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A classic, hearty Tomato Soup recipe that everyone should have in their recipe collection! Uses fresh or canned plum tomatoes. Super delicious!

Everyone needs a good, hearty homemade Tomato Soup in their recipe collection – and we’re sharing ours with you today!

This thick, delicious, creamy tomato soup is one of my favorite soups of all-time. It’s full of fresh tomato flavor (of course) as well as fresh garlic, basil, thyme and parsley. But what really adds the perfect finishing touch to this soup is a small pinch of red pepper flakes added at the end – it lends a gentle heat to the soup that really complements the fresh tomato and herb flavors.

A classic, hearty Tomato Soup recipe that everyone should have in their recipe collection! Uses fresh or canned plum tomatoes. Super delicious!

I should point out that we used fresh garden plum tomatoes in our version – but you can also used canned plum tomatoes if good-quality fresh tomatoes are not available. (If you use canned, your tomato soup will likely be a darker color than what is shown here in our photo.) Also, you can add more stock to the soup if you prefer your tomato soup to be a thinner consistency.  Finally, you can also add a little bit of heavy cream at the end if you’d like a cream of tomato soup (we did not add cream to our version).

We served our tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches that were cut into sticks for dipping – which is also optional but highly recommended!

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A classic, hearty Tomato Soup recipe that everyone should have in their recipe collection! Uses fresh or canned plum tomatoes. Super delicious!

Tomato Soup

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4-8 servings


Note: The best tomatoes to use for this soup are plum-type tomatoes because the skins are thin and the seeds are few, but any tomato or combination of tomatoes will work. Also note: The instructions written below assume that you are using fresh tomatoes. Feel free to skip to step #2 if you are using canned.


  • 3 pounds fresh garden tomatoes, see note (or if using cans, two 28 ounce cans plum tomatoes, diced with juice)
  • ½ cup good-quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 1 cup peeled and diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil, divided
  • 2 large sprigs thyme left whole
  • 2 large stalks Italian flat-leaf parsley, stems left on and left whole
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 5.5 ounce cans tomato juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 5 tablespoons tomato paste, divided
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup heavy cream, optional
  • Your favorite grilled cheese sandwich, cut into sticks for serving, also optional


  1. If using fresh tomatoes: The skins of plum tomatoes cook down enough in this soup so that you don’t need to peel them but you do need to remove the seeds as they will make the soup bitter. The easiest method is to have two bowls, one with a strainer. If you are using plum tomatoes, nip off the end and cut in half lengthwise. Then with your thumb or index finger, scrape the seeds from each half into the bowl with the strainer. If cutting larger round tomatoes, cut out core and cut them horizontally. Then over the bowl with the strainer, reach up and scrape out all the seeds. Throw the cleaned tomatoes into the bowl without the strainer. Finally move the seeds around the strainer to get out any last bit of juice and discard seeds. Take the liquid left in the bowl and add to the tomato halves. With three pounds of tomatoes, you should end up with a little over 2 pounds of cut up tomatoes (weighed on a scale). This is equal to about six to eight cups (a little more or less is fine).
  2. In a medium to large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot, add olive oil, onions, carrots, celery, garlic and bay leaves. Cook over medium high for five minutes. Add tomato halves with juice (or canned).
  3. Add half of the fresh cut up basil. Tie whole thyme and whole parsley together with twine and place in pot.
  4. Add broth, tomato juice, sugar, 3 tablespoons tomato paste, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer, cover and cook 30 minutes.
  5. Remove and discard bay leaves, thyme and parsley.
  6. Add second half of basil to the soup. Stir in pepper flakes and butter. With an immersion blender, blend soup until completely pureed.
  7. At this point, if you like it very thick, add the remaining two tablespoons of tomato paste and cook for another few minutes. If you like it thinner, omit the last two tablespoons.
  8. Also adding cream is optional as a personal preference. We left it out.

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  • Kiki wrote:

    Oh. My. God. I’ve just eaten this amazing soup with my dad. And we are blown away! (Although I didn’t add the celery because my dad doesn’t like them and I forgot the tomato juice..) This soup is definitely going into my repertoire. Thanks so so so so much for this recipe!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Kiki – So glad you enjoyed the soup!

  • Linda wrote:

    Thank you so much for giving an approximate cup quantity on this Tomato Soup recipe. I don’t have a scale and I buy tomatoes in a 1/2 bushel basket so if I don’t have cup measurements I’m stuck. Will be trying this soon. We’re nearing the end of tomato season here but I think I have enough to try this soup.


    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome Linda! Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  • Melinda wrote:

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! It was wonderful. Made it for dinner tonight and severed with avocado bacon grilled cheese. Was a huge hit!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you Melinda! We’re glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Kate @ wrote:

    This tomato soup looks so good – thick and yummy looking, and with so many ingredients it’s gotta have a really good flavor. I’ve been contemplating making tomato soup without the grilled cheese, but NO NO, your pictures convinced me I need to have the grilled cheese. So now I have to go out and get some cheese tomorrow 🙂

    • Martha wrote:

      LOL – Thank Kate! Grilled cheese not required…but it IS definitely delicious with this soup! 🙂

  • Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet wrote:

    Loving this bowl full of comfort! Homemade tomato soup is the best!

    • Martha wrote:

      I agree Anna! Thanks for visiting us today!

  • Thalia @ butter and brioche wrote:

    I have to shamefully admit I have never eaten or made a tomato soup before. I definitely will be changing that and making your delicious recipe. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Martha wrote:

      I hope you enjoy the soup Thalia!

  • Michelle wrote:

    Yum! I will be making this soup this weekend. Looks great!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Michelle!

  • Marjory @ Dinner-Mom wrote:

    We are such big fans of tomato soup. I would love to have some cups of this stowed away in my freezer!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Marjorie – it probably would freeze quite well!

  • Christie – Food Done Light wrote:

    Tomato soup always reminds me of my childhood. My Mom made the “canned” type a lot. My daughter loves it now too. She would love this recipe.

    • Martha wrote:

      Tomato soup reminds me of my childhood too Christie – and I will admit, sometimes in a pinch, I still grab a can! Hope your daughter loves the soup!

  • Beth @ The First Year wrote:

    Martha, this soup looks absolutely incredible!!! You make me want to eat it for breakfast 🙂

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you Beth!

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