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Classic Tomato Soup Recipe

Scott Phillips

Yield: Yields about 8 cups.

Servings: 8

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.


  • 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)

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 110
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 50
  • Fat (g): 5
  • Saturated Fat (g): 1.5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3
  • Cholesterol (mg): 5
  • Sodium (mg): 430
  • Carbohydrates (g): 11
  • Fiber (g): 2
  • Protein (g): 3


  • 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.

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.

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.


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.


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Reviews (67 reviews)

  • KevJack | 06/23/2020

    I have made this recipe several times and each time it was simple amazing! I added green peppers to the onions when cooking them since I love using peppers in everything. I actually made a double recipe this last time. The soup is delicious with lots of texture since it is not totally pureed. I do not use sugar. As mentioned in the recipe, that soup tastes even better the next day, so don't be afraid to make it ahead of time. Friends have commented on how tasty the soup is. It is a pleasure to make, and so easy to do!

  • MummyK | 06/11/2020

    It’s not the teaspoon of sugar in this recipe that is responsible for diabetes in this country. It is the supersized McDonald’s fries (with secret sugar) the supersized coke and the lack of home cooked vegetables. Don’t add the sugar if you don’t want to but as a professional chef that little bit of sweet balances the acid in the canned tomatoes when you can’t pick them perfectly ripe from your garden. Then again that would be a different recipe then wouldn’t it this called for canned tomatoes so you can enjoy nice soup even in winter spring and early summer

  • breesok | 06/01/2020

    Can't believe this was my first Fine Cooking recipe. Can't believe I've waited this long to try your recipes. Already have three of your recipes on permanent, rest-of-my-life rotation. Can't say enough how unbelievably delicious and easy this recipe is. Never once imagined myself making tomato soup - was never on my list of desirable foods to make. I didn't change a thing. This recipe is a keeper and a game-changer. Don't think twice about making this. Thank you, Fine Cooking.

  • cwhart | 04/25/2020

    Great recipe to which I added tomato paste, bay leaves and fresh basil. I used five cloves of garlic instead of one, because nothing can have too much garlic.

    But sugar??? One reason for the epidemic of diabetes in the US is that food manufacturers put sugar in EVERYTHING--pasta sauce, soup, bread. Why??? Savory foods don't need sugar. That's why I'm making soup from scratch--because it's impossible to find store-bought food without sugar. Needless to say, I left the sugar out of this recipe and it tasted just fine.

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