Creamy Tomato Soup


Quick and easy to make, this soup is also very comforting.


Simple and satisfying, our creamy tomato soup is a lesson in how easy yet delicious home cooking can be. The recipe is adapted from the book Martha Stewart's Cooking School and it's made with five ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen: butter, onion, garlic, canned tomatoes, and stock or water. Heavy cream is optional for serving.

The soup comes together in less than half an hour and is a recipe you'll want to add to your regular rotation. It's just right for a workday lunch or a quick, cozy dinner—and it's even better when it's paired with its longtime partner, the grilled cheese sandwich. However you enjoy it, this soup is pure comfort in a bowl.

Creamy Tomato Soup

Brie Goldman

The Best Canned Tomatoes to Use for Tomato Soup

Our creamy tomato soup calls for whole peeled tomatoes. This is the main and most important ingredient in the soup, which has just a few ingredients—so the flavor of the tomatoes really shines. We prefer to use canned whole peeled tomatoes, not crushed or diced canned tomatoes; we find the quality and flavor of the former to be superior. 

You might think starting with already crushed or pureed tomatoes is a shortcut—no blender to wash—but we don't agree. Canned whole tomatoes are the most versatile canned tomato product; they can do anything other canned tomatoes can (pun intended!) if you chop, crush, or puree them. And you know just what you are getting when you open the can. Crushed or diced tomatoes may have added tomato puree or other tomato products. We go old school and stick to whole canned tomatoes which have only salt added. Some brands are better than others; try a few to see which ones you prefer. 

What to Serve With Creamy Tomato Soup

Whether you enjoy tomato soup for a quick lunch or a leisurely dinner, here are some ideas for what to serve with your steaming hot bowl:


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped

  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic (optional)

  • 2 (14-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1 ½ cups Basic Chicken Stock, or water

  • ½ cup heavy cream (optional)


Ingredients of Creamy Tomato Soup

Brie Goldman

  1. Melt butter and cook onion and garlic:

    Melt butter in a medium stockpot over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic (if using), stirring constantly, until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes.

    Step 1 Creamy Tomato Soup

    Brie Goldman

  2. Add tomatoes, juices, and stock, and simmer:

    Add tomatoes, their juices, and stock. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.

    Step 2 Creamy Tomato Soup

    Brie Goldman

  3. Puree soup in batches:

    Working in batches, transfer tomato mixture to a blender, food processor, or food mill. Puree tomato mixture (if using a blender, cover the lid with a kitchen towel while machine is running).

    Step 3 Creamy Tomato Soup

    Brie Goldman

  4. Return soup to pan and warm:

    Return soup to a clean pot and set over low heat.

    Step 4 Creamy Tomato Soup

    Brie Goldman

  5. Whisk in cream, season, and serve:

    Whisk in cream, if desired; season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

    Step 5 Creamy Tomato Soup

    Brie Goldman

Making Ahead and Storing Tomato Soup

You can make this soup ahead and enjoy it when time is tight.

  • Transfer soup to a bowl set over an ice-water bath to cool completely.
  • Transfer cooled soup to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to three days.
  • To store for longer than three days, do not add the cream to the soup. Cool completely as directed above and freeze—in individual portions or the entire batch of soup.
  • Reheat over medium heat until heated through. (If frozen, defrost overnight in the refrigerator first.)
Creamy Tomato Soup

Brie Goldman

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you thicken tomato soup?

If you follow our recipe, your soup should have a comforting thick texture. Should you ever make a tomato soup that is too thin or watery, here are a few ways to thicken it: 

  • Simmer the soup over low to medium heat. This allows excess liquid to cook off and will concentrate the tomato flavor and naturally thicken the soup. 
  • Serve with croutons that will soak up some of the soup.
  • Make a slurry of water and cornstarch, then gradually add some liquid from the soup to the slurry. Add to the soup and heat gently, stirring so you can prevent any lumps forming and remove the soup from the heat when it reaches the thickness you desire.

What is the difference between tomato soup and tomato bisque?

Bisque is a French word that describes a type of thick soup, generally one made with seafood and cream. Tomato bisque does not contain seafood—it should however have cream. Feel free to call our creamy tomato soup tomato bisque if you want to sound fancy!

Other Tomato Soup Recipes to Try:

Originally appeared: The Martha Stewart Show, October Fall 2008, The Martha Stewart Show, Episode 4016
Updated by
Victoria Spencer
Victoria Spencer, senior food editor,
Victoria Spencer is an experienced food editor, writer, and recipe developer. She manages the Martha Stewart recipe archive and is always curious about new ingredients and the best techniques. She has been working in food media for over 20 years.
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