Can you add milk to tomatoes without it curdling?

Food 52 just posted a recipe for making tomato soup where they said to heat tomatoes and add milk. There is no mention of baking soda. Everything I have ever read about tomato soup says to add baking soda so the tomatoes won't curdle. Also it says to add milk to hot tomatoes. I have always read you should "Pour red into white or you'll be blue", meaning pour tomatoes into milk to avoid milk souring or curdling. I don't make much tomato soup because it is fussy to make but I love it. Can we hear from some folks who make tomato soup all the time to find out if the baking soda is necessary and if you should pour tomatoes into milk, not the reverse as the recipe suggests? Thank you.

Carol Higgins


Pegeen January 21, 2014
No problem. Well, "tempering" is often done to add a little of the "hot" liquid into a flour/butter (and/or milk/cream) roux and whisk that thoroughly together. Then add all that back into the main hot liquid and keep whisking. Prevents clumping. It surely wouldn't hurt anything to do that with your tomatoes and cream but in my experience it's not essential. Enjoy!
Pegeen January 21, 2014
Yes, you can. I myself have never heard of the baking soda recommendation. I usually do it as described in this recipe by Amanda for Roasted Tomato Soup: just heat the tomato mixture until hot but not boiling, then stir in the milk or cream.
(Are you in the northeast? Perfect snow day for tomato soup!)
Carol H. January 21, 2014
Thank you for your answer. Someone said it was an old wives tale but I researched several cookbooks and online recipes and they all said the same thing; to use baking soda to keep it from curdling and to pour tomato into milk to keep it from souring or curdling. Oh well, nice to know you can do it either way. Thanks again.
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