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Homemade Creamy Tomato Soup with Parmesan Croutons

Remember Campbell’s tomato soup with saltine crackers? Well, we promise this homemade creamy tomato soup with Parmesan croutons is a way better version. Classic comfort food.

2 bowls of homemade creamy tomato soup with parmesan croutons in soup 1

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

We kept this recipe super simple – onions, garlic, canned tomatoes, broth, a few seasonings and a splash of half and half cream.

The soup has a deep tomato flavor mellowed by the cream. And the Parmesan croutons 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. 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. 

FAQ – Good To Know

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.

How to serve this simple tomato soup

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

Tailor To Your Taste

Can you vary this healthy tomato soup recipe? Of course!

Creamy tomato soup variations

  • 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.
  • Instead of cream, try coconut milk (also dairy-free) for an Asian flare
  • 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
  • Add 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 color and nutrients.
  • Add fresh thinly sliced 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.
  • Sprinkle with grated cheddar instead of Parmesan.

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 up to a week ahead and kept in the fridge.

Other vegetarian soup recipes you might like

How to make homemade tomato soup with Parmesan croutons

can of whole tomatoes, salt, pepper, onion, garlic broth, cream, butter, thyme
Tomato soup ingredients: canned whole tomatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper, onion, garlic, butter, cream, thyme, butter (and a tsp sugar)
onions sauteting in pot
Sauté onions and for a few minutes until translucent
tomato soups in pot
Crush tomatoes 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). Stir in cream.
loaf of bread, olive oil, Parmesan, salt, garlic powder
Parmesan croutons ingredients: bread, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper
parmesan bread sticks piled on plate
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
Homemade creamy tomato soup with parmesan croutons in soup p
2 bowls of homemade creamy tomato soup with parmesan croutons in soup 1
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5 from 4 votes

Homemade Creamy Tomato Soup with Parmesan Croutons

Remember Campbell's tomato soup with saltine crackers for dunking? Well, we promise this homemade creamy tomato soup with Parmesan croutons is a way better version. Classic comfort food.
Prep Time8 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time23 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

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 (22.5g) grated Parmesan cheese (or cheddar)

For Tomato Soup

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup (52g) chopped onions (1 medium onion)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • 1 28-ounce can (825ml) whole tomatoes Note 1
  • 1 cup (235ml) 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 (120ml) half and half cream (10%)

Instructions

  • PREHEAT OVEN to 400F/204C. Line a pan with parchment or foil.
  • MAKE SOUP: 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.
  • MAKE PARMESAN CROUTON STICKS: While soup is simmering, 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.
  • 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.

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. Tomato soups variations to try
    • 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.
    • Instead of cream, try coconut milk (also dairy-free) for an Asian flare
    • 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
    • Add 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 color and nutrients.
    • Garnishes: Add fresh thinly sliced basil leaves or additional grated Parmesan
  3. Parmesan Croutons variations to try
    • 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, multigrain, baguette or white country bread.
    • Sprinkle with grated cheddar instead of Parmesan. 
  4. Make Ahead
    • Croutons can be made a couple of days ahead and stored in a sealed bag or container.
    • The soup can be up to a week ahead and kept in the fridge.
 
Nutrition values are estimates. The sodium is high because of the Parmesan cheese. 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Homemade Creamy Tomato Soup with Parmesan Croutons
Amount Per Serving
Calories 300 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 24mg8%
Sodium 1199mg52%
Potassium 526mg15%
Carbohydrates 26g9%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 608IU12%
Vitamin C 22mg27%
Calcium 205mg21%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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