog because it was a staple in my mother’s kitchen. A healthy whole-foods resource of recipes from University of California at Berkley writers.

It’s here that I first discovered Catalina Soup. Over the years, with a son absolutely in love with grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, it’s one I would reach for often. For me, this recipe has adapted over time, but at it’s heart, it remains similar to Laurel’s original recipe.

View of harbor at Catalina Island

Catalina Island

Also known as Santa Catalina Island is a small rocky island 29 miles southwest of Long Beach, California coast. At only 22 miles long, it’s a small island that is part of California’s Channel Islands.

Originally inhabited by Southern California Tribes, including the Tongva, the first arriving Europeans claimed it for the Spanish empire.

Today, it is a tourist destination first developed by William Wrigley, Jr. (yes, the chewing gum magnate) beginning in the 1920s.

Once a playground for Hollywood elites, Catalina has been know to entertain A-List notables including John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin, Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Betty Grable and more. It was also the home of famed author Zane Grey and a spring training home of the Chicago Cubs.

USA Today says, “Modern visitors arrive by the boatload to revel in Santa Catalina Island’s crystal-clear waters, Old California and Art Deco architecture, and sometimes, with hopes of catching a glimpse of one of the many buffalo that graze throughout the island’s vast interior.”

Top view of Catalina Tomato Soup ingredients on a round wood board

Catalina Tomato Soup Ingredients

So let’s talk about the soup with incredible flavor and so easy to make that it’s a lunchtime favorite at my house!

Specific ingredient measurements are in the recipe card below, but here’s a quick list of what you need:

  • Medium-sized onion (I use a yellow onion)
  • Garlic cloves: minced or smashed for easy removal
  • Tomato paste for a rich tomato flavor, quickly
  • Vegetable broth: or water if you prefer
  • Potatoes: I use which whatever potatoes I happen to have on hand. If it’s russet, I peel them, if it’s gold or red potatoes, I leave them unpeeled.
  • Dried oregano, salt and pepper
  • Cooking oil: I prefer olive oil, but use your favorite
Side view of Catalina Tomato Soup with fresh parsley in a white bowl

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Two white bowls of healthy Catalina Tomato Soup on a wood serving board with whole wheat sourdough bread

Healthy Catalina Tomato Soup

Catalina Tomato Soup is a healthy, delicious, deep roots kind of soup with an uncommon twist on your favorite recipe. A quick and easy soup with a handful of pantry ingredients you will fall in love with.
5 from 2 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves smashed
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 4 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 2 cups potatoes chopped into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 medium potatoes) *see notes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • fresh parsley for serving


  • Heat oil in a large saucepan and saute onion and garlic until soft. Crush the garlic with a fork.
  • Stir in tomato paste, stock or water, and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer and add potatoes, oregano, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Cook until the potatoes are fork tender; about 10 minutes, depending on their size.
  • Remove the bay leaf and serve topped with fresh parsley.



The 2 cup measurement of chopped potatoes is very flexible. Add more for a hardier soup, less for a more brothy soup. Both are delicious. I’ve even pureed the soup with delicious results!


Calories: 103kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 479mg | Potassium: 438mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 172IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: tomato soup, healthy tomato soup recipe, easy tomato soup recipe

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