This really is the World’s Best Tomato Soup recipe! It gets rave reviews from everyone that tries it, but the best part is that it is so quick and easy to make. This creamy Tomato Soup recipe has everything you dream about tomato soup having. It is rich and creamy with the perfect amount of sweetness from the tomatoes and full of flavor with the taste of fresh basil and garlic adding a depth to the flavor. Keep the recipe handy if you make this for friends because they will be asking for it! To make this Tomato Soup even better, it saves well both in the fridge and freezer and may even taste better the second time you eat it!
Tomato Soup Recipe
I know there are a lot of tomato soup recipes out there. I know there are many different ways to make it and many different places to buy it. I am a tomato soup lover and I have tried quite a lot of tomato soup over the years. This tomato soup recipe though, well, it is really special.
When I say it is special, when you break it down and look at the ingredients, it really doesn’t look like there is anything that magical about it. It has basic straight forward ingredients. There is no secret ingredient here. Well, I guess there kind of is. The secret is that this recipe takes the perfect basic flavors and marries them without doing anything fancy. It is the pure magic of just keeping it simple.
And magic it is. This tomato soup recipe consistently gets the highest praises and even I am pleasantly surprised the first time I make it after awhile, because even though I know how good it is, I never can quite do the delicious taste justice just by memory.
This is actually my 3rd version of this recipe. This one uses the slow cooker to make the soup, but if you prefer, I have a stove top tomato soup recipe, and a Instant Pot tomato soup recipe as well. They all give you the same delicious result, but it gives you options based on how much time you have and what equipment you prefer to use.
What is good to eat with Tomato Soup?
One of the things I love about making tomato soup is that I get to serve it with some of my favorite foods to accompany it. For starters, I like to serve my soup garnished with a dallop of pesto and a sprinkle of parmesan. This perfectly compliments the flavors within the soup. If you want something to accompany your soup though here are my favorites:
- Grilled Cheese– My favorite is a classic, the grilled cheese. I really like to make mine with sharp cheddar cheese which I think goes extra well with the soup.
- Spinach Artichoke Cheesy Bread– If you have some time to make this, it is thoroughly worth it! I think my favorite thing to eat with this tomato soup recipe is. You really can’t get much better than dipping a big piece of this into your tomato soup!
- Crusty Bread- If you want to keep it simple, crusty bread is always a great option for serving with soup.
- Salad– A salad is a great compliment to the tomato soup because where the soup is warm and creamy, the salad is crisp and cool. It is the perfect balance. I like to do a side salad with tomatoes, cucumber, sweet peppers, fresh mozzarella and balsamic dressing.
- Sandwich– You really can’t go wrong with most any sandwich to go along with the tomato soup. From a basic turkey to a hot chicken caprese sub, the bread from the sandwich makes the perfect instrument to soak up all the flavor in that soup!
How to Make Tomato Soup
This tomato soup recipe is very simple to make. I am going to walk through the recipe step by step and offer my tips and preferences, to hopefully answer any questions about the recipe that you may have. If you want the quick version, feel free to scroll down to my printable recipe card. If you still have questions feel free to drop them in the comments below and I would be happy to answer them.
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes- This is an important one. I have pretty much made this soup with every major brand of tomatoes on the market and they are all good, but if you want it to be really great find the really good tomatoes at the store. I like san marazano tomatoes. They are usually a dollar or two more expensive but I really think they are worth it. If you can’t find them though, any will work and be tasty.
- 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes- Again, the nicer the better! Also, if you want completely smooth tomato soup you can use an additional can of crushed tomato here instead of diced. I like my soup to have a little bit of chunkiness to it so I prefer it this way, but this is just all about texture preference and won’t change the taste of the soup.
- 1 tbsp crushed garlic
- 1 14 oz can of chicken broth, or 2 cups- You can use store bought broth or try out my homemade chicken broth here. It is fantastic in this recipe.
- 2 Tbsp sugar- This little bit of sugar really goes a long way in this soup! Tomatoes generally are pretty acidic, so the sugar helps to cut the acid and make the soup really perfect.
- ⅓ cup butter, cut into ½” cubes
- 1 cup heavy cream- I get asked a lot if you can substitute milk or half and half for the cream. The short answer is that it really doesn’t taste as good! The longer answer is that if you really insist on it, you can use half and half but the soup doesn’t get nearly as rich and creamy or incorporate and thicken as well. It will still be good, but probably not the world’s best.
- 15-20 basil leaves -OR- 1 Tbsp dried basil leaves- If you can get it, I recommend you use fresh basil in the soup. It really gives the whole soup, that “from scratch” taste. I know that sometimes, in the winter especially, it can be really hard to get nice fresh basil. You can use dried basil as a substitute, but pay attention because the basil is added differently depending on whether you are using fresh or dried.
- Pour the tomatoes, broth, and garlic into the crock pot. If you are using dried basil, also add it now. When using dried basil, cooking it in with the soup helps to rehydrate it and draw out the flavor. If you are using fresh basil you will wait to add it until step 3.
Then close the lid and set the temperature to low and the time to 4-6 hours depending on when you will be ready to prepare and serve it. This soup is very forgiving and can really be held on low until you are ready for dinner so if you are setting it before you run errands and just need a few hours or before work and need it to cook for 6-8 it will work just as well.
- After cooking, open the lid and first stir in the sugar until it is combined. Then stir in the butter, and continue to stir until melted and well combined.
- Next stir continuously while pouring in the heavy cream very slowly. Continue to mix until it is incorporated throughout. This step is really important. If you stir the cream in slowly while stirring it will incorporate perfectly with the soup. If you dump it all in at once the temperature difference can curdle the milk and then you won’t end up with that perfect creamy texture you are looking for. If you are using fresh basil, chop the leaves and stir in the basil now.
- Serve hot, topped with a dollop of pesto, croutons and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and your favorite sandwich, or with any of the suggestions above.
How to serve Creamy Tomato Soup
One thing I love about soup is that adding toppings just makes it better. This Creamy Tomato Soup is no exception! Here are a few of my favorite things to top the tomato soup with:
- Parmesan Cheese
- Grilled cheese bites
- Mozzarella cheese
- Chopped fresh basil
My favorite way (you can see in the pictures) is to do a dollop of pesto, a sprinkle of parmesan and some homemade croutons. You can pick and choose to make your own favorite though! If you have any other favorites for toppings, make sure and drop a note in the comments so I can try it out!
How to make Tomato Soup Thicker
The first thing to note is that creamy Tomato Soup will be thinner when it is piping hot. As the soup cools it will thicken. This Tomato Soup is a pretty nice standard creamy soup consistency I think most people will like, but our differences are what make the world go round, so if you would like to make this soup thicker you have a couple of options that I recommend.
- Reduce the chicken broth by 1/2 cup. This will keep a similar taste but create a thicker soup.
- Increase the heavy cream by 1/2 cup. This method will increase the creaminess and reduce the tomato flavor a little bit.
- Drain the diced tomatoes before adding. This will help reduce the additional liquid in the soup a bit so it will have a thicker end result with a similar taste.
I recommend trying out one of these, however you can also combine them to make the soup even thicker if desired.
How to Freeze Tomato Soup
This Tomato Soup is great for the freezer and can be frozen both before or after cooking. My preference is to freeze it after cooking since I think it is overall easier and it also gets even better with time as the flavors really marry. Here are the methods for both:
Freezing Tomato Soup before cooking:
- Add the tomatoes, broth, and garlic into a large zip top bag or container. If you are using dried basil you can also add it here.
- When ready to cook place frozen mixture in the crockpot and continue with recipe as directed.
Freezing Tomato Soup after cooking:
- Place the Tomato Soup in a large airtight container or portion it out into meal sized containers (my preference for ease of reheating) and then place them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Reheat the soup in the microwave or on the stove top and serve as desired.
I really hope that you and your family enjoy this recipe as much as my family does! It is one I look forward to making every year when the weather gets cool, and I don’t even really like cold weather! If you do get a chance to make it, I would love to hear about it! It makes my day to know that others are able to enjoy the recipes that I share. You can leave me a comment below, or if you post a picture on social media make sure to tag me @easyfamilyrecipes. It is so fun to see what you are cooking up!
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World's Best Tomato Soup Recipe
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 tbsp crushed garlic
- 1 14 oz can of chicken broth or 2 cups
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- ⅓ cup butter cut into ½" cubes
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 15-20 basil leaves -OR- 1 Tbsp dried basil leaves
- Pour the tomatoes, broth, and garlic into the crock pot. If you are using dried basil, also add it now. Then close the lid and set the temperature to low and the time to 4-6 hours depending on when you will be ready to prepare and serve it.
- After cooking, open the lid and first stir in the sugar, then stir in the butter, and continue to stir until melted and well combined.
- Next stir continuously while pouring in the heavy cream very slowly. Continue to mix until it is incorporated throughout. If you are using fresh basil, chop the basil and stir it in now.
- Serve hot, topped with a dollop of pesto, croutons and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
- Gluten Free: This recipe is naturally gluten free. Please verify individual ingredients and brands to verify.
- Vegetarian: To modify this soup to be vegetarian, use vegetable broth in place of chicken broth.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)