You’ll never buy canned soup again! This is the best homemade cream of tomato soup recipe made with a few pantry staples and a little fresh basil.
Fight the chill on a cold day with a soul-warming bowl of homemade tomato soup. It’s easy to make—ready in about half an hour—so you can have a healthy lunch or dinner on the table in no time.
Plus, it’s a kid-friendly favorite dish. Who can resist a hot, gooey grilled cheese sandwich paired with creamy tomato soup? Perfection.
The best part is that you don’t even need to make a special trip to the store to pull this creamy tomato soup recipe together. I bet you’ll find everything you need in your pantry or fridge.
Let’s get cooking!
Why You’ll Love This Homemade Cream of Tomato Soup
- Classic comfort food you can prepare using simple ingredients from the pantry and fridge
- Great way to warm up quickly on a cold winter’s day
- A family favorite, especially when paired with buttery grilled cheese sandwiches
- Ready in only 35 minutes, so it’s a wonderful weeknight meal
- Easy recipe to double to enjoy for lunches all week
Here are all the homemade cream of tomato soup ingredients you’ll need to get this meal on the table today:
- Olive Oil: Used for cooking the onions and garlic until tender. You can also substitute butter if you prefer, but cook it at a lower temperature.
- Onion: A yellow onion, finely chopped, works best for a good tomato soup. Although they’re strong when raw, yellow onions mellow out while cooking to become sweeter and milder.
- Garlic: Adds flavor to any dish. Sub ¾ tsp garlic powder if you don’t have fresh garlic on hand.
- Crushed Tomatoes: You probably have some in your pantry already! You can also use whole tomatoes, but you’ll have to puree them in small batches in a food processor or blender first.
- Baking Soda: This ingredient is really important! Baking soda neutralizes the acidity of the tomatoes and keeps from curdling the milk. Keep your tomato soup chunk-free by adding a quarter teaspoon of baking soda during the cooking process.
- Dried Parsley: It enhances the flavor. If you have fresh parsley on hand, you can use that, too. One tablespoon of dried parsley is the equivalent of 3 tablespoons of the fresh stuff.
- Salt and Pepper: Add and adjust these to taste. Freshly cracked black pepper adds flavor and depth.
- Fresh Basil: A yummy addition to almost any dish—add 1 teaspoon of dried basil if you don’t have fresh on hand.
- Honey: It slightly sweetens the soup and helps cut the acidity of the tomatoes.
- Skim or Low-Fat Milk: This is the perfect option for a lighter soup, but if you prefer a richer creamy flavor, try whole milk or heavy cream instead.
How to Make Homemade Cream of Tomato Soup
- Step One: Sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil in a large saucepan or soup pot until the onion is translucent.
- Step Two: Add in the tomatoes, baking soda, parsley, salt and pepper.
- Step Three: Bring the mixture to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium-low, and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
- Step Four: Add the honey and basil. Taste to see if you need to add more salt or pepper to the soup.
- Step Five: Add skim milk (or whatever milk you have on hand). Use two to three cups of milk, depending on whether you like your soup thicker or thinner. Continue to heat until the soup is nice and warm.
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What to Serve with Homemade Cream of Tomato Soup
I love serving this easy tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch. Nothing brings back delicious childhood memories like dunking a sandwich in a hot bowl of soup.
This healthy tomato soup recipe also pairs nicely with a tossed side salad. That’s an easy way to fit an additional serving or two of veggies into your day without feeling stuffed.
Serve it with homemade bread. It doesn’t get much tastier than this scrumptious garlic bread recipe.
Cheese chips are tasty with tomato-based dishes like this one and would be fun to dunk into soup.
Finally, cheese toast croutons pair perfectly with a big bowl of creamy soup.
Tomato Soup Toppings
Want to make your tomato soup a little more interesting? Try one of these delicious topping ideas to kick it up a notch:
- Shredded or grated cheese
- Bacon crumbles
- Tortilla strips
- Sour cream
- Green onions
- Bread crumbs
- Toasted nuts
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Adding cold milk to a hot mixture can cause curdling. In addition to adding a little baking soda to the tomato mixture first, temper the milk with a few tablespoons of the hot soup before adding it to the rest of the pot.
- Besides honey, you can add a little sugar, a pinch of salt, or butter to help neutralize tomatoes that taste too acidic.
- For homemade creamy tomato soup that’s too thin or “watery”, extend the simmering time to allow the soup to reduce.
- Use a nonreactive pot when cooking tomato-based recipes.
Variations and Substitutions
- Use fire roasted tomatoes for more depth of flavor.
- If you like a spicy kick, add a can of diced green chiles, some red pepper flakes, or a little pinch of cayenne pepper.
- Add shredded parmesan cheese to the mixture as it cooks to add a bit of saltiness and to help neutralize acidity.
- This is a slightly chunky soup. For a smoother soup, puree or blend the crushed tomatoes before cooking or use an immersion blender to blend it right in the pot.
Best Way to Store Creamy Tomato Soup
Store leftover homemade tomato soup in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
Reheat the soup over medium heat until warmed through.
Can I Freeze Cream of Tomato Soup?
If you’re using a plant-based milk instead of regular milk or cream, it’s safe to freeze this soup because there’s no cream to separate. However, cream-based soups don’t typically freeze well. Instead, cook all the ingredients to the point just before milk is added, and freeze that instead. When you reheat it, add the milk. Easy peasy!
Cream of Tomato Soup FAQs
Can I Use Plant-Based Milk In Cream of Tomato Soup In Place of Regular Milk?
Yes! Although it changes the taste of this easy tomato soup recipe, you can absolutely use almond milk or any non-dairy milk of your choice in place of the regular milk. If you do, report back to us to let us know how it works out.
Is Cream of Tomato Soup Fattening?
That depends on the type of milk or cream used. This recipe is much lighter than many rich soup recipes because it uses skim milk instead of heavy cream.
Heavy cream adds more fat and calories, but it also adds richness and creaminess.
Use whichever your family (and diet) prefer.
Why Does My Tomato Soup Taste Bitter?
Tomato soup tastes bitter when the tomatoes are more acidic than usual. Fix it by adding a pinch of baking soda, a tablespoon of honey, or a tablespoon of sugar.
- Sausage and Cabbage Soup: This low carb soup is the perfect savory soup for a winter’s day. It’s easy to make, tastes delish, and is low carb.
- Hamburger Soup: You’ll love my take on my grandma’s favorite soup. It’s hearty, filling, and flavorful. It’s the perfect pick-me-up on a blustery day.
- Cauliflower Soup with Bacon: Creamy cauliflower soup is topped with crispy bacon and scallions for a dish that will warm you up in no time.
- Cabbage Roll Soup: Get all the flavor of cabbage rolls without the fuss. This is about 100 times easier to make and will become a winter staple for your family.
- Tomato Florentine Soup: Ready in just 20 minutes, this yummy soup is full of tomatoes, pasta, and spinach, and will be an instant favorite.
Why buy canned soup when the homemade version is so much better? Pin this recipe to come back to it when you’re ready to start cooking. It’s sure to become one of your favorite recipes for winter.
If you make the recipe, rate it on the recipe card below and tag me on Instagram and use #simplystacie. I like sharing the photos on my Instagram stories!
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 (28oz) can of crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2-3 cups of skim or low fat milk
- Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until it is translucent.
- Add the tomatoes, baking soda, parsley, salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes over medium low heat.
- Add the honey and basil. Check and add more salt and pepper as needed.
- Add in 2 to 3 cups of skim or low fat milk depending on whether you prefer your cream of tomato soup thicker or thinner. Warm & serve.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 bowl
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 142Total Fat: 7.2gSaturated Fat: 1.1gUnsaturated Fat: 5.9gCholesterol: 2.5mgSodium: 167.5mgCarbohydrates: 14.4gFiber: 0.5gSugar: 13.1gProtein: 6.1g