The Best Ever Tomato Soup

Total Time

Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 30 minutes


16 servings (4 quarts)

Updated: Oct. 17, 2023
Creamy, rich and bursting with brightness, this soup is the ultimate sidekick to a grilled cheese sandwich. — Josh Rink, Milwaukee, Wisconsin


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 3 cans (28 ounces each) whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 container (32 ounces) chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, optional
  • Optional toppings: Thinly sliced fresh basil leaves and grated Parmesan cheese


  1. In a 6-quart stockpot or Dutch oven, heat oil, butter and pepper flakes over medium heat until butter is melted. Add carrots and onion; cook, uncovered, over medium heat, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened, 8-10 minutes. Add garlic and basil; cook and stir 1 minute longer. Stir in tomatoes, chicken stock, tomato paste, sugar, salt and pepper; mix well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, to let flavors blend, 20-25 minutes.
  2. Remove pan from heat. Using a blender, puree soup in batches until smooth. If desired, slowly stir in heavy cream, stirring continuously to incorporate. Return pan to stove to heat through. Top servings with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese if desired.

Tomato Soup Tips

Which tomatoes are best for tomato soup?

We recommend using Roma tomatoes for this tomato soup recipe. They're bright, flavorful and bring the perfect balance of acidity. Leave other types of tomatoes for these tasty tomato recipes.

Can you add milk to tomato soup?

Yes, you can add milk to tomato soup for a super-creamy spin. However because tomatoes are acidic, there's a chance that the milk can curdle. To avoid this, add a half teaspoon of baking soda to the soup. The baking soda neutralizes the acidity of the tomatoes, which prevents milk from curdling—and can improve the taste, too. Don't miss more delicious soup recipes our readers (and Test Kitchen!) adore.

What toppings can you put on tomato soup?

As one of our favorite vegetarian recipes, you can keep this dish meat-free by adding fresh basil, breadcrumbs and sprinkled cheese on top. If you're looking to add a meat-lovers touch, throw on some bacon crumbles or cubed chicken. Get inspiration by looking at other types of soup for mix-in ideas that'll help make this recipe your own.

Nutrition Facts

1 cup: 104 calories, 5g fat (2g saturated fat), 6mg cholesterol, 572mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate (10g sugars, 2g fiber), 3g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 fat.