Tomato Soup

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Beat the cold in the most delicious way: this simple tomato soup recipe transforms everyday ingredients into a nourishing bowl of goodness.

bowl of tomato soup with grilled cheese

This tomato soup is my go-to during the chilly fall and winter months when fresh tomatoes are out of season. It’s a simple recipe, using canned tomatoes and everyday pantry staples. The soup gets its creamy texture from blending the tomatoes themselves—no heavy cream required. A little chef’s trick I use is adding a bit of sugar. This might seem unconventional, but it perfectly balances the natural acidity of the tomatoes.

For serving, garnish the soup with croutons, fresh basil, and a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. The croutons add a delightful crunch, and you can easily make them while the soup simmers. If you’re in the mood for something heartier, pair it with a grilled cheese sandwich—or for a fun twist, try grilled cheese croutons. This is one of my favorite soup recipes!

“This was a great recipe…enough like the tomato soup of my childhood to be comforting, but MUCH better and fresher!”

Fred Darche

What You’ll Need To Make Tomato Soup

tomato soup ingredients.
  • Olive Oil & Unsalted Butter: Used for sautéing onions, olive oil adds flavor while butter brings richness and adds body to the finished soup.
  • Onions and Garlic: These form the aromatic base of the soup.
  • All-Purpose Flour: It thickens the soup, adding a satisfying body.
  • Chicken Broth: This liquid base infuses the soup with a subtle, savory flavor.
  • Canned Whole Peeled Tomatoes: These are the star of the dish, so seek out the best quality. San Marzano tomatoes are preferred for their sweet, less acidic taste and meaty texture.
  • Sugar: Added to balance the tomatoes’ acidity and enhance their natural sweetness.
  • Dried Thyme: Provides an earthy flavor that complements the soup.
  • Basil: Adds a fresh, aromatic touch, perfect for tomato-based dishes.
  • Jump to the printable recipe for precise measurements

Step-by-Step Instructions

In a large nonreactive pot, heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat. When butter is melted, add the onions and cook over medium-low/medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent. Do not brown.

how to make tomato soup

Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes more, stirring to be sure garlic does not burn. 

cooking onions for tomato soup.

Stir in the flour and continue cooking and stirring for 1 to 2 minutes more.

adding flour to thicken the soup.

Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, sugar, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

tomatoes and broth added to the pot.

Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat while stirring to make sure that the flour is not sticking to the bottom or sides of the pan. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.

simmering broth in pot.

Use a hand-held immersion blender to puree soup until very smooth. (Alternatively, let the soup cool slightly and puree in batches in a blender. Be sure to crack the lid or remove the center cap to allow steam to escape.) Season to taste with salt and pepper.

blending the soup with an immersion blender.

Stir in remaining 3 tablespoons of butter.

stirring in the butter for richness.

Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with fresh basil, croutons, and a generous sprinkling of Parmigiano-Reggiano.

bowl of tomato soup with grilled cheese

Frequently Asked Questions

Can tomato soup be frozen?

Yes! Tomato soup can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Defrost the soup in the refrigerator for 12 hours and then reheat it on the stovetop over medium heat until hot.

What is a nonreactive pot?

A nonreactive pot is made of a material that will not negatively react with acids, like tomatoes. Glass, stainless steel or enameled pots are all nonreactive. Nonstick pots are also okay but be sure there are no scratches in the non-stick coating.

Can I use fresh tomatoes instead of canned?

Yes, but it’s worth noting that canned tomatoes are not just a backup option — they’re a true kitchen superstar. Harvested at their peak of ripeness and canned within hours, they offer consistently high quality and flavor, especially when fresh tomatoes aren’t available.

To use fresh tomatoes, start by selecting perfectly ripe tomatoes, preferably plum tomatoes, as they have fewer seeds and less water content. Blanch the tomatoes them in boiling water for about 30 seconds, then transfer them to an ice water bath to make the skin easy to remove. Once peeled, they are ready to use. For this recipe, you will need approximately 12 to 14 plum tomatoes.

Video Tutorial

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Classic Tomato Soup

Beat the cold in the most delicious way: this simple tomato soup recipe transforms everyday ingredients into a nourishing bowl of goodness.

Servings: 10
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Total Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients

For the Soup

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 3 medium yellow onions, chopped (about 3½ cups)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For Serving (Optional)

  • Fresh chopped basil
  • Croutons
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Instructions

  1. In a large nonreactive pot (see note), heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-low heat. When the butter is melted, add the onions and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent. Do not brown; reduce heat if necessary. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes more, stirring to be sure garlic does not burn. Add the flour and continue cooking and stirring for 1 to 2 minutes more.
  2. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, sugar, thyme, 1¼ teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat while stirring to make sure that the flour is not sticking to the bottom or sides of the pan. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer for about 40 minutes.
  3. Using a hand-held immersion blender, purée the soup until very smooth. (Alternatively, let the soup cool slightly and purée in batches in a blender. Be sure to crack the lid or remove the center cap to allow steam to escape.) Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with fresh basil, croutons, and Parmigiano-Reggiano, if desired. (Nutritional information below does not include optional garnishes.)
  4. Note: A nonreactive pot is made of a material that will not negatively react with acids. Glass, stainless steel or enameled pots are all safe to use. Nonstick pots are also okay but be sure there are no scratches in the non-stick coating.
  5. Make-Ahead/Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost the soup in the refrigerator for 12 hours and then reheat it on the stovetop over medium heat until hot.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (10 servings)
  • Calories: 212
  • Fat: 13 g
  • Saturated fat: 5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 19 g
  • Sugar: 10 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Sodium: 682 mg
  • Cholesterol: 20 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • So delicious and quick to put together. Had basil in my garden.

    • — KateB on April 28, 2024
    • Reply
  • Best tomato soup i’ve made yet. It’s so delicious, highly recommend this. I’ve finished off three bowls already. So yummy!

    • — Steff on April 25, 2024
    • Reply
  • It is good.

    • — bob ross on April 7, 2024
    • Reply
  • I recently tried Tomato soup with Pita chips, and it was a delightful experience! The warm, comforting soup paired perfectly with the crunchy texture of the Pita chips. Each bite was a delightful blend of flavors and textures, making it a satisfying and comforting meal. It’s definitely a combination I’ll be enjoying again soon!

    • — Akanksha on March 28, 2024
    • Reply
  • Very good. I made some modifications to fit my tastes but a great lunch 😊

    • — Grace Evergreen on March 25, 2024
    • Reply
  • Delicious, at last…..but I found the taste of Thyme overpowering, such that I had to add more tomatoes, more butter, a small can of tomato paste and a bit of lemon juice to mellow out the thyme flavor. Next time, no thyme….😃

    • — Dee on March 22, 2024
    • Reply
  • First time making tomato soup. Question: when you addi the canned tomatoes do you
    1) just use the whole tomato’s? Or,
    2) add the whole can of tomato’s including juices?
    Thanks for clarifying this for me!

    • — KJ on March 16, 2024
    • Reply
    • Add the whole can – hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on March 18, 2024
      • Reply
  • Always thought tomato soup came in a can. Never again. This was easy and way better than any I’ve had. Made a full recipe for just the two of us. Froze the leftovers in gallon baggies frozen on a cookie sheet. Served it with grilled cheese from your site. Another winner.
    It’s not quite like mother used to make.

    • — Craig Harper on March 12, 2024
    • Reply
  • Great recipe! I made it, took it to a gathering and hot lots of good comments for taste and quality. Also it was made without cream so that was a bonus for my dairy allergic friend. (He tolerates butter okay).

    • — Rhonda on February 24, 2024
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  • This will change your perception of what you thought tomato soup was. So delicious and creamy.the addition of Parmesan really adds that extra kick. Kids loved it, will reheat with grilled cheese.

    • — Liliana on February 23, 2024
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  • This is the best tomato soup ever! I love all of your recipes!
    Thank you

    • — Luminarc on February 13, 2024
    • Reply
  • Outrageously good tomato soup recipe! You might be suspecting that all these 5 star reviews must be planted. Nope! This is really that good. You might consider doubling the dried thyme. We like it with more aromatic flavors. Just made it for lunch for the family who are all working from home today. It’s always met with mmmm’s!

    • — Deborah Carver on February 8, 2024
    • Reply
  • This is the BEST tomato soup ever! I love all of your recipes! I even froze some of the soup and it was still delicious once reheated. Thank you, Jen!

    • — Colette Dryden on February 3, 2024
    • Reply
  • I just made this for lunch and it was absolutely delicious! It was so easy to make it and it was warming and comforting, like a hug in a bowl. I was a bit hesitant about adding sugar, but I trust you! So I added the sugar and it wasn’t sweet at all. I served mine with some grated cheddar on top, and with the stale end of a french baguette cut into (lazy) croutons that softened beautifully in the soup. Another cracker, thanks, Jenn!

    • — Laura W on January 26, 2024
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  • Excellent recipe. I like to add a splash of balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of parmesan to my tomato soup.

    • — Linda S on January 25, 2024
    • Reply
  • I made this soup last Saturday morning and found it delicious! I gave away several servings to friends and everyone thought it was fantastic. I liked that it has enough salt, but you can always add a little more to taste when it’s served.

    • — Christopher Shew on January 16, 2024
    • Reply
  • Fantastic easy recipe that produces fresh tasting, creamy soup without having to add cream or milk. Super yummy!

    • — Lucy on January 15, 2024
    • Reply
  • So good! I made a lot so I have to freeze some soup but it of course as always was perfect. I did not have to add any more for the seasoning.

    • — Sarah on January 13, 2024
    • Reply
  • I followed the recipe exactly as is, and the soup was amazing and perfect for a chilly day. I liked that it did not include cream. It was a lot of soup for just two, so I may half the recipe next time, but I did enjoy having the leftovers for lunch!

    • — Mindy on January 9, 2024
    • Reply
  • This soup is so good. Not hard to make, makes a big batch, easy to freeze for later meals.

    • — Harriet Turner on January 8, 2024
    • Reply
  • Delicious!! Still so creamy without the heavy cream. Paired with your grilled cheese recipe, and both were an excellent combo.

    • — Michelle on January 7, 2024
    • Reply
  • Great tomato soup!! Easy to make. Followed it to a T. I am wondering if organic canned tomatoes make a difference with this recipe?

    • — CeeWee on January 7, 2024
    • Reply
    • Glad you enjoyed it! I suspect the taste will remain the same with organic canned tomatoes.

      • — Jenn on January 8, 2024
      • Reply
  • So Delicious! Best Tomato soup ever!! I will never go back to canned soup after tasting this. I’ve even used to leftovers in chicken wet buritos, and stuffed peppers. Total Yum!!

    • — SugarNspiceNeverythingNice on January 7, 2024
    • Reply
  • Delicious and very fresh-tasting!

    • — Joe on January 6, 2024
    • Reply
  • Great recipe, made it last night, added a bit of cream to thicken it a little, will make this again.

    • — Brian Carr on January 5, 2024
    • Reply
    • Looks delicious. Would it still work with vegetable stock?

      • — Nancy on January 23, 2024
      • Reply
      • Sure – enjoy!

        • — Jenn on January 23, 2024
        • Reply
  • My husband cannot eat onions. Most soup recipes call for lots of onion.
    Can this be made without onion? Do you have other soup recipes that I can make without onions?

    • — Su on January 4, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Su, you can definitely make this without onion but because it contains so much onion, I’m concerned that it will be lacking flavor. Offhand, the one soup I can think of that doesn’t have onion is my avgolemono. Hope you enjoy if you make it!

      • — Jenn on January 5, 2024
      • Reply
  • DELICIOUS is all I have to say,
    Thank you for spot on recipes,

    • — Ellen Bernstein on January 4, 2024
    • Reply
  • I have made this several times and it is so delicious! I don’t make the full recipe as there are just two of us and halving everything works just fine. I still have enough to put a container in the freezer for another meal. We typically eat the soup with cheese toast or a salad, and it makes a full meal for us. Who needs Campbells tomato when you can make this 🙂

    • — Glen on January 4, 2024
    • Reply
  • Thank you for solving one of the mysteries of life: what is a non-reactive pan!

    • — Sarah E. on January 4, 2024
    • Reply
    • Probably non-aluminum would be my guess, as acidic foods affect the pot and pull a little aluminum into your foods from what I’ve heard.

      • — Scott M. on January 4, 2024
      • Reply
  • This was a great recipe…enough like the tomato soup of my childhood to be comforting, but MUCH better and fresher! Will definitely make this again!

    • — Fred Darche on January 4, 2024
    • Reply
  • This is the best tomato soup recipe I’ve found. I follow the directions to a tee and it’s perfect every time. Thank you!

    • — Marianne on January 2, 2024
    • Reply
  • Simply delicious!!! I made this without the butter (because I forgot it) and you did it tasted great without it! I was going to taste it and add butter if needed, there was no need. My hubby likes things chunky so I didn’t use the immersion blender. A great compliment to the basil in my garden. I will add a dolop of whipped ricotta and homemade pesto tomorrow.

    • — Jill Griffin on December 14, 2023
    • Reply
  • This tomato soup was spectacular! My wife and I both have Covid, and she can’t really taste, but she thought it was very comforting, and I thought it was delicious! Thanks for the comfort recipe!

    • — Fred Darche on December 9, 2023
    • Reply
  • Another wonderful recipe. I always come here when I am looking for a recipe and you have never let me down!

    • — Brooke on November 22, 2023
    • Reply
  • Jenn,
    This is another wonderful recipe! This time, I am planning on making this soup a day in advance of serving. My question is whether the garlic taste will increase too much if the soup is refrigerated during this time? Also, how would this differ from freezing it? I ask because I know you mentioned this concern in another of your recipes — Ranch salad dressing I think.
    Thanks in advance.
    Kelly

    • — Kelly on November 8, 2023
    • Reply
    • Glad you like it! No, the garlic flavor won’t intensify if you refrigerate or freeze it.

      • — Jenn on November 9, 2023
      • Reply
  • We really liked this soup! I added a cup of Orzo to compliment the parmesan cheese. lol
    This soup was really good. Unfortunately there was nothing left over. Have to make another
    batch!

    • — Jo Ann MacMillan on November 2, 2023
    • Reply
  • A winner for the whole family! Only changes: I added basil during the cooking process and omitted the last portion of butter. I appreciate this recipe not having additional dairy products, since we paired it with grilled cheese sandwiches. Whenever looking for a recipe, I usually come here first because the results are consistent. Food costs too much to waste on mediocre recipes!

    • — MrsDLA on October 30, 2023
    • Reply

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