This homemade tomato soup is a creamy classic with plenty of savory flavor. You can use fresh tomatoes from your garden, canned tomatoes or even your own frozen tomatoes! My simple tips prevent the soup form curdling when you add the milk. Gluten free and ready in 30 minutes.
I grew up with cream of tomato soup from a can. We didn’t eat it often but I was never excited to see it on the table. For years I avoided tomato soup until I realized making my own was easy and very flavorful! My tomato soup recipe only takes a few minutes of active time. This leaves you free to whip up some grilled cheese sandwiches or another cheesy treat to round out an easy weeknight dinner!
How to Make a Good Tomato Soup
The best tomato soup recipes are simple. At the core you should be cooking tomatoes with onion, garlic and some spices.
Once the ingredients simmer for awhile you use an immersion blender or food processor to blend the soup into a velvety, creamy puree! I add some milk and cream to mine for a decadent finish. In order to prevent curdling when the dairy goes in use just a little bit of baking soda to combat the acid in the tomatoes.
If you want to make this into a delicious tomato basil soup just add a handful of fresh basil leaves right before blending! The flavor is amazing!
One of the reasons that this soup is SO easy is because it gets finished by blending. You don’t have to peel the tomatoes or even cut them into uniform chunks before cooking! You can’t beat the simplicity of this easy tomato soup.
Should You Use Canned Tomatoes OR Fresh Tomatoes?
Tomato soup is very versatile. Any tomato can be a great soup tomato!
- Home canned tomatoes
- Store bought canned tomatoes
- Fresh tomatoes out of the garden
- Frozen tomatoes (learn how to freeze your own garden tomatoes here!)
The biggest difference in these four kinds of tomatoes is going to be the sweetness of the tomato itself. If you have a kind of tomato that seems to have a less robust or sweet tomato flavor just add a teaspoon of sugar to the soup after pureeing it! Sugar is both a sweetener AND a flavor enhancer!
Taste the soup and add another teaspoon of sugar if you think it needs it. This is the perfect way to get the tomato soup just the way you like it!
Freezing Tomatoes for Creamy Tomato Soup
When my garden is going full steam at the end of the season I always have tons of tomatoes! Every year I spend a few minutes storing some of that extra bounty in my freezer to make soups later. Some of it will become tomato soup and some of it will go into chili and other soups.
Freezing tomatoes is easy and just takes a few minutes:
- Wash the tomatoes to make sure they are totally clean.
- Cut out the stem, cut off any bad spots and cut the tomatoes into quarters or eights. (Don’t bother to peel them.
- Fill quart size Ziploc freezer bags with the tomatoes until the bag just closes.
- Freeze bags flat, stacked on top of each other.
I like to freeze at least 12 quart bags of tomatoes so that I have about two a month for the cooler months when I’m making a lot more soups. Of course you can also can garden tomatoes if you like!
How to Freeze Tomato Soup
Having some containers of soup ready to go in the freezer is one of the ways I keep life simple. It is wonderful to always have soup at hand particularly in winter!
If you want to freeze this soup, do so before you add any milk and cream. (It actually tastes wonderful before the milk and cream so they can be left out if you need to!)
Thaw the soup and bring it to a simmer on the stove. Add milk and cream if desired and serve! It is that easy.
More Recipes Perfect for Garden Tomatoes
Homemade Tomato Soup
- 3 Tablespoon butter can sub olive oil
- 1/2 sweet onion chopped
- teaspoon minced garlic
- 5 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes 3 pounds fresh tomatoes or about 3 1/2 cans of store bought tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 Tablespoon chicken bouillon
- 1 teaspoon beef bouillon
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream can sub milk to reduce calories
- sugar to taste optional
- Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and stir occasionally until the onion is soft, about 3 minutes.
- Stir garlic into the onion and cook for 30-45 seconds until it just starts to color.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, baking soda, chicken bouillon, beef bouillon, white pepper, and black pepper. Stir to combine.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to maintain a strong simmer. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove soup from stove. Puree with an immersion blender until smooth. (Alternately soup can be cooled slightly and pureed in a traditional blender.)
- For extra creamy soup you can strain blended soup through a sieve into a saucepan. Use a spoon to press it through leaving any seeds, skins and chunks behind. This will take less than a minute but it is OPTIONAL.
- If you want to freeze the soup base for later, do it now. Otherwise, add the milk and cream to the base and stir. Taste for salt and sugar. Depending on the sweetness of your original tomatoes you may need to add 1-3 teaspoons of sugar now. Adjust salt as desired. Heat the soup gently over low and serve when it reaches the desired temperature
- Make sure to reheat any leftovers gently to prevent overcooking the milk and cream.
I read each and every comment and I try to respond to questions asap, so ask away! If you’ve made a recipe, I would love to hear about it! Please come back and share your experience and give the recipe a 5-star rating so other people will know how much you loved it!
What is the difference between white pepper and black? Other than color, of course. 🙂 I have both but I just don’t really know how to use white (except I’ve used it as a substitute when out of black).
Good question! As you know, I LOVE pepper!!! White pepper is made from the mature berries of the pepper plant. The berries are picked before they are fully ripe and the outer skins are removed. White pepper is generally sold finely ground and is spicier or more “hot”. I think that part of the spiciness comes from the powdery size of the grind. I use white pepper fairly traditionally to build flavor in soups, sauces, and marinades. Generally it is not something that is sprinkled on. Used in small quantities it can create depth and background flavor in your dish. I think of white pepper like clove. A little adds a hint of something special – a lot is horrific.
In the US people buy about 10 times more black pepper than white. In Europe people buy about 10 times more white than black. To me this suggests that our cooking in the US has some room to experiment and grow! It is one of the more expensive spices at many stores. I now buy it in large amounts in places like Cash and Carry for a good discount.
Ahhhhh…it’s sort of like drinking a sun-warmed, ripe tomato right out of the garden. My mouth is watering just thinking about this soup. I thought it tasted even better left over. I’ll have to try freezing the base, because tomato season is winding down.
I’m glad you liked it so well! I was impressed with the final results.
Just made this with canned tomatoes instead of fresh- delicious!!!!!
I’m glad you enjoyed it!
I just finished a bowl of this leftover from last night. It’s SO GOOD with cheese tortellini in it.
That does sound wonderful!
I have just found this recipe. It is summer here in New Zealand so there is plenty of tomatoes in our garden. I made this soup to freeze for winter. I added a little bit of tomato puree and a half teaspoon of Italian herbs. Yummy.
Oh YUM! That sounds perfect! My brother lived with a New Zealand family while he was in school and they were absolutely wonderful! I very much hope I get to visit the country one day – it sounds so beautiful!!!!
Can I use frozen cherry tomatoes and how much
Hi Barbara – Great question! If you look through the sections above the recipe you will see some information on using frozen tomatoes for this soup in more detail. But you can absolutely use frozen cherry tomatoes! When I use frozen tomatoes in this soup I either go by the weight asked for in the recipe while the tomatoes are frozen or I thaw the tomatoes and measure out the cups of tomatoes required. When you thaw tomatoes you probably know they tend to be liquefy and separate a lot. I measure ALL the liquid / tomato chunks and count this in my measurement. I hope that helps bring some clarity! Usually cherry tomatoes are wonderful and sweet but some variety such as pear shape are less sweet. You can adjust sugar to taste with my notes above the recipe. Happy soup making – enjoy that frozen bounty!!!
I have 8 lbs of frozen tomatoes from my garden and I SO appreciate you giving measurements in lbs so I can calculate everything!! We are moving in a week so gonna give this recipe a try with the various varieties I have so I can clean out the freezer. Will check back in to let you know how it turned out.
Absolutely! It really is such a wonderful thing to do with big batches of tomatoes! I hope your move went well 🙂
Outstanding–I had chopped tomatoes in my freezer from the summer and this is the best recipe I’ve tried. I have five pounds and that worked fine. I did add about a tablespoon of homemade pesto to it. Yum!
Oh goodness! I’m sure that was sublime! Your garden sounds like a wonderful source of treats. Thanks for the kind words about the recipe!
We had just one gallon bag left of frozen tomatoes (peeled and blanched) from last summer. I wanted to do something with them and thankfully found this recipe. I used olive oil, no white pepper (didn’t have it), Worcestershire sauce instead of beef bullion, chicken broth instead of chicken bullion, and a food processor instead of immersion blender. (I just worked with what I had on hand). I didn’t even thaw the tomatoes, just ran them quickly through the food processor in batches. This soup is incredible! Delicious! I didn’t need to add salt nor sugar! Thank you!
Tari I love it!!! Using what you have on hand to make great food is always wonderful!!! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe – I always make a big batch and stock my mom’s freezer for the winter and it makes a big difference in life!
I have made this before and oh my goodness it is so good! My husband loves it. I was wondering for canning season this year, if you think I could can soup to have already made up? How would that turn out? Still leave out the milk and cream?
Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoy it. I haven’t canned tomato soup before. For canning the acid ratios need to be exact and a quick look online is showing that people are pressure canning tomato soup bases. The baking soda is added to neutralize the acid of the tomatoes so that will be another issue – it could mess with your canning ratios. Bottom line there is “probably” a way to do it safely but without a bunch of research I don’t know what to suggest. Unfortunately, this is something that is probably more complicated than you expected. If you can find a recipe for canning up seasoned tomatoes essentially or tomato sauce with seasonings and follow the canning directions but add the baking soda and milk products later that would be what I would look at to start. But if I was going to do that I would start with a small batch and make sure it comes out well before you start filling up the pantry! Sorry – hopefully this is more clear than mud!!! (And for the record it is a great question!)