Homemade Tomato Soup

4.86 from 28 votes
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This delicious tomato soup recipe is loaded with flavor and uses everyday pantry items you probably already have. This a quick healthy dish that comes together in just 30 minutes!

Homemade tomato soup in a white bowl served with crusty bread on the side.

Like chicken noodle soup, mastering a classic tomato soup is about keeping the ingredients simple but focusing on technique. The delicious red fruit has a sweet but earthy taste that should shine through the dish. To elevate the flavors, I saute savory aromatics like garlic, onion, and herbs before adding the whole tomatoes for depth and complexity.

Using ripe whole canned tomatoes makes it easy to crush and control the thickness of the soup. Customize the consistency by making it smooth and silky for a gourmet starter, or keep some larger chunks for a rustic appearance. And just like my tomato basil soup, this version can be enjoyed the same day or made ahead of time for convenience.

Pre-portioned ingredients on a table to make this tomato soup recipe.

Use whole tomatoes

Canned tomatoes are a convenient pantry option to make this soup year-round. There are several types of canned products available at the market. The whole peeled variety is best for this recipe as it has a balanced sweetness and acidity and crushes easily.

I use a potato masher to break them down into smaller pieces before simmering and pureeing them in my dutch oven. You can also use your hands to squeeze and break them apart like my grandma used to do. During this step, you have the flexibility to create a smoother or chunkier soup texture. For a smoky charred soup taste, use roasted tomatoes.

Sauteing diced onions and garlic in a pan with olive oil and spices.

Add depth with alliums

To build a rich flavorful base, saute the onion and garlic in olive oil. Chopping the onions and minced garlic releases potent sulfur compounds that add depth to the soup. Lightly browning the onions naturally enhances the sweetness while mellowing the intense aromas into earthy notes.

All of these ingredients infuse nicely into the vegetable broth, chicken broth, or chicken stock.

Sprinkle in herbs

Take advantage of dried herbs and add Italian seasoning. The blend is typically a combination of oregano, basil, marjoram, rosemary, and thyme, so you don’t have to source each individually.

If you have fresh herbs, feel free to use them. Add three times the dried amount listed, about 1 ½ teaspoon. Blooming these herbs in oil releases more fat-soluble flavor compounds, which adds even more essence to the soup as it simmers.

Let it simmer

Once you add the ingredients to the pot, give it 15 minutes to simmer, stirring occasionally. The soup evaporates some of the water and concentrates the tomato flavor. This process also gives the vegetables and seasonings time to merry together for a more gourmet taste.

Here’s a little secret: reheated soup the next day tastes better because the ingredients have even more time to infuse throughout the liquid base.

Puree the soup

There are various options for breaking down the tomatoes to their final slurpable form. The first is to use a handheld immersion blender directly in the pot to process and blend the soup. Make sure to submerge the blender head entirely and move it around the pot. This will give a chunkier, more rustic texture, similar to a tomato sauce but less thick.

Use a blender or food processor for a more refined, super creamy, and smooth consistency. Remove the center plastic piece on the lid, then cover it with a towel to let the steam escape without making a huge mess. You may need to work in two batches.

Immersion hand blender pureeing tomato soup in a pot.

For a creamier consistency

Pureeing the tomatoes with a blender creates a smooth mouthfeel when processed into small suspended particles. However, if you want a little more richness, add some heavy cream before serving. You don’t need to simmer as it can curdle. Add one tablespoon at a time, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon stirring a big pot of tomato soup.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I make tomato soup better?

Add fresh basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary, and oregano. Extra black pepper or red pepper chili flakes add spiciness. Add cream or coconut milk for richness. Some balsamic or red wine vinegar brightens the tomato’s natural sweetness. Stir in aged cheese like parmesan or pecorino romano. If you have ripe, fresh tomatoes, add them for an even sweeter flavor.

Is tomato soup good for health?

Yes! The soup’s base is tomatoes, a source of an antioxidant called lycopene. It gives the fruit the characteristic red color! It’s also a great source of potassium, vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate. This recipe is thickened until smooth by pureeing the soup. No added cream or thickening agent is used, keeping the recipe low in calories.

Do you put water in tomato soup?

Water can be to substitute vegetable stock. It can also be used to adjust the consistency of the soup without adding more salt. Taste and adjust the seasoning before serving.

Two bowls of tomato soup garnished with chives.

Recipe Science

Substituting other canned tomato products

Crushed tomatoes are already broken down, so there are fewer texture options for the final soup, but it’s a quick swap. A puree is often added to make it thicker. Therefore, you may need to thin out the soup with more stock. Diced tomatoes can be used but often have calcium chloride added to the can to keep the pieces firm. Skip the mashing step and use the blender to break them down later.

Homemade Tomato Soup

Easy and delicious tomato soup loaded with flavor. It's the perfect healthy comfort food on a chilly day.
4.86 from 28 votes
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Course Soup
Cuisine Italian

Ingredients 
 

  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup diced yellow onion, ¼-inch dice
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon dried italian seasonings
  • 28 ounce whole peeled tomatoes, canned, plus juice
  • 2 cups vegetable stock, chicken stock or broth
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives, optional

Instructions 

  • Cook the Aromatics – Heat a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the olive oil. Once hot, add the onions. Saute until lightly browned and translucent, 2 minutes. Add the garlic and Italian seasonings, stir and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds.
  • Crush the Tomatoes – Add the tomatoes, vegetable stock, salt, and pepper. Use a potato masher or large spoon to break up the tomatoes into larger chunks. Alternatively, crush them with your hands before adding them to the pot.
  • Simmer the Soup – Cook over medium-low heat until the liquid slightly concentrates, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
  • Puree the Soup – Use a hand immersion blender and puree until thickened and smooth. Leave small pieces of tomato for a chunkier soup.
    Alternatively, you can work in two batches to puree the soup in a blender. If doing so, remove the center of the lid and cover it with a towel so steam does not build up. Add more stock if needed to thin the consistency. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as desired.
  • To Serve – Serve soup hot and garnish with chives.

Notes

  • Recipe Yield: 4 cups
  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Storing: Cool soup to room temperature. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Freeze in 1-cup portions in resealable plastic bags for up to 1 month.
  • Reheating: Simmer the soup on the stovetop until hot. Defrost frozen soup, then reheat it on the stovetop.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 4 servings
Calories 113kcal (6%)Carbohydrates 12g (4%)Protein 2g (4%)Fat 7g (11%)Saturated Fat 1g (5%)Sodium 1337mg (56%)Potassium 402mg (11%)Fiber 2g (8%)Sugar 7g (8%)Vitamin A 482IU (10%)Vitamin C 21mg (25%)Calcium 74mg (7%)Iron 2mg (11%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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8 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Stacey says

    This is a family favorite that we enjoy almost weekly – so simple and delicious. In the words of my 4 year old daughter, “This is the BEST tomato soup that I’ve ever, ever, ever, ever had!” Thanks!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Yes, I would remove the skins after raosting. However, if you have a high-speed blender that creates a really fine puree and like the flavor of the blistered skins you can leave them on.

  2. Sheila Flores says

    Hello Jessica,
    Is there any particular brand of whole canned tomatoes that you like to use for this soup?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      I like San Marzano tomatoes because they are a bit sweeter and less acidic. I usually purchase Cento brand.