Subscribe to get a free eCookbook with my top 10 recipes + new weekly recipes!

Classic Tomato Soup

5 stars based on 30 votes

This is my favorite tomato soup, and it’s so easy. The only chopping involves some onions, garlic and basil, and the rest comes out of cartons and jars. Top with croutons and serve with good bread, pizza or grilled cheese sandwiches.

Classic Tomato Soup

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


For the Soup

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 3-1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 (26-ounce) boxes Pomi chopped tomatoes (or canned diced tomatoes; see note)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt
  • ground black pepper

For Garnish

  • Fresh chopped basil
  • Seasoned croutons
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


  1. In a large nonreactive pot (see note), 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. 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 1-2 minutes more.
  2. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, sugar, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 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 heat to low, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  3. 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. Rinse the pot and return the soup to pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper (it depends on the chicken broth you use, but I usually end up adding about a teaspoon more salt and several grinds of pepper). Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with fresh basil, croutons, and a generous sprinkling of Parmigiano- Reggiano if desired. (Nutritional information below does not include optional garnishes.)
  4. Note: If you can't find Pomi boxed tomatoes, use canned. Just be sure to cook the soup a little longer, about 40 minutes.
  5. 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.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (10 servings)
  • Calories: 203
  • Fat: 12 g
  • Saturated fat: 4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 19 g
  • Sugar: 10 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Sodium: 843 mg
  • Cholesterol: 17 mg

Reviews & Comments

  • 5 stars

    Hi Jenn! Love your site! Would this awesome soup be okay to eat after spending 3 days in the fridge? Thanks for all your hard work, can’t wait for your cookbook!

    - Bry on September 22, 2017 Reply
    • Definitely! 😊

      - Jenn on September 24, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    With the exception of using fresh tomatoes, I made this as written. I thought it sounded like a lot of onions but it was perfect. OUTSTANDING recipe.

    - Rebecca on June 12, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This recipe is exactly what I was looking for- a classic tomato soup that defines comfort food (especially when paired with a grilled cheese sandwich!). I prepared it exactly as written- it was simple to make (I used my immersion blender and it was easy peasy to make a velvety smooth soup). The recipe made enough for me to freeze some for later.

    - Laura on March 20, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Perfection and super quick too. Ingredients can be kept on hand for making it as easy as opening a can of soup and the flavor is 100 times better! I used frozen onions and voila, one pot perfection!

    - Kristen on March 2, 2017 Reply
  • Instead of sugar, can you use a grated carrot to sweeten and reduce the acid of the tomatoes?

    - Jeana on February 21, 2017 Reply
    • Hi Jeana, I haven’t tried that so it’s hard to say. If you go that route, you could always add a bit more sugar at the end if necessary.

      - Jenn on February 23, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made it today. It was very tasty! I like it because it is low in calories and it is full of tomatoes, thus; I feel I am eating very healthy. I even made my own chicken broth using two chicken bones, fresh celery, yellow onions and rosemary. Thank you so much for the recipe!

    - Yen on February 21, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Just perfect as is! And so easy to make that it will be a frequent lunch at our house. Thank you for this yummy recipe.

    - Judy on February 14, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hi Jennifer, I’ve been a fan of your blog for a few years now but I’ve never written a comment. I’d like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for ALL of your delicious recipes. I made the classic tomato soup with the sundried tomato pesto grilled cheese and it was FANTASTIC. Nothing warms my heart more than when my kids rave about something I’ve made. Thanks to you, my confidence in the kitchen is the highest it’s ever been.

    - Rosie on February 8, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Amazing Soup!! Used shallots instead of a yellow onion! This soup so smooth and so delicious!! Will definately make again!
    Yum Yum!!!

    - Martha on January 18, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    You have a fan from Brazil! I absolute love your recipes, I did a few and every time I make it, its always delicious! Thanks very much for shared it!

    - Marja on November 7, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I’ve made this recipe countless times and have also shared it with friends.

    It’s perfect as is–no need to change a thing. Thanks, Jennifer!

    - Linda V on October 6, 2016 Reply

    - MRS DAVIS on October 1, 2016 Reply

    - MRS DAVIS on October 1, 2016 Reply
  • Just found your fantastic website when searching for the perfect apple cake recipe, which I have found with you! On this tomato soup recipe, will it change the taste too much if I use vegetable stock instead of chicken broth?

    - Michelle on August 19, 2016 Reply
    • Thanks, Michelle! You can absolutely use veggie broth. Enjoy 🙂

      - Jenn on August 19, 2016 Reply
      • 5 stars

        Thanks Jenn, so I did use veggie broth and it was another delicious recipe! Thank you – YUM!

        - Michelle McCarthy on August 24, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Have made this several times and it is always fantastic!

    - Katie on July 27, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This Tomato Soup is FANTA-BULOUS! The taste is spot-on and so comforting! Just the right amount of tartness and sweetness. (Hubby loves it so much he ate it standing up in the kitchen with a ladle! ? – and he ate around half of it at one go)
    It was delicious on its own but adding chopped Basil, Croutons and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano just took it to another level! Your Recipes are amazing, I’ve made so many of your Recipes and each one was a success, love everything! (You can tell how excited I am by looking at all my exclamation mark!!! ?)
    Thank you for the easy-to-follow instructions and step-by-step pictures!

    - daisukigo on June 30, 2016 Reply
  • I am not at all familiar with ‘Pomi boxed tomatoes.’ Could you give me an idea of how many cans of tomatoes could be substituted.? 26 oz of canned would contain more juice than fresh; drain rather than longer cooking? sigh. Soon the garden tomatoes will be ripe. I love homemade tomato soup. Thanks for the recipe.

    - Linda on May 19, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Linda, If you can’t find Pomi tomatoes, use canned. You’d want a total of 52 ounces. Canned tomatoes usually come in 14.5 or 15 ounce cans, so you’d need about 3 1/2 cans. Just be sure to cook the soup a little longer, about 40 minutes.

      - Jenn on May 19, 2016 Reply
  • Thanks for putting your recipes out there have tried several and have not been disappointed. Do my question is can the leftover (if any) tomato soup be frozen?

    - Cheryl on April 22, 2016 Reply
    • Glad you’re enjoying the recipes Cheryl :). Yes, you can freeze any leftovers you have of this soup.

      - Jenn on April 23, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Excellent! That’s all!

    - Lori on February 8, 2016 Reply
  • 4 stars

    Split decision in this house! 5s and 3s

    - Julie on January 26, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    We LOVE this soup and have it almost daily. Do you have the nutritional info on it? Specifically we would like to know calories and carbohydrates.
    Thanks, Virginia

    - Virginia Mitchell on January 22, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Virginia, Glad to hear you love the soup! I’ve just added the nutritional info. to the recipe.

      - Jenn on January 23, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Delicious and easy! Another great recipe. I had two 34oz boxes of Cento tomatoes (no Pomi in the store) and used it all and it was amazing. Thank you for a great tomato soup! It was a huge hit!

    - janet on January 17, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    As always, this is another great recipe. I can’t add much except that I always have canned San Marzano tomatoes in my pantry and I used those rather than make a trip to the market for Pomi. I also added fresh basil to the pot as well as using it for garnish. Does anybody eat tomato soup without a grilled cheese?:-) The ultimate comfort food. I think it reminds all of us of our childhood.

    - Linda on January 14, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I have made this soup many times when my pantry seemed pretty bare. It’s reliably delicious and goes well witch grilled cheese sandwich on a rainy day.

    - Bettina Kors on December 20, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Made this for the first chilly night in Los Angrkes! A big hit with the family and one of those recipes where all the ingredients are in the pantry! Delicious!

    - Lisa on December 15, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    After one try, this recipe is now a staple in my repertoire. Ridiculously easy, bursting with flavour, it will forever change your mind about bland, artificially-sweet canned tomato soups. Do yourself a favour and try it – now.

    - Joanne Wallace on December 10, 2015 Reply
  • I think I know the answer to this, but why does no one use the silicone pads in lieu of parchment paper

    - Jane newman on December 6, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Jane, I really like silicone pads and use them sometimes in my cooking. I don’t generally suggest them on my site as many people don’t have them :).

      - Jenn on December 7, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Great soup! Love home made soup and bread during winter, comfort food at its best!

    - Diana on December 3, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Fab recipe. To make it gluten free you can add split lentils to thicken instead.

    - Joanne Pooley on December 3, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Excellent and easy recipe! This soup can be assembled the minute the tomato soup urge hits.

    I once made this recipe by also adding a few cold, leftover Roma tomatoes that had been earlier halved and roasted until soft with some balsamic vinegar. Blitz it all together. That was a great way to use a few leftover tomatoes, too, for a lovely roasted tomato flavor.

    - Libby on December 3, 2015 Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    Here’s a little ‘cheat’ that I’ve recently begun to use.
    I’ve made homemade chicken stock twice, but I’m really not into it.
    I recently began caring for my elderly mom who has always enjoyed Mrs. Grass’ noodle soup. While making this soup for her I realized that the broth (with the little “golden flavor nugget”) tastes the same or better than boxed broths.
    Now, when I make soup that calls for broth, I make the Mrs. Grass’. There are two boxes of soup per package, I use five cups of water instead of four per box (less salty) and it works perfectly.
    For less then $2.00 you get 8-10 cups of broth and it’s less bulky and easy to keep on hand.

    - Diana on October 15, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Made this for my husband, he’s in heaven. He loves Tomato soup and this one is winner!! Love all the recipies here, my favorite go to recipe site.

    - Pauline on October 11, 2015 Reply
  • Can I use fresh tomatoes instead of canned/boxed ones? If yes, then how many lbs. of fresh tomatoes?

    - Mindy on August 24, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Mindy, Yes but you’ll need to peel them. I would use about 3 pounds. Please let me know how it turns out 🙂

      - Jenn on August 24, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    So I just want to start by saying I just underwent bariatric surgery, the gastric sleeve to be exact. For the first two weeks I need to pretty much drink nothing but soups, liquids etc and was getting bored with quick chicken broth from cubes. I also HATE tomato soup, but loved the one I had at the hospital so figured maybe I hated canned tomato soup as that’s all I have ever tasted. I of course came to this site to see if there was a soup I could modify a bit to fit my dietary needs.

    I used all the ingredients except one but cut most of them in half to reduce the amount of sodium and acidity. I used three 14.5 oz. cans of petite cut tomatoes (no salt added) by Del Monte, I cut the salt in half but doubled the pepper. I also used just 2 tbsp of butter, 3 cups of yellow onions (my eyes were burning and i refused to chop anymore), 1/8 c of flour, 1 tbsp of sugar, added two cups of water to the broth and replaced thyme with basil because I didn’t have it.

    I figured I removed just enough acidity and sodium so that it would be easy on my stomach without hindering the flavor.

    IT WAS ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!! My 11 year old son insisted he did not like it but I served him a small bowl with a pinch of cheddar cheese and of course a grilled cheese sandwich He started by dipping his sandwich in the soup and later put the sandwich down. Needless to say he returned the bowl EMPTY.

    Now I have enough to last me 2 days. Which is great as I was bored of plain chicken broth. I am excited to try another soup recipe I could modify a bit to fit my diet. (= Thanks again Jenn for another hit!!!!

    - Linda A. on June 26, 2015 Reply
  • I love all your recipes that I tried.
    I want to make the Classic Tomato Soup.
    Can I use FRESH tomatoes instead of boxed Pomi)?
    Thank you for your wonderful recipes.

    - Renee Moss on May 19, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Renee, Yes that would be fine. Glad you are enjoying the recipes!

      - Jenn on May 20, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I heard about your blog in January when my mother in law was sent to the Pallative Care Ward. She couldn’t eat anything that wasn’t puréed and was losing her enjoyment of food due to lack of variety.

    I made several of your soups for her, starting with this one. I reduced the sugar to 1 Tbsp by mistake and it was still fabulous. I left out the garnish but followed the directions otherwise.

    I love that it’s not a cream of tomato soup so this has become my new go-to tomato soup. Delicious, healthier and more affordable than canned soups.

    - Dawne on March 26, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Thank you so much for posting all your recipes! 🙂 I tried the tomato soup & it was really delicious. I feel your site has been a God send as I am taking radiation treatment for cervix cancer & I lost my appetite, but thanks to your good soups I can enjoy some good meals every day.
    Best Regards Darlene

    - Darlene Askjemd on January 3, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Oh my gosh this soup is soooo good! I’m a skeptic but now reformed. This is the 3rd soup I’ve made and they’re ALL delicious. How many stars can I give this one?

    My daughter made some fresh croutons with garlic infused olive oil and we enjoyed. Thank you.

    - virginia tate on December 16, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    My son needed a soup recipe for a cookery lesson at school so we browsed the selection here and settled on this recipe. Considering he’s a bit of a novice the soup turned out amazing. Took a bit of work trying to convert some of the measures into what we are more familiar with in the UK, but it all turned out lovely.

    - Lee Ingold on September 11, 2014 Reply
  • I made this soup tonight, and it is delicious! I skipped the flour altogether, and it turned out still smooth, creamy, and perfect. I also added just a splash of milk at the very end as a few other reviewers suggested! I also added oregano and basil while the soup was simmering. Thanks for an incredible, easy tomato soup recipe!

    - Cyndi on May 13, 2014 Reply
  • This recipe was really easy to make and was delicious. I served it with grilled cheese croutons which made it into a meal.

    - Fran on December 19, 2013 Reply
  • Just a note to say that ‘all natural’ does not qualify the healthiest food — Tomatoes are about the heaviest pesticide-sprayed of all Produce, so I buy only Organic Tomatoes, in all its forms — will skip the Pomi ‘all-natural’ brand.

    - naggy maggy on December 6, 2013 Reply
    • According to La Cucina italiana magazine: “Pomi Tomatoes are grown in Italy without pesticides, herbicides and without the use of genetically modified seeds. Unlike many other canned tomatoes, Pomi is packaged without preservatives, added water, citric acid or any additives. Pomi has just one ingredient: tomatoes. Pomi contains no added salt. Pomi is 100% all natural and comes in a box (Tetra Pak) which makes it BPA-free.”

      - Charles Baker on February 2, 2014 Reply
  • Love this soup. The only substitution I made was to use my own canned tomatoes.

    - Janet lester on November 14, 2013 Reply
  • Can’t wait to try this. The canned version just doesn’t work for me anymore but i do love grilled cheese and Tomato soup

    - kelly almasy on November 7, 2013 Reply
  • I just made this Classic Tomato Soup today, along with grilled cheese sandwiches, and it is awesome! My son always wants tomato soup but I won’t buy the canned stuff due to the crazy high sodium content. Thank you for this recipe and also for introducing me to boxed tomatoes…there is a huge difference in flavor! I never thought about a “tinny” flavor before in canned tomatoes, but after having the boxed tomatoes I now notice a tinned flavor in the canned. This is a keeper recipe – yum!

    - Julie on November 6, 2013 Reply
  • ok…so i was in a big hurry and wanted to make this soup…totally misread the recipe…left out the flour…added only one onion…less butter/less oil…long story short, it was STILL delicious…i think if you need to make it gluten free, leaving out the flour is fine (i did it accidentally). am curious what the flour would have “done” to the soup? i also had some basil, so i threw that in at the beginning…used my immersion blender and it was nice and thick enough (no different consistency than a canned tomato soup)…added some cream at the end–just a touch, but added a bit more on the reheat the next day. i think it’s delicious. and it’s the third tomato soup recipe i’ve tried–best by far!

    - kim on October 18, 2013 Reply
    • So glad it came out, Kim! The flour just thickens it a bit.

      - Jenn on October 18, 2013 Reply
  • Another amazing soup! This is the second soup recipe I’ve made (I made the summer vege soup a couple of days ago) and it is sooooo good. I may become known as the soup lady in my home because I think I have to try another one of your fabulous soup recipes soon!

    - Connie on September 25, 2013 Reply
  • Love this soup. The only changes I make are using vegetable stock as we’re vegetarian and sometimes I use whole tomatoes that I roast in the oven and puree. Great soup for a dull winter day.

    - Sri K. on March 14, 2013 Reply
  • I am not a fan of soup, but this soup is awesome! I have made it several times and usually freeze half. With grilled cheese, it’s a great weeknight meal. Thanks so much for all the great recipes!

    - Amy on March 13, 2013 Reply
  • I add a pinch of red pepper flakes with the onions for just a little kick, perfect with grilled cheese

    - Mary Thompson on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • First time to make tomato soup from scratch and it was a hit.

    - Carolyn on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • I completely omitted the butter and the soup was fantastic. Was feeling adventurous and added hot sauce and a dash or two of Old Bay Seasoning. Used the Pomi tomatoes and loved them. Served with grilled sourdough and Swiss cheese with an olive relish.

    - Julie on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • During tomato season I make a tomato base mix that becomes tomato soup or a variety of sauces during the deep winter. That’s my shortcut for making wonderful tomato soup or pasta quickly.

    - Ed on February 8, 2013 Reply
  • Wonderful recipe. Some toast triangles topped with Gruyere would be perfect with this!

    - KD` on June 28, 2012 Reply
  • I added a tsp, or a few tsp’s, of dried basil to this soup too. It has replaced my previous go to tomato soup recipe.

    - Dani on June 20, 2012 Reply
  • Perfect for a cold, snowy night. Thank you

    - @nola727 on May 21, 2012 Reply
  • I really liked this soup though it is even better with a little bit of half and half in it. Thanks for all that you do!

    - Sherri on May 18, 2012 Reply
  • This is GOOD soup. My wife and I made it the other day, and we both think it’s great. It’s not the easiest recipe in the world (for us, anyway), but it’s worth it.

    At first we thought that 3 1/2 cups of onion might be too much, but we decided to try the recipe as is. It worked out fine. Try it, you’ll like it.

    - Rich on March 29, 2012 Reply
  • […] It is so good with a crunchy piece of bruschetta or grilled cheese sandwich on a cold day.  He forwarded me this recipe that he found on the fabulous Once Upon a Chef blog, and then a reminder, and then a nudge that it would probably be really good.  It was. I made it over the weekend and wouldn’t change a thing.  You can get the recipe here. […]

    - The best tomato soup on March 20, 2012 Reply
  • This looks incredible! I really appreciate the tidbits about using nonreactive pots and avoiding canned tomatoes.

    - Emily on March 12, 2012 Reply
  • This is very similar to a soup I make almost weekly – try adding some a few diced carrots when you soften the onions. It makes the soup sweeter. And I always add dried basil as well as a fresh garnish. Great recipe.

    - Karen on March 10, 2012 Reply
  • Comforting and delicious! I want to try this recipe at home!

    - Claudia on March 5, 2012 Reply
  • Add a splash of milk or cream at the end – YUM!

    - Amy on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • Always love a great tomato soup recipe.

    - Tracy Fender on March 1, 2012 Reply
  • I love a pureed tomato soup and your recipe looks wonderful! Definitely a soup to warm up with after some sledding!

    - mjskit on February 9, 2012 Reply
  • Ok so ever since I was a child when I got sick my mom would make me tomato soup (campbells canned) and either pp&j or grilled cheese. This recipe is worthy of breaking tradition – once i made this and 1. Saw how easy it was 2. Tasted how good it was 3. Husband approved – never going back to the can! Thank you for the recipe!

    - Maria on September 19, 2011 Reply
  • Been looking for a great ‘real’ homemade tomatoe soup! When the kids were little, it was ‘Ma-how about red soup & yellow sandwiches for supper’. Kids are grown and gone, but still talk about red soup & yellow sandwiches. May just have to have this for Sunday lunch with those grilled cheese! Plenty of snow here yet in Nebraska!

    - Madeleine Madsen on February 11, 2010 Reply
  • Ah wow this looks delicious! I wish we had snow as well :(.

    - Natalie on December 10, 2009 Reply
  • I love the name of your blog! Does Whole Foods sell the Pomi tomatoes too?

    - Melissa on December 9, 2009 Reply

Add a Review or Question

Hungry for More?

Subscribe to my free weekly newsletter — where I share new recipes and seasonal menus for every occasion.

Your email address will never be used for any other purpose.
Curious? See a sample newsletter.