This classic tomato soup recipe is all you need this winter.
It’s infused with fresh garlic, onions, and canned tomatoes. And it couldn’t be easier to make!
It’s great on its own, but even better with a grilled cheese sandwich on the side for dunking.
So, put down the canned tomato soup and give this homemade recipe a try. Trust me, you’ll never go back to the store-bought stuff ever again.
This soup is so simple and uses pantry staples you probably already have!
Here’s everything you need:
- Olive oil – A little fat makes this tomato-based soup so rich. Olive oil delivers a distinctive olive and grassy flavor. You can use butter if you don’t have good olive oil on hand.
- Onion and garlic – Aromatic onion and garlic provide a rich depth of flavor.
- Can of whole peeled tomatoes – Fresh is best, but canned whole peeled tomatoes are the next best thing. Ensure you also keep the juice, it has a lot of hidden flavor!
- Broth – You can use either chicken or vegetable broth. You can also use water if you don’t have any in your pantry. It just won’t have the same richness and depth of flavor.
- Tomato paste – Tomato paste is your secret weapon for bold tomato flavors. It also helps thicken the soup slightly.
- Sugar – Sugar helps to cut the acidity of the tomatoes, but it’s entirely optional. Don’t worry, it won’t make your soup sweet. If you prefer a tomato soup with an acidic bite, you can leave it out.
- Basil – Dried basil gives the soup a nice earthy. It’s bright and a little minty. You can also use fresh basil as a garnish, although it’s optional.
- Salt and pepper – A dash of simple salt and pepper is all you need to amplify these classic flavors.
- Heavy cream – Heavy cream is optional but adds so much flavor and complexity to this soup. It helps calm the tomatoes’ acidity and makes it rich and indulgent.
How to Make Classic Tomato Soup
This recipe tastes so much better than canned soup, and it’s almost as easy. Plus, everything comes together in one pot, which means fewer dishes to wash!
Check out how quick and easy this soup recipe comes together.
1. Saute onions and garlic. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Then, add the onions for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook it for another minute.
2. Add the canned tomatoes. Pour the canned tomatoes (and the juice) into the pot and stir. Be sure to break up big clumps of tomato with a spoon.
3. Pour in the liquids and seasoning. Add the broth, sugar, tomato paste, and basil. Stir it, and then add salt and pepper to taste. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer it for 20 minutes.
4. Make it smooth. Blend the soup with an immersion blender until it’s smooth.
5. Add the cream. At the very end, add the optional cream and stir until it’s combined. Taste it, and add more sugar, salt, and pepper if needed.
6. Serve. Ladle it into bowls, and enjoy!
Tips for the Best Soup
This is the best classic tomato soup recipe because it’s so easy. However, I have a few clever tips to take this soup over the top!
- Use a non-reactive pot. Tomatoes are very acidic, so avoid aluminum, copper, and cast iron pots. These metals react with the acidic tomatoes, making your soup taste metallic. Opt for stainless steel, enamel-coated cast iron, ceramic, or glass.
- Make it rustic. If you don’t like blended tomato soup, skip the emulsifier. That way, you’ll have big, meaty pieces of tomato in your broth.
- No emulsifier? No problem! You can also create a smooth soup with your stand blender. Transfer the soup to a blender and pulse on low until smooth. Depending on the size of your blender, you may need to work in batches.
- ABT (Always Be Tasting). Finding your ideal flavors is a delicate science. If it’s too acidic, add more sugar. Or maybe it needs a few more spices or salt. Taste test as you go, and add more ingredients to your liking.
- Experiment with cream. Heavy cream is great, but you don’t have to stop there! Try creamy additions like sour cream, half-and-half, Greek yogurt, or cream cheese.
- Make it spicy! Need a little spice in your life? Throwing in some red pepper flakes is a quick and easy way to dial up the heat.
- Get garnishing. A good garnish elevates the final presentation and delivers even more flavor. Some great suggestions include shredded cheese, fresh herbs, croutons, or a simple drizzle of olive oil.
What to Serve with Creamy Tomato Soup
Check out these grilled cheese recipes for the best tomato soup pairing!
However, there are so many options to serve with tomato basil soup rather than grilled cheese. Here are some of my favorites:
- Olive Garden Salad. You can never go wrong with a classic soup and salad combo.
- Cuban Sandwich. What could make a Cuban sandwich even better? Dunking it in tomato soup, of course.
- Fried Egg Sandwich. Simple, comforting, and super easy. Plus, it brings a little more protein to the party.
- Ina Garten Mac and Cheese. Tomato soup and mac and cheese are the holy grail of comforting winter foods.
- Cornbread. Savory tomato soup and a slice of sweet, crumbly cornbread. It doesn’t get any better than this.
How to Store
Having leftover tomato soup is always a good problem to have. And it’s a great make-ahead soup recipe that only gets better with time, especially if you add red pepper flakes!
Here are some tips on how to store those tasty leftovers.
- To Store: Allow the soup to cool to room temperature, and transfer it to an air-tight container. It will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- To Freeze: Place the cooled soup in an air-tight container or freezer bag and pop it in the freezer. It will stay fresh for up to 3 months.
- To Reheat: Allow frozen soup to thaw in the fridge overnight. Then, place it in a saucepan and reheat it gently over low heat.
Freezing tip: Adding heavy cream to your soup will make it grainy as it thaws. If you intend to freeze your soup, skip the heavy cream step and add it to individual servings.
More Creamy Soup Recipes You’ll Love
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