Homemade Tomato Soup (You’ll Never Go Back To Canned)

Homemade Tomato soup

Tomato Soup and cheese something (tuna melts, open face melts, grilled cheese, quesadillas) is one of my favorite basic, comforting meals. Back in the day, canned tomato soup was a staple in our house.

But then, as you know, came the curse of label-reading. Uck. And that’s all I’m gonna say about what I found on the label.

Really, though, I can’t believe how many years I just bought things completely oblivious to what was in them. And if I’m being honest (and I try to be here…), part of me looks back with fondness on the time when I just threw things in my cart and went on my merry way.

The other part of me is horrified. So that part wins.

And you know what? Once I made tomato soup from scratch I found out how easy it is, but more important, I found out how much better it tastes. Way more like tomatoes and a lot less like watery ketchup (thanks to all the added sugar in canned soups).

tomato soup ingredients

This is what I use to make a basic tomato soup. Occasionally I’ll add orange juice (I know it sounds weird, but it adds sweetness and flavor) and on cool days in the summer and fall always fresh basil, but this is the basis for all the variations. Butter, onion, garlic, carrot, tomatoes (these are diced frozen ones, I use canned when I don’t have frozen), chicken or vegetable broth (I used frozen homemade chicken stock), and spices. I also threw in a can of canned Bruschetta Tomato Topping I made from last year’s tomatoes, just for the fun of it and the added flavor.

I know, I live on the wild side here.

tomato soup blending

Making tomato soup from scratch is as simple as sauteing onions in butter, adding the rest of the ingredients and boiling for a bit before blending everything up until smooth. I used to pour the soup (in batches) into a blender and would often get sprayed with hot liquid. Plus there were extra dishes.

When I discovered the immersion hand-held blenders, man I was in love! I started with a cheap-o plastic one because it was only $7.99 and I wasn’t sure how good they would work. It lasted for a few years, but the plastic didn’t hold up well in hot soup (and since then I’ve read all about how plastic and hot things should never go together…). Now I use a Cuisinart Immersion Blender with an all metal, removable neck and blade. At only around $30, it’s not the most expensive, but it works great for my purposes and holds up to hot soups no problem.

Wow, that totally sounded like an ad…sorry! The link above is to Amazon (I get a few cents if you go there from my site), but I really do like it, and if you are wanting one I just wanted to share my experience and maybe save you from spending $7.99 on one that didn’t last like I did.

And while making soup from scratch is not quite as quick as opening a can, it only takes 20 to 30 minutes – still a quick meal. While it’s cooking, you can prepare your cheesy side (try some black bean quesadillas- yum) and have a quality, real food meal on the table in 30 minutes.

Fresh tomato soup


Homemade Tomato Soup

  • 3 Tb. butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 c. chopped tomatoes (or 3 14-oz cans)
  • 4 c. chicken or vegetable stock
  1. Melt the butter in a 4-qt saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
  2. Add all the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Blend with an immersion blender (or in batches in a blender) until smooth.
  4. When serving, garnish with sliced green onions, parsley, or fresh basil.

Makes 6-8 servings


This is linked to:
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
Tasty Tuesday
Real Food Wednesday
Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap


  1. says

    No stupid questions here, Brook! A lot of people I know just throw the tomatoes in a baggie and put them in the freezer (I’ve done this, too at the end of the season when I’ve run out of time). The skins slip off and are usable in soups and sauces (they’re mushy). I used diced,peeled tomatoes left over from a canning session, covered them in water and froze them. They worked great this way and I didn’t have to touch ice cold tomatoes. :-)

  2. Dee says

    I freeze tomatoes too — I peel mine (boiling water 1-2 minutes) peel, core then put in food processor. Process to your likeness.
    Use pint size baggies — 2 cups to each bag. Put in freezer. Done this for years.
    Real old fashioned tomato soup — heat tomatoes– for two or us, I use one frozen baggie. Add 1/8th tsp. soda. Add milk — maybe a cup –not too much, some cream makes it richer, salt, pepper, to taste. This might be an acquired taste but it sure is good with a grilled cheese sandwich.

    • Jami says

      Sounds super easy and a great ways to quickly preserve garden tomatoes, Dee. Oh, and welcome to AOC – so happy to have you!

  3. Dee says

    I forgot to add — DUH! I’m new to your site and am enjoying “getting to know you.”
    I will give YOUR Homemade Tomato Soup a try too!

  4. Elly says

    First time I made tomato soup, glad I used this recipe. I change a bit of it though, I used all gmo free organic veggies and I added organic wheat grass, organic kale, organic celery, bay leaves and organic raspberries for color and sweet flavor. I try to avoid sugar, but my twin girls (16 months old) loved it. Made them grilled cheese with Daves killer bread(gmo free pesticide free organic wheat bread) and colby jack cheese and dipped in the soup, they went crazy over it. :) though I will say the kale and wheat grass made it a little more green lol.

  5. Yvonne Elsom says

    Homemade tomato soup is eay to make and delicious. If I am out fresh tomatoes I use canned tomatoes, and always add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to the soup, as I find this takes away the acid taste that canned tomatoes sometimes have. Mix it in with the vegetables and spices after cooking them. Hope this helps.

    • says

      No, it’s not been tested for canning and anything with broth in it will not be safe for water-bath since it brings the acid levels down from the tomatoes. You can freeze it, though. :)

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