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There’s nothing better than a bowl of homemade old fashioned tomato soup. Here’s how to make it the best possible version of itself, with minimal fuss.

a bowl of old fashioned tomato soup with grilled cheese crouton and spoon
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Why we love this recipe

A comforting bowl of creamy tomato soup hardly needs an introduction. But here’s why we love this ideal version of a classic recipe. It’s:

  • Smooth and silky
  • Satisfying but not overly rich
  • Perfectly seasoned
  • Flexible, to accommodate your dietary preferences
  • Make-ahead friendly
  • Just so ridiculously good

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe.

ingredients in bowls
  • White onion is sweeter and larger than most other varieties and works really well here. It’s no big deal, though. You can use a large yellow or red onion or even a couple of medium-sized shallots.
  • I’ve called for diced canned tomatoes. Whole or crushed are also fine. In all cases, use the entire contents of the can.
  • Butter — especially a good cultured butter from grass-fed cows, such as Kerrygold — imparts a nice flavor, but you can substitute. To make this recipe dairy-free and vegan, use olive oil or a vegan butter.
  • A nice lower-sodium chicken broth works beautifully, but so does a good veggie broth if you want to make this soup vegetarian. My favorite veggie broth by far is Imagine No Chicken.
  • Use all-purpose flour, or, to make this recipe gluten-free, a good 1:1 GF flour blend.
  • A teaspoon of herbes de Provence adds the perfect subtle flavor to this classic recipe. Blends vary but usually contain some combination of savory, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and lavender.

How to make it

Here’s an overview of what you’ll do to make a perfect pot of old fashioned tomato soup. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

step by step
  1. Cook the onions and garlic in the butter until softened.
  2. Stir in the flour, then the broth.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Purée the soup. That’s it!

Expert tips and FAQs

What should I serve it with?

There’s nothing better with tomato soup than grilled cheese. In addition to a perfectly made classic, two of our favorites are French onion and sauerkraut.

Can I make this recipe in advance? What about leftovers?

As with most soups, this one only improves over time. You can make this recipe up to a week in advance, store in an airtight container in the fridge, and reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave. Or freeze for up to a year. Treat any leftovers the same way.

More favorite classic puréed soups

a bowl of old fashioned tomato soup with grilled cheese crouton and spoon

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a bowl of old fashioned tomato soup with grilled cheese crouton and spoon
4.50 from 4 votes

Old Fashioned Tomato Soup

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
There's nothing better than a bowl of homemade tomato soup. Here's how to make it the best possible version of itself, with minimal fuss.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings: 4
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Ingredients 

  • 3 tablespoons (42 grams) butter
  • 1 white onion, diced small
  • 8 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons (23 grams) flour
  • 4 cups (950 ml) reduced-salt chicken broth
  • 1 28- ounce 793-gram can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon (12 grams) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions 

  • Melt the butter in a 5-quart pot over medium heat.
  • Add the onion, garlic, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is softened, about five minutes. Control the heat as necessary to avoid browning.
  • Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring almost constantly, for 30 seconds.
  • Pour in the broth and stir well to distribute the flour-coated onions and garlic and allow the flour to incorporate into the broth.
  • Stir in tomatoes, sugar, herbes de Provence, and pepper.
  • Raise heat to high. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • With an immersion blender or in a regular or high-speed blender, carefully purée the soup, in batches if necessary, until perfectly smooth.

Notes

  1. To make this soup dairy-free, substitute olive oil or vegan butter for the butter. To make it vegetarian, use a good-quality vegetable broth. My favorite by far is Imagine No Chicken. To make it vegan, do both. To make it gluten free, use a 1:1 GF flour blend.
  2. As with most soups, this one only improves over time. You can make this recipe up to a week in advance, store in an airtight container in the fridge, and reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave. Or freeze for up to a year. Treat any leftovers the same way.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 233kcal, Carbohydrates: 50g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 2872mg, Fiber: 26g, Sugar: 35g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Soups
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

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Carolyn Gratzer Cope Bio Photo

About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

4.50 from 4 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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2 Comments

  1. I had some tomatoes that were borderline “too ripe” and found your recipe for tomato soup. I combined both my fresh tomatoes and a can of crushed tomatoes. I also added some dried basil. I am not a tomato soup person. However, your recipe was easy and delicious. My husband who loves tomato soup, loved the soup. I don’t think this will be the last time I make it. I also subscribed to your site so I hope to make more of your recipes.