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Easy Tomato Soup Recipe

This Easy Tomato Soup Recipe is ready in under an hour! It’s made with canned tomatoes, dried herbs, fresh onion, and cream—just add a grilled cheese!

Overhead photo of a bowl of tomato soup with a block of parmesan cheese.

Figuring out what to make for dinner can be a frustrating thing for a parent who’s just come in from a long day at work or dealing with kids.

It’s convenient and easy to run by a fast food joint and grab some burgers…but it can be equally easy to throw together a healthy meal at home, like this homemade tomato soup.

I wasn’t much of a cook when my boys were little and dinner usually consisted of frozen fish sticks, boxed macaroni and cheese and canned green beans. That’s all I had the time or money to do.

But these days, I look toward meals with fresher ingredients that I can pull together in about an hour, retain some level of healthiness and still provide a tasty option, like homemade baked fish sticks, quick weeknight mashed potatoes, or skillet pork chops with vegetables.

Tomato soup tips

You can omit the cream if you want to make this recipe healthier, and you can also omit the flour, although your soup will not thicken as well.

You could also use vegetable stock instead of chicken and only olive oil for cooking the onions rather than my favorite combination of olive oil and butter.

There are almost always simple ways you can make a recipe healthier while still maintaining good flavor and texture!

Tools

You’ll need a large Dutch oven like this one and an immersion blender. If you don’t have an immersion blender, please get yourself one! It’s so handy for when you want to puree soups.

No more scooping hot soup in and out of the regular blender!

Ingredients

We keep this easy tomato soup recipe simple with ingredients you probably have in your pantry and refrigerator. It’s one of those meals you can make on the spur of the moment without having to run to the store!

  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Canned diced tomatoes – I like Muir Glen fire-roasted
  • Tomato paste
  • Flour – for thickening
  • Sugar – just a teaspoon to cut the tomato acid
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Chicken stock
  • Heavy cream
  • Dried herbs – thyme, bay leaf, basil, and red pepper flakes

Easy tomato soup recipe instructions

Step 1. Cook vegetables.

Heat butter and olive oil until butter is melted and hot and add onions. Cook for 5 minutes until starting to soften then stir in garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.

Onions sauteing in a pot to make homemade tomato soup.

Step 2. Thicken with flour.

Stir in 1/2 cup of flour to help thicken the tomato soup.

**Cook’s Tip: The onions will develop a thick, gummy consistency but just keep stirring for about 5 minutes, turning heat down if the mixture starts to burn or stick to the pot. 

Step 3. Add tomatoes.

Next, pour in 2 undrained 28 oz. cans of diced, fire-roasted tomatoes, 1 small can of tomato paste, and stir.

Step 4. Add stock and seasonings.

Stir in 3 cups of chicken stock. Add a little sugar, bay leaf, salt, pepper, thyme, and basil, along with about a 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Stir the soup and bring to a boil then turn down to a good simmer.

Pot of tomato soup simmering on the stove.

Step 5. Simmer soup.

Simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in 1/2 cup to 1 cup of heavy cream and simmer for a few more minutes to blend the flavors.

**Cook’s Tip: Start with 1/2 cup of cream and see if that’s enough for you. That’s all I usually add but some people like it even more creamy. 

Serving suggestions

We love this Easy Tomato Soup with the Ultimate Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwich or this Cajun Grilled Cheese or just some Homemade Croutons.

And you can top it with crispy bacon and Parmesan cheese!

Easy Tomato Soup recipe topped with bacon and parmesan cheese.

Storage and freezer options

Can you freeze tomato soup?

Yes! I like to use these deli-style containers that I order from Amazon. They come 24 to a pack and are inexpensive and perfect for storing and freezing soups.

I use them all the time if I need to transport something to a friend’s house too because if they get left behind then you don’t feel like you’ve lost expensive storage containers!

  • To freeze the tomato soup, just allow to cool and place in a freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator and heat and serve. Perfect for one of those evenings when you’re too busy to cook!

Substitutions and best tips

  1. Use a non-reactive pan so the acid from the tomatoes doesn’t cause a metallic taste. Non-reactive pans would include stainless steel or enameled cast iron which is my favorite. Stay away from aluminum or copper for this recipe.
  2. If it’s summer and you have access to good fresh tomatoes, you can certainly substitute for the canned. You might need to add a little tomato juice as well.
  3. Fresh herbs will work in this recipe, although I would probably still add a little of the dried as well.
  4. When adding the red pepper flakes and the cream, start with the smallest amounts and taste, adding more if needed.
This Easy Tomato Soup Recipe is ready in under an hour! It's made with canned tomatoes, dried herbs, fresh onion, and cream—just add a grilled cheese!

Easy Tomato Soup Recipe

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Easy Tomato Soup with canned tomatoes, dried herbs, fresh onion, and just a touch of cream!

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 2 onions, chopped (should have at least 2 heaping cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 28-oz. can diced, undrained fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 3-4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2-1 cup heavy cream, depending on how creamy you like it

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil and butter in large Dutch oven on medium-high heat. Saute onion for about 5 minutes, then add garlic. Sauté for thirty seconds then add flour and stir until well-blended. Cook onions with flour over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. 
  2. Slowly pour in tomatoes, tomato paste, and chicken stock. Add sugar, bay leaf, herbs, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer. Stir occasionally to keep from sticking. After 45 minutes, stir in the cream and simmer for 15 more minutes. Remove bay leaf. At this point, you can use an immersion blender to partially puree the soup if you like it smoother. 
  3. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and croutons.

Notes

Best Pro Tips for Homemade Tomato Soup:

  1. Use a non-reactive pan so the acid from the tomatoes doesn't cause a metallic taste. Non-reactive pans would include stainless steel or enameled cast iron which is my favorite. Stay away from aluminum or copper for this recipe. 
  2. If it's summer and you have access to good fresh tomatoes, you can certainly substitute for the canned. You might need to add a little tomato juice as well. 
  3. Fresh herbs will work in this recipe, although I would probably still add a little of the dried as well. 
  4. When adding the red pepper flakes and the cream, start with the smallest amounts and then taste, adding more if needed. 
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 6 servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 328Saturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 1189mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 5g

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Update Notes: This Easy Tomato Soup Recipe was originally published August 13, 2013, and on December 12, 2018, was updated with one or more of the following: step-by-step photos, video, updated recipe, new tips.

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