This homemade tomato soup is rich and creamy and super simple to make. Served with a hot and gooey grilled cheese sandwich, it's the perfect comfort food for a rainy day lunch or dinner.
Most of us probably had the classic condensed tomato soup from a can growing up. And soup from a can is hard to beat for the convenience factor, but it's always lacking in flavor.
For this tomato soup recipe there are only 3 ingredients to chop up, and about 10 minutes of active cooking time. Bu that little bit extra time and effort goes a long way. It makes this homemade tomato soup soooo much better than the canned version.
- Onion and carrots - The vegetables will help balance out the bright acidic flavors of the tomatoes and also add some body to the soup.
- Canned tomatoes - Fresh tomatoes are great but typically when it's soup weather tomatoes are out of season, so I usually go with canned here. I like to use San Marzano tomatoes which are usually sweeter and a little less acidic than the generic whole tomatoes.
- Broth - You can use chicken or vegetable broth in this soup. It's best to get low or reduced sodium so you can control the salt level. If you use a full sodium variety you can probably skip the added salt at the end.
The rest of the ingredients you can adjust as you want. I like to add some garlic and tomato paste in after cooking the onion and carrots for a deeper flavor. Some sugar will also help balance out the acidity. Thyme works really well to give it a little more savory flavor. I like to add a little cream in mine, but it's totally optional. Basil is also a great addition if you like a bright flavored tomato soup.
How to make tomato soup
Start by cooking your chopped onion and carrots in a large pot with a mixture of hot olive oil and butter over medium high heat. Next add in a clove or two of minced garlic and cook until fragrant. Make sure to stir frequently so it doesn't burn.
Add in 2 tablespoons of tomato paste and stir frequently until it begins to darken. Cooking the tomato paste will help reduce the acidity.
Now add in the canned tomatoes with their juices. Then add in your broth, sugar, and thyme. Bring the mixture to a simmer and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook for around 30 minutes. Stir the soup occasionally as it cooks and adjust the heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer.
After cooking let the soup cool slightly and then transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. You may need to work in batches depending on the size of your blender. Be sure to remove the plug in the lid to allow the steam to escape so it doesn't blow the lid off! If you have an immersion blender that will work well too.
After blending stir in the cream if desired and season with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. You can also add in some fresh basil at this time if you want tomato basil soup. And, of course, don't forget to serve the soup with a grilled cheese sandwich!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, with liquid
- 3 cups chicken broth, preferably low sodium
- 1 tsp sugar
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- ½ cup heavy cream, optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large pot or dutch oven heat oil and butter over medium-high heat until butter is melted and foaming.
- Add onions and carrots and cook until softened, around 5-6 minutes.
- Add the garlic and stir frequently until fragrant, around 30 seconds.
- Add the tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes until it begins to darken.
- Add canned tomatoes with their juices along with the chicken broth, sugar, and thyme and stir to combine then bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low.
- Simmer for around 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a low simmer.
- Let soup cool slightly then transfer to a blender in batches and puree until smooth. Alternatively you can use an immersion blender.
- Stir in cream if desired, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
* All nutrition information we provide are estimates based on third party calculators. We encourage you to calculate these on your own for accurate results.