10 Ways to Make Canned Tomato Soup Taste Homemade

Updated: Jan. 15, 2024

You can create custom recipes from a simple can of soup! To learn how to make canned tomato soup better in a pinch, read on—we have soup-er secrets to share.

tomato soup being poured into kitchen potPETER MULLER/GETTY IMAGES

We’ll be the first to admit that homemade tomato soup is a lot of work. From simmering to pureeing, a recipe that doesn’t use any premade products takes time. It’s not a project for a busy weeknight, that’s for sure!

Lucky for us, canned tomato soup is a quick alternative. You can have a warm bowl on the table in minutes. The caveat? That can of tomato soup in your pantry doesn’t often taste like grandma’s secret family recipe. That’s why it’s helpful to know how to make canned tomato soup taste better with our tips and tricks.

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Tomato Soup With Basil And Fried Bacon In A Black Ceramic Bowl On A Grey Abstract Background
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Add Protein

Adding cooked meat that’s high in protein is an easy way to make canned tomato soup taste better and more filling. Chopped bacon pairs well with tomato soup for a BLT-esque soup, or try adding in crumbled ground meat like spicy sausage for some added flavor. For a simple addition that requires little to no work, turn to shredded rotisserie chicken.

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Tomato Soup In A Ceramic Bowl
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Add a Splash of Cream

If you have cream in your fridge, a splash can add body to your tomato soup. Start by adding the cream sparingly at first. You can always build the cream content after starting small. Don’t have heavy cream in your fridge? These heavy cream alternatives will work just fine.

Also, recreate the comfort of Panera tomato soup with our easy 30-minute copycat recipe that’s faster than going to Panera or waiting for delivery!

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Tomato Soup With Pesto And Soured Cream In A Bowl And A Spoon On Wooden Background
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Use the Condiments in Your Fridge

A sour cream topping isn’t only meant for baked potatoes, tacos and chili—adding a dollop to your canned tomato soup can seriously upgrade your bowl! You can even use Greek yogurt, rich in consistency and creamy in flavor, for a sour cream substitute.

Pesto, hot sauce, lemon juice—the list goes on. Any of these will enhance the flavor profile and give your can of Campbell’s the boost it needs to go from good to great.

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Tomato Soup And Tomatos On Wooden Surface
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Sprinkle in Extra Spice

Give your canned tomato soup a bit of heat with your favorite form of spice. Top it with a few slices of jalapenos for a nice crunch. Stir in Sriracha, chili crunch or red pepper flakes so there’s extra spice in every spoonful.

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Tomato Soup With Stracciatella Served In Plates On Marble Surface Gettyimages 1010488244 Ksedit
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Toss in Some Greens

Take your tomato soup to the next level with a handful of leafy greens. Frozen spinach works wonderfully as it melts right into the liquid, but you can throw in handfuls of raw spinach as well. If you have salad greens sitting in the fridge, use them up by adding them to the soup. The softened leafy greens add a silky texture to the tomato soup, creating a Florentine-inspired bowl. For an earthy addition, add bunches of kale to thicken the soup.

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Bowl Of Tomato Soup With Mozzarella And Croutons On Gray Stone Background
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Add a Carb

To transform canned tomato soup into a hearty meal, add some form of carbs. A thick piece of bread or crackers are great for dipping; they will soak up broth and add more substance to your dish. You can even dress your bowl with toasted croutons, breadcrumbs or use a round of sourdough as a bread bowl!

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Tomato Soup With Basil
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Use Herbs and Seasonings

Enhance the flavors from that can of tomato soup by adding a few dashes of seasonings or fresh herbs. Add chopped fresh basil or parsley at the end of cooking to bring out that rich tomato flavor. Turn to your pantry for seasonings like fresh cracked black pepper, Italian seasoning or oregano, stirring them in while the soup is still cooking.

Using fresh herbs is also an easy way to upgrade store-bought spaghetti sauce and make white rice taste better.

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Overhead View Of Onions And Garlic
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Add Aromatics

Garlic and onions make everything tastier! While the soup is cooking on the stove, sautee onions and garlic, adding them into the soup towards the end of cooking. Or for an aromatic that’ll give a refreshing flavor, add chopped ginger into the soup while it’s still cooking, stirring it in to blend the flavors together.

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Boiling Tomato Sauce Pot On The Burner With Wooden Spoon
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Let the Soup Simmer

After adding in these tasty extras, let the soup simmer on the stove for a few minutes. This’ll let the soup really absorb those added flavors, making for a tasteful dish.

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two bowls of Tortellini Soup
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Use Soup as an Ingredient

Think outside the box and add your tomato soup to rice or pasta. For example, dress up cheese tortellini with a ladle of canned soup. The choice is yours!