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Easy Tomato Soup with Canned Tomatoes

Remember eating Campbell’s tomato soup with saltine crackers on a cold day? Well, we promise this creamy tomato soup with canned tomatoes is a way better version. Classic comfort food in 20 minutes.

If you want to up your game, homemade cheese croutons with the soup are a perfect complement (instructions are in the recipe card).

By the way, are fresh tomatoes better than canned? Check it out.

two bowls of tomato soup with crouton sticks

The cream of tomato soup has a deep tomato flavor mellowed by the cream. And the Parmesan croutons are perfect for dipping if you choose to make them. They absorb the soup while still maintaining a bit of crunch.

The whole thing, croutons and all, comes together in under 30 minutes with very few ingredients. Or just 20 minutes without the croutons. Easy to make and really delicious.

There’s no need to wait for tomato season because this recipe uses canned tomatoes which are just as healthy and tasty as fresh tomatoes.

Make a double batch! The soup freezes well for up to 6 months.

Ingredient notes – tailored to your taste

canned tomatoes, oil, garlic, onoin, cream, butter, salt, pepper

We kept this recipe super simple with basic fridge and pantry staples. The key ingredients are onions, garlic, canned tomatoes, broth, a few seasonings and a splash of half and half cream or heavy cream.

Can you vary this healthy tomato soup? Of course!

Canned tomatoes

  • I use canned whole San Marzano tomatoes which have fewer seeds, a heartier, sweeter taste and are less acidic – the perfect plum tomato. I think fire-roasted tomatoes would be great too.
  • Or check out the best canned tomatoes below according to a New York Times taste test. 

Cream

  • You can leave out the cream, but I think it adds a wonderful rich mellowness to the soup.
  • For less calories, use whole milk or even 2% milk. Not quite as creamy.
  • Feel free to substitute the cream with a dairy free cream or coconut milk (also dairy-free)

Seasoning

  • Add herbs such as fresh thyme or basil.
  • When it comes to tomato soup, I’m a purist, but feel free to add some heat with red pepper flakes

Add-ins and garnish

  • Before adding the cream, stir in fresh, roughly chopped baby spinach until it wilts (1 minute) for added color and nutrients.
  • Add fresh thinly sliced fresh basil leaves or additional grated Parmesan as a garnish.

Parmesan Crouton variations

  • Cut the croutons into cubes if you prefer. I like using ‘sticks’ as they are easier for dunking.
  • Use any firmer-type bread like challah, pumpernickel, artisan, whole grain, baguette or white country bread.
  • Alternatively, serve with warm crusty bread.

Step by step instructions

onions sauteting in pot
Sauté onions in a large pot for a few minutes until translucent.
tomato soups in pot
Crush tomatoes (I use my hands) and add to pot with juices. Add broth and seasonings. Bring to boil, lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
soup being pureed in pot with immersion blender
Puree all or part of soup with immersion blender (or in two batches in blender or food processor) for a smooth texture. Stir in cream.

Optional homemade croutons: While soup is cooking, cut 3-4 slices of bread into strips/sticks. Toss with oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Bake 6 minutes. Add Parmesan and bake another 4 minutes until golden brown.

Homemade creamy tomato soup in bowl with crouton in it 2
Serve in bowls or cups garnished with slivers of fresh basil leaves if you like.

Recipe FAQ

Are canned tomatoes healthy?

Canned tomatoes are low in calories and packed with vitamin C, fiber and antioxidant lycopene which helps lower the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer and macular degeneration. So canned tomatoes – and this creamy tomato soup recipe – is healthy.

Registered dietician Toby Amidor talks about the truth about canned tomatoes and concludes:
– canned goods are just as good as fresh
– no need to worry about BPA’s – the USA Canned Tomato Industry stopped using them years ago
– both canned and fresh produce are equally nutritious

Which canned tomatoes are best?

According to a taste test by the Wirecutter and New York Times, here are the best canned tomatoes. They named 3 top brands, with Bianco DiNapoli coming out on top. My faves are still San Marzano whole tomatoes.

Are canned tomatoes better than fresh tomatoes?

According to Bon Appetit, canned tomatoes are better than fresh tomatoes 99% of the time when cooking with tomatoes. Obviously not for salads. Bon Appetit strongly suggests buying whole canned tomatoes instead of diced – and mentions Sclafani as a top choice. Look for ones that list tomatoes and salt. Period.

Make Ahead

  • Store in the fridge: The soup can be made up to a week ahead. Leftover soup can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container.
  • Freeze: the soup in portions in sealed containers or zipper bags for up to 6 months. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave,
  • Croutons can be made a couple of days ahead and stored in a sealed bag or container.

How to serve this creamy tomato soup

  1. As a starter soup (duh). Serve with the crispy Parmesan croutons, grilled cheese croutons or in a classic combination with a grilled cheese sandwich.
  2. As a complete lunch or dinner, perfectly paired with our Party Salad with Grilled Vegetables and Quinoa. Or drop in some cheese tortellini, gnocchi, white beans or mini dumplings for a more substantial soup.
  3. As an appetizer served to guests in mini or espresso cups with a garlicky cheesy crouton stick. 

Other vegetarian soup recipes you might like

Homemade creamy tomato soup with parmesan croutons in soup p

If you like this recipe, please leave a 5 star rating 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟in the recipe card below. And if you REALLY like it, consider a review in the comments. Thanks!

two bowls of tomato soup with crouton sticks
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5 from 8 votes

Easy Tomato Soup with Canned Tomatoes

Remember Campbell's tomato soup with saltine crackers? Well, we promise this creamy tomato soup with canned tomatoes is a way better version. Classic comfort food in 20 minutes.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup (52g) chopped onions (1 medium onion)
  • 2 teaspoon minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 1 28-ounce can (825ml) whole tomatoes, Note 1
  • 1 cup (235ml) vegetable broth or vegetable stock (or chicken broth)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or more to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Optional: 1 tsp dried herbs e.g. thyme, basil; or red pepper flakes to taste. Garnish – thinly sliced basil leaves or extra Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) half and half cream (10%) heavy cream or whole milk is fine too

Instructions

  • MAKE SOUP: Heat oil and butter in a medium or large saucepan on Medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes until translucent (not brown). Add tomatoes and their juice (crush tomatoes in your hand as you add them to pot or break them up with a spoon in the pot). Add broth, salt, pepper and, if using, chili flakes and/or herbs. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium heat and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    While soup is simmering, make parmesan croutons if you like, Note 2.
  • FINISH SOUP AND SERVE: Puree soup in pot with a handheld stick/immersion blender until smooth. Or, puree in two batches in a blender. Stir in cream. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding salt, sugar or pepper as needed. Ladle into bowls and serve with cheese crouton sticks in the soup if you like.

Notes

  1. Best canned tomatoes: These are the best canned tomatoes according to a taste test by the Wirecutter and New York Times. They named 3 top brands, with Bianco DiNapoli coming out on top. My faves are San Marzano whole tomatoes.
  2. How to make Parmesan crouton sticks: Heat oven or toaster oven to 400F/204C. Use any firmer-type bread like challah, pumpernickel, artisan, multigrain, baguette or white country bread. While soup is simmering, cut bread slices into 1/2-3/4 inch/1.27-1.9 cm wide sticks. Toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon EACH, garlic powder, salt, black pepper. Bake in single layer on baking sheet for 6 minutes. Remove from oven. Sprinkle on 1/4 cup/22 grams Parmesan cheese (or cheddar) and bake for another 4-minutes or until golden brown. Set aside or, if making ahead, store in sealed bag or container when cooled.
  3. Variations
    • You can leave out the cream, but I think it adds a wonderful mellowness to the soup
    • For dairy free, use a dairy free cream or coconut milk (which is also dairy-free) 
    • Puree part of the soup instead of all, leaving some chunks of tomato if you like.
    • Before adding the cream, stir in fresh, roughly chopped baby spinach until it wilts (1 minute) for added color and nutrients.
  4. Make Ahead
    • Store in the fridge: The soup can be made up to a week ahead and kept in the fridge in an airtight container.
    • Freeze: the soup in portions in sealed containers or zipper bags for up to 6 months. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave,
    • Croutons can be made a couple of days ahead and stored in a sealed bag or container.
 
Nutrition values are estimates and includes half and half cream and no croutons.

Nutrition

Calories: 155kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 852mg | Potassium: 480mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 553IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 107mg | Iron: 2mg
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