Cream of Tomato Soup

Can you believe I was scared of this? Scared to make tomato soup. I was scared it would taste like pasta sauce.

A strong, incessant craving demanded I make it anyways. A craving that didn’t care if I never made it before and hadn’t eaten it in years.

So I did what any hard-pressed person would do. I winged it!

I kept it simple and went easy on the herbs, just using thyme, a big pinch of cloves and extra black pepper. I used the best canned tomatoes I could find (organic, San Marzano) and then left the rest up to fate. I crossed my fingers. And my pinky toes.

Thankfully, the outcome didn’t resemble spaghetti sauce at all! It was perfectly seasoned, velvety and rich. It had the perfect ratio of cream so the tomato flavor was mild rather than overwhelming. In other words, it was glorious.

I returned the pasta to the cupboard, ditching my back-up plan. Then I made myself a grilled cheese sandwich and proceeded to dunk my little heart out. My little, gleeful heart.

Cream of Tomato Soup

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Cream of Tomato Soup

A velvety rich cream of tomato soup.


olive oil, for sauteing
1 large yellow onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried thyme
pinch or two of ground cloves or allspice
sea or Kosher salt and fresh black pepper
28 ounce can Whole San Marzano Tomatoes
1 cup low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon baking soda, optional
1 + 1/2 cups half & half, light heavy cream or whole milk
fresh thyme, parsley or basil, chopped, for garnish


  1. In a large saucepan or soup pot heat 2-3 tablespoons of oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and saute until tender and translucent then add garlic and saute until fragrant. Add tomato paste, thyme and cloves, stir into onion mixture, season well with salt and pepper and cook 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add tomatoes and their juices along with broth. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes, breaking apart the tomatoes as they cook. Taste broth and season as needed.
  3. Allow tomatoes to cool off slightly and use an immersion blender to puree or carefully transfer to a blender and hold lid down with a dish towel to puree. Add back to pan, if tomatoes taste too acidic mix in the baking soda, allow to cook for a few minutes and then slowly whisk in half & half. Bring back to a simmer for 3-4 minutes. Turn off heat and serve garnished with fresh herbs.

I’m linking this to the Hearth and Soul Hop hosted by Swathi of Zesty South Indian Kitchen.

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  1. says

    I love tomato soup, but I understand your fears… my first few attempts were a little reminiscent of tomato sauce. I love the clever and unique use of herbs and spices in yours!

  2. DebinHawaii says

    I love making tomato soup–it is so easy and tastes so much better than the canned variety. Love the pictures with the sandwich triangles in there. 😉

  3. Claudia says

    I love tomato soup and this is certainly not sauce! It’s beautifully spiced soup and your last lines about dipping in grilled cheese just made me smile – exactly what I would do.

  4. BeadedTail says

    That soup looks so robust in color and flavor!  I didn’t know tomato soup could be so beautiful!  It’s cold and rainy here today so this would be perfect for today.

    Purrs to Moon!

  5. says

    Reeni, this is soup i want to dig in now. You are wonderful cook.Looks awesome perfect color, Love it. Thanks for linking to Hearth and soul   blog hop.

  6. Lynn, Texas says

    Cream of tomato is my favorite soup, but have never had the courage to make from scratch until now.  😀  The only change that I may make is do 1/2 butter and 1/2 olive oil for sauteeing. 

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