Remember Campbell’s tomato soup with saltine crackers? Well, we promise this Creamy Tomato Soup with Cheese Croutons is a way better homemade version. Classic and pure comfort food.
It has deep tomato flavour mellowed by the cream and the Parmesan ‘crouton’ bread sticks are perfect for dipping. They absorb the soup while still maintaining a bit of crunch. The whole soup, croutons and all, comes together in under 30 minutes with very few ingredients. Easy to make and really delicious.
I use San Marzano canned tomatoes which have fewer seeds, a heartier, sweeter taste and are less acidic – the perfect plum tomato. Other canned whole or diced tomatoes will work fine as well. In fact, I bet fire-roasted tomatoes would be great.
Try serving the creamy tomato soup in mini or espresso cups as an appetizer with a fresh crouton stick. You might have to thin the soup a bit with water of broth.
Tailor To Your Taste
- For the croutons/Break Sticks:
- You can cut them into cubes if you prefer. I like using ‘sticks’ as they are easier for dunking.
- Use any firmer bread you like such as challah, pumpernickel, baguette or white country bread.
- Sprinkle with grated cheddar instead of Parmesan.
- For the soup:
- You can leave out the cream, but I think it adds a wonderful creamy mellowness to the soup. Or, substitute with a dairy free cream.
- Puree part of the soup, leaving some chunks of tomato if you like.
- When it comes to tomato soup, I’m a purist, but feel free to add some heat with chili flakes or some herbs such as fresh thyme or basil.
- Before adding the cream, stir in fresh, roughly chopped baby spinach until it wilts (1 minute) for added colour and nutrients.
- Add fresh thinly sliced basil leaves or additional grated Parmesan as a garnish.
Make Ahead Creamy Tomato Soup
- Croutons can be made a couple of days ahead and stored in a sealed bag or container.
- The soup can be made several days ahead and kept in the fridge.
Creamy Tomato Soup with Cheese Croutons Recipe
For Cheese Croutons
- 3-4 slices bread (I use multigrain)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp EACH, garlic powder, salt, pepper
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (or cheddar)
For Tomato Soup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 cup chopped onions (1 medium onion)
- 2 tsp minced garlic (2 cloves)
- 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes (recommend San Marzano)
- 1 cup broth (vegetable or chicken) or water
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt (or more to taste)
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- 1 tsp sugar
- Optional: 1 tsp herbs e.g. thyme, basil; chili flakes to taste
- 1/2 cup half and half cream (10%)
- PREHEAT OVEN to 400F. Line a pan with parchment or foil.
- MAKE BREAD STICK CROUTON: Cut bread slices into 1/2-3/4 inch wide sticks. Toss with oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Bake for 6 minutes. Remove from oven. Sprinkle on cheese and bake for another 4-minutes or until golden brown. Set aside or, if making ahead, store in sealed bag or container when cooled.
- MAKE SOUP: While croutons are baking, heat oil and butter in a medium saucepan on Medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Saute 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 or water, salt, pepper and, if using, chili flakes and/or herbs. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- 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 soup or on the side for dipping.
Other vegetarian comfort soups you might like: