This easy tomato soup recipe might be the best you'll ever try! It's ready in about half an hour and uses canned tomatoes, so it's inexpensive and requires minimal effort to make a cozy family meal.
You may want to try my Tomato Tortellini Soup next.
Why you'll enjoy it
I always make my homemade tomato soup rather than using the condensed variety. It's a great balance between ease and flavor. Using canned tomatoes is not only super convenient, but they taste every bit as good as fresh ones since they're canned at the peak of ripeness. Even Bobby Flay agrees on that point. That means this simple tomato soup is delicious year-round.
This soup is velvety and rich without being heavy, and all you need is a few pantry staples to get that irresistible signature concentrated tomato taste with a hint of cream that you crave in a really good tomato soup. I think we can agree that not all tomato soup recipes are created equal, so mine might just win a spot in your soup rotation!
What you'll need and why
- Olive oil and butter - for sautéing
- Onion and garlic - our base aromatics. Vidalia (sweet) onions are my go-to, and I like to use a garlic press to mince the garlic cloves rather than by hand.
- Flour - it acts as a thickener
- Chicken broth - for depth of flavor, but vegetable broth works if you need this to be vegetarian
- Tomatoes - we're using canned diced tomatoes with the juices and canned crushed tomatoes as the base. They're easier to work with than fresh tomatoes, perfectly ripe, and available anytime. No messing around with roasting tomatoes here.
- Italian seasoning - it's a versatile blend of fragrant Italian herbs that comes all in a single jar in the ideal proportions and what sets my soup apart from the rest
- Sugar - yes, sugar! It's an old chef's trick to balance the acidity of the tomatoes and brings out their natural sweetness. It's why a good tomato soup tastes so good.
- Heavy cream - it gives a touch of richness and body to the soup and makes it even tastier. Don't skip it!
- The quality of the canned tomatoes matters here, and it can definitely vary from brand to brand. My personal favorites include Muir Glen, DeLallo, and Mutti if you're looking for a recommendation. I like the San Marzano variety if you can find them. Using fire-roasted tomatoes adds extra flavor to the soup!
How to make tomato soup
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
In a soup pot or Dutch oven, add in the oil and butter. When it's melted, sauté the onion until softened. Stir in the garlic and flour for a minute. Whisk in the chicken broth until the flour has dissolved.
Add in the tomatoes, Italian seasoning, sugar, and cream to the pot. Let it come to a boil, and then reduce the heat so it simmers for another 8 minutes or so. Season with salt & pepper, blend with an immersion blender if desired, and top with basil and parmesan if using.
Substitutions and variations
- I don't recommend subbing the cream with something lower fat because there's a good chance it will curdle. You could try stirring in some coconut milk for a dairy-free option if you're used to that kind of a substitution, but it will taste different, of course.
- Toss in any fresh garden herbs that you might have on hand. You could also use dried basil instead of fresh. Add a half tablespoon (or more) in at the same time as the Italian seasoning.
- You don't have to blend the soup if you prefer a more rustic texture from the diced tomatoes, or simply just blend some of it. There's options here to suit you.
What to serve with tomato soup
- Top it with freshly grated parmesan and a handful of fresh basil from the garden, pair it with a slice of focaccia or sourdough, and you're all set.
- A grilled cheese sandwich is an obvious choice, but you can also do my Easy Homemade Croutons (Garlic & Parmesan) to change it up! There's still bread and cheese, so it counts.
- Craving the classic soup and salad combo? Try it with my Parmesan Arugula Salad.
Leftovers and storage
- This tomato soup makes wonderful leftovers. Refrigerate it in an airtight container for 3-5 days.
- It also freezes great for up to 6 months. Try individual portions to make it easy to grab a meal anytime.
- Reheat this soup over a low heat, giving it the occasional stir, on the stovetop. You can also microwave it in short intervals until warmed through.
I think this easy tomato soup is just all-around tasty, and I hope you agree! Let me know what you think in the comments below. You can also find me on Instagram.
Easy Tomato Soup Recipe
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1-2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups chicken broth or veggie broth
- 1 (28 fluid ounce) can diced tomatoes with juices
- 1 (28 fluid ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning or to taste
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 cup heavy/whipping cream
- Salt & pepper to taste
- For serving: fresh basil, freshly grated parmesan cheese optional, to taste
- Add the olive oil and butter to a soup pot over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the onion and sauté it for 5-7 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and flour, and cook it for about a minute.
- Stir (or whisk) in the chicken broth until the flour has dissolved.
- Add the canned tomatoes, Italian seasoning, sugar, and cream to the pot. Increase the heat to high and bring it to a gentle boil.
- Once the soup comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer. Let it cook, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes or so. Season with salt & pepper as needed.
- If desired, blend the soup for a smoother consistency. I use an immersion blender and blend right in the pot, but you can transfer to a regular blender if desired (you may want to wait for it to cool a bit).
- Season with salt & pepper as needed (I am generous with both). If using the fresh basil, stir it in prior to serving. Serve soup bowls with freshly grated parmesan over top if desired.
- You could use dried basil instead of fresh - I use a few dashes and add it in at the same time as the Italian seasoning.
- If you don't want the cream, you can add a bit less or leave it out, but IMO the soup won't be as tasty. I don't recommend subbing half-and-half or something with less fat, because the acid from the tomatoes will likely curdle/separate it, and the soup will look a bit grainy.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
This recipe was originally published on February 27, 2019. It's been updated with new photos and better instructions but is the same great recipe!