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006“Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard
To get her poor dog a bone,
When she got there
The cupboard was bare
So the poor little dog had none.”

We all remember this nursery rhyme, right?  This soup is the perfect cold-weather-bare-cupboard-meal.  It uses things many of us have on hand and if you don’t have these things, then you haven’t been paying attention.  In light of yesterdays reports about oatmeal (and avocado) being so very healthy for us…really, you needed a report to tell you that?  Anyway, this is a riff on my go-to tomato soup recipe.  I threw in toasted oatmeal.  Do toast the oatmeal, as it really adds a nice touch.  I substituted some tomato juice for some of the broth.  The Lovable Lummox (you know who you are) shared the tomato juice idea…very clever, he is.  If you have Clamato, some canned clams (or fresh), carrots and celery, I think this could be a rather interesting and quick Manhattan Clam Chowder.

Mother Hubbard Tomato Soup

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy Peasy
  • Print

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 onion, chopped (a good cup or more)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (or 2 teaspoons dry minced garlic)
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced (fire-roasted) tomatoes, undrained
  • 2-3 cups stock/broth
  • 1 cup tomato juice, V-8 or Clamato (or broth)
  • large pinch of ground cloves
  • 2-3 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/2-1 cup rolled oats*
  • Salt and pepper to taste

*You can toast the oats in the soup pot before you start cooking; set aside until needed.

Heat your soup pot over medium heat; add the butter. Add the onion and garlic; sauté over low heat, until onion becomes tender but doesn’t brown, 2-3 minutes.  Add undrained tomatoes, 2 cups of stock, tomato juice, cloves and brown sugar. Bring to a simmer, for about 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While soup is simmering, toast rolled oats in a heavy bottomed sauce pan, stirring till they are brown. (If you want a smooth soup, purée it now with an immersion blender right in the pot.)  Stir the toasted oats into soup; cook for about 6 to 10 minutes; taste and correct the seasoning. Serve piping hot. (This soup thickens as it stands.)

NOTE: Depending on how bare your cupboard is, feel free to add diced celery, bell pepper, carrots, green beans, corn, herbs (dill weed, cilantro, basil), spices, etc. Make it what you want it to be. For a creamier soup, you can substitute evaporated milk for an equal amount of the broth; add it with the oatmeal. The oatmeal is a great thickener; get the gluten-free kind, if that’s an issue for you.  By the way, you may completely omit the oatmeal and add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste and this still rocks.

Mother Hubbard Tomato Soup Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2015. All rights reserved.

I toasted extra oatmeal, as I will be making meatloaf later in the week and I usually add oatmeal to my meatloaf.  009As you can see, I used the same pot to cook the soup in as I used to toast the oatmeal; I just did the toasting before I started the soup.  If you use quick-cooking oatmeal, you will want to use the lesser amount indicated in the recipe.  Old-fashioned oatmeal, which is coarser, will probably require a bit more, hence the range in the amounts listed in the recipe.

013Here’s lunch, so we won’t probably want too much for dinner.  The little sandwich on the side is a favorite of The Latin Lover; Cuban Ham Dip.  It is a great dip with crackers, but these little sandwiches, the Cubans call them bocaditos, (which really means “little bites”) show up everywhere.  We always have this around Christmas and the mixture keeps for a couple of weeks, if it lasts that long.  I had the posting all done for the dip, but I forgot to post it…seriously, where is my brain?  If you find it, let me know.

I have a couple of other soups with oatmeal in them.  The Columbians make a great vegetable soup version, but tomorrow is another soup day!  Are we tired of soup yet?

Here’s an odd bit of info about the meaning and origin of the poem, Old Mother Hubbard, if you’re interested.