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Classic Tomato Soup

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Serves 8

Yields about 8 cups.

  • To learn more, read:
    The Best Tomato Soups
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 91

Silky tomato soup is like the little black dress of soups. Unadorned and paired with a grilled cheese sandwich, it’s a comforting lunch. Dressed up with simple garnishes, it makes a sophisticated start to a dinner party.

Use the Creamy Vegetable Soups Recipe Maker to create your own classic soup, or fill your interactive bowl with all your favorite ingredients for a twist on a classic soup.

  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups lower-salt chicken broth
  • 28-oz. can whole peeled plum tomatoes, puréed (include the juice)
  • 1-1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh basil, chives, or dill, or a mixture of all three (omit if using one of the garnishes below)
Tip:
Be sure to purée in small batches and crack the blender lid slightly (or remove the center cap from the lid). Steam can build up once you start blending, and if the lid is on tight or the blender is overfilled, it will spray hot soup all over you and your kitchen. For protection, cover the top with a dishtowel while puréeing.

In a nonreactive 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven, heat the oil and butter over medium-low heat until the butter melts. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft but not browned, about 8 minutes. Add the flour and stir to coat the onion and garlic.

Add the broth, tomatoes, sugar, thyme, and 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat while stirring the mixture to make sure that the flour is not sticking to the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes.

Discard the thyme sprig. Let cool briefly and then purée in two or three batches in a blender or food processor. Rinse the pot and return the soup to the pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reheat if necessary. Serve warm but not hot, garnished with the herbs or dolloped with one of the garnishes below.

Classic Tomato Soup Recipe
Make Ahead Tips

This soup stores beautifully and tastes better the second day. You can keep it in the refrigerator as long as you bring it to a boil every two days. Or you can stash it in the freezer for up to three months.

Serving Suggestions

To add a creamy touch, try one of these garnishes:

Sour cream, goat cheese & Parmesan garnish: In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup sour cream with 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese. Add 1 Tbs. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, 1 Tbs. thinly sliced chives, and 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil. Mix thoroughly and season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add a dollop to each serving.

Crème fraîche, herb & horseradish garnish: In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup crème fraîche with 1 Tbs. minced fresh dill and 1 Tbs. minced scallion. Add 1/2 Tbs. well-drained prepared white horseradish and mix well. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add a dollop to each serving.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 110; Fat (g): fat g 5; Fat Calories (kcal): 50; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 1.5; Protein (g): protein g 3; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 11; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0.5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 430; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 5; Fiber (g): fiber g 2;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Delicious! I cheated and used a 28oz. can of crushed tomatoes and did not purée anything. I also omitted one of the tablespoons of olive oil to reduce the calories and fat a little bit. It was still divine. My very picky kids even asked for seconds despite it having onions (which would normally cause a great deal of complaining). I served it along side a basket of yeast rolls (the frozen kind that you just thaw and bake) and I put a little bit of mozzarella cheese on top as garnish. This recipe has earned itself the status of becoming a "regular" in our household.

This soup was very delicious. I added a tablespoon of tomato paste to boost the flavor a bit. Nice texture too! I used an immersion blender to finish the soup. Definitely making again!

Delicious compliment to a standard or course meal. :)

Delicious! Will make again for sure!

Delicious! Will make again for sure!

This recipe is a staple in our house -- I make it every two weeks without fail. It's just perfect!

Super easy and very creamy once blended. Served the soup with homemade sourdough pretzels and jalapeno bean cakes. Very satisfying dinner!

OMG!!! This is such a fabulous full-flavored tomato soup. You can add anything to this...more herbs, roasted peppers etc. I can't wait for summer tomatoes to roast and use in this soup. It is yummy!

A definite 5 star soup! Both easy and satisfying without dragging out the emulsion mixer!! I will make this part of my family staple.

I've made this simple and tasty soup twice, and I will make it many more times. Use good quality tomatoes, and wait until the second day to eat it if you can. On the first day, I ate it plain with fresh basil and on the second I added cooked brown rice and parmesan. An immersion blender makes life easier, though the end product probably won't be quite as smooth. This soup is comfort food, no doubt about it. It's like Campbell's, but much, much better and almost as easy.

Easy and delicious. Used 2 sprigs of fresh basil instead of thyme. Could've used 3 or four for some more flavor, but the soup really didn't need it.

Best tomato soup we ever had! My husband especially like this soup. I made it with fresh tomatoes and cooked them down, then followed the rest of the cooking directions. I also added fire roasted artichokes and blended it all together. We will be having this again very soon. It's tomato season!

So delicious! I've made it several times since it came out and can't believe I've never rated it. Fire roasted tomatoes definitely add to the flavour as well as a pinch of red chili flakes.

Just made this today. I used 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock and the other 1 1/2 cups of vegtable stock. It came out lovely!! Looking forward to lunch tomorrow!

Fantastic! I have made it twice now. Used San Marzano canned tomatoes the first time and it came out a little too sweet. The second time I used regular canned romas and only 1/4 tsp sugar. Gave it a few shakes of red chili flakes and a bit more thyme and blended with immersion blender. Will be a staple from now on!

I've made this recipe several times and it comes out great every time. Easy and so delicious.

I have yet to find a recipe that I don't like on Fine Cooking. From the Beef Bouguinon to this very simple tomato soup, they are all amazing! This soup was so simple to make and yet so full of flavor. It was a great healthy hit!

THIS is THE tomato soup recipe I've been looking for!! I've tried a few and they're a little "different" or funky. This one is definitely "classic". I was a bit concerned that I would need to add butter or cream or herbs to kick it up but it was perfect as written! Served it with Garlic-Rubbed Grilled Cheese with Prosciutto and Tomatoes from this site---fabulous! Will definitely do again!

Super simple, yet full of flavor. I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was with so few ingredients and have already made it twice now.

This was not quite there but it might be the canned tomatoes we have in Jordan. My husband is a tomato soup maniac and he agreed it was bland but the texture was good. I'm going to search for better tomatoes and see if that makes a difference. This is the closest we've come to that tomato soup flavor and texture so I'll keep working with it It also should be lower in sodium than canned, of course.

Delicious! This was just so good I couldn't believe the wonderful flavor using canned tomatoes. What a time saver! I used fire-roasted tomatoes for a different flavor. This is now a regular in my house.

Delicious, easy to make and easily adaptable. I used the sour-cream/cheese garnish but I'll be experimenting with others.

Amazing - bang on for a perfect tomato soup. I'm amazed at how smooth and rich it was with a roux rather than cream. Definitely 5* - thanks FC & Perla Meyers for another hit to add to my rotation!!

Wonderful! For many years I made Craig Claiborne's "savory tomato soup" from the NY Times Cookbook. After trying this recipe, I couldn't go back to my old favorite. This has such bright flavor and is so easy to make.

Just terrifc. Simple and satisfying for a great lunch in an hour. I used dried herbs as I was out of fresh. Splashed in a bit of half and half at the end, and garnished with a little thinned pesto. Served with a grilled cheese sandwich using Manchego on sourdough. Perfect! Thanks Fine Cooking and Perla Meyers.

Just terrifc. Simple and satisfying for a great lunch in an hour. I used dried herbs as I was out of fresh. Splashed in a bit of half and half at the end, and garnished witha little thinned pesto. Served with griled cheese using Manchego. Perfect! Thanks Fine Cooking and Perla Meyers.

Loved it! Used fresh farmers market tomatoes, but good to know I can use canned in this recipe this winter. The sour cream, etc. garnish was really nice--I used chopped fresh basil since I had it on hand--yummy! Looking forward to the leftovers tonight!

Easy, quick and much healthier than store bought soups with high fructose corn syrup. I was looking for a good cream of tomato soup to serve with grilled colby cheese sandwiches on sesame semolina bread. I have tried several recipes and this one is so good that it does not need cream or milk blended into it (although it is easy to add a dollop of sour cream or yogurt to the top). The taste of the canned tomatoes really makes a difference. We like Die Fratelli whole tomatoes, which has 90 mg sodium and 5 g sugar per 1/2 cup serving, better than the Muir Glen with 260 mg sodium and 3 g sugar. Cooks Illustrated recommends Progresso tomatoes with basil packed in juice (NOT the one with puree), but I have not tried that one yet.

this is one of the best soup recipes I have ever had! Everyone asks for the recipe!

This soup is outstanding. Great flavor, quick and easy. I made it exactly as written but used my immersion blender. Served with the cheese toasts from FC tomato bisque recipe and a nice tossed salad...my friends wouldn't leave the house without these recipes.

This is a great, simple recipe for tomato soup. Easy to put together and so much better than anything you could buy. And using canned tomatoes makes it even more practical for any day.

This is such a wonderful recipe, made with items that most of us keep on hand. I already have two batches in the freezer.

This is a wonderful and VERY easy soup - ready in under 1 hour. Good, fire roasted tomatoes make the flavor. I use an immersion blender - and leave it a bit chunky. Great!

I love tomato soup but have never made it myself before mainly because I didn't want to spend a lot of time preparing fresh tomatoes. What a surprise to find a recipe that is so easy and quick and delicious even though it was made with canned tomatoes. Definitely much better than any canned soup I've ever had. I garnished it with the sour cream, goat cheese and parmesan mixture which further enhanced the flavor. I didn't have any chives so I used scallions instead which seemed to work fine.

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