How to Make Fresh Tomato Soup
There comes a time in the lifespan of every summer garden when the gardener has the delicious dilemma of what to do with a bounty of fresh tomatoes, all ripe at the same time. Besides making sauce, eating endless plates of Caprese salad, and freezing the tomatoes for later use, I like to make a fresh tomato soup. It may be a very simple recipe but it’s also incredibly tasty and satisfying, especially when served with a gooey grilled cheese sandwich or macaroni and cheese.
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Homemade Fresh Tomato Soup
- 2 cups chopped carrots
- 2 cups chopped celery
- 3 cups diced onions
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 12 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups water or chicken stock
- 2 Tbsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp. sugar
- Rough chop all the vegetables. It doesn’t matter what they look like because the soup will be blended later, but make sure the carrots, onions and celery are all about the same size so they cook at the same rate.
- In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil. Add in the carrots, celery and onions and cook until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook another 5 minutes, but don’t let the vegetables brown. Add in the tomatoes and water or chicken stock. Allow to simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down and the carrots are soft.
- Turn off the heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
- Puree the soup, either with a stick blender or in batches in a conventional blender.
- Once the soup is all pureed, push it through a sieve. I use a chinois like this, Stainless Steel China Cap Chinois Fine Strainer: 12-inch but you can use any kind of strainer. The point is that you want to get out the tomato skins and seeds, but push through the rest of the vegetables. If you use too fine a mesh strainer, you will just end up with tomato juice. I lost about 2 cups of “solids”, mostly skin and seeds, during the straining process.
- If you can skin and seed your tomatoes before making the soup you don’t have to strain it. But this is time consuming and I found it just easier to strain.
- Put all the strained soup back in the pot and add the salt and sugar to taste. Even though my tomatoes were very ripe and sweet, I almost always add a couple of teaspoons of sugar to tomato soup or sauce because it helps balance out the acidity of the tomatoes and bring out the natural sweetness.
If you like tomato soup, check out another version on FormerChef:
Slow Roasted Tomato and Fennel Soup with Smoked Paprika
If you’re looking for something else to do with fresh tomatoes, try one of my most popular recipes, How to Make Marinara Sauce.
Love the photos. Thank you for this recipe. I’ve never made tomato soup as fresh as this, it’s always from canned tomatoes. Hmmm…your link to the hand blender is making me want to buy one finally–such a good price!
Think your soup will be my salvation with all these tomatoes. I bet it is just as good cold as it is hot, too.
Amanda @ Panda Lunch
This looks amazing, I have so many fresh tomatoes to use, I am going to make this and freeze some, thanks for sharing this great recipe!!
Thank you for sharing your delicious soup recipe. Made it on Sunday. The flavor and texture was wonderful. I will make it again with our next batch of tomatoes & freeze some for the fall.
That’s awesome! Thanks so much for letting me know. I’m glad you enjoyed it.
have you ever put everything through a food mill instead of a sieve? Definitely going to try it today.
I’m sure a food mill would work, I just don’t have one. If you try it, let me know!
Food mill worked great. Soup is just wonderful, I will definitely make it again. I would even eat it chunky myself, but the kids wanted it smooth!
Thanks for letting me know! I prefer smooth myself, but the most important thing is to get the seeds and skin out. You can try taking the skin off and seeding before making the soup and then only blending only part of it for a chunkier version. In fact, my next post is going to be a “how to” on peeling and seeding tomatoes.
So glad to hear that a food mill works!
Just made this soup for dinner tonight (need to impress!!). It is great!
I used good quality beautiful tomatoes, blended well with my Bosch manual blender and – no need to push it through the sieve!!! not a seed or a bit of peel to be tasted!
Thank you for a great recipe!!!!!!
Wonderful Summer Tomato Soup recipe, I used my Food Mill and it was wonderful, I put a dollop of Sour Cream in the center and it was great.
I’m so excited to try this. We have a garden-full of fresh tomatoes, a stick mixer and a chinois that has NEVER been used. Thanks!
It was totally yum. Next time, I will puree a tiny bit longer and NOT strain for bits. That was the only tedious part.
Thanks for letting me know. Glad you liked it!
I agree that the straining can be tedious.
Next time you might try peeling and seeding the tomatoes first (http://formerchef.com/2009/08/20/how-to-peel-and-seed-fresh-tomatoes/) if you still want to avoid having skin and seeds in the soup but don’t want to strain it.
I think this soup look good but have not yet tried it, i will try it one day!
I added a few (3-5) leaves of sage and linden for the nice smell. Not cooked yet will write results.
Thx for the delicious recipe – I made enough to have leftovers, but ate my entire batch by bedtime…
I am a late comer to this recipe, I just really glad that I found it. The flavors of this soup blend really well, the carrots and celery add to the flavor versus overpowering it. Good thing because my husband dislikes carrots yet he is raving about the flavor and texture of the soup. Thanks for letting me sneak in the carrots!
thank you so much for a great recipe!! I have a blender…BlendTech….which will pulverize the skin and the seeds…so no waste at all!! (blendtech.com)
Soup is great! I used my food processor on pulse. I will be getting a hand blender for next time. I mostly used cherry tomatoes for the soup. The taste is light. I will be serving it with cornbread. My 6 year old help make this soup; tomato is her favorite and she gives this two thumps up!
This is the 2nd year I’ve made this tasty soup. We had a bountiful supply of tomatoes in the garden last year, as well as this year. Only thing I add is peppers (from our garden as well). Personally, I don’t feel there is a need to strain the soup, nor do I peel or seed the tomatoes. Love it!
This recipe looks ideal – I have an end of season glut of tomatoes, and have been looking for a soup recipe that doesn’t require you to pre-skin and seed the fruit. I have tried before and you need the patience of a seed !
Sorry – patience of a saint !
Am making the soup right now! Will let you know how it turns out in about an hour : )
I also use a 19 year old Braun stabmixer that I bought in Germany, and love it! It came with a small chopping attachment which also still works perfectly. I’m sorry that they don’t make it anymore.
I just made some tomato soup with canned tomatoes (its winter) but next summer I will try out your recipe (my recipe is quite similar).
I am about to try this recipe with my homegrown frozen tomatoes. It sounds wonderful.It won’t be as tasty as fresh but it will use up the large quantity of tomatoes in my freezer and I will make the soup next year from fresh tomatoes. I especially like the quantities given in cup measures rather than pounds or ‘large this and medium that and this many’. What is large or medium is how an individual looks at it and who weighs their garden produce. Thanks again.
Alice- I’m sure if you froze the tomatoes when they were ripe the soup will be just great!
I have been trying to make a tomato soup that I ate in Sweet Tomatoes, and I remember the ingredients listed carrots and celery in it too. This taste and look exactly like their delicious tomato soup. Thanks for the wonderful recipe, I can really taste the difference that fresh tomatoes make.
I tried this recipie this afternoon using some garden tomatoes and my husband and I loved it. It was worth the strainning process. I especially loved the idea of using the grilled squash. We has so many of both to use! thankyou for the recipie.
Allison in Atlanta
I made this today using 12 cups of Brandywine tomatoes from my garden. HOLY COW is all I can say. My husband doesn’t like tomatoes, and says he hasn’t had tomato soup in over 30 years, and is on his second bowl.
I made it with water, and used no garnishes at all- this recipe is just that good! Thank you so much for posting it!!!
Allison, thanks so much for letting me know. It’s one of my favorites too and next up on my “to make” list with my garden tomatoes (today is marinara sauce day). 🙂
This is a beautiful recipe, hiwever when I make it i add in basil and leave in large chunks so it borderlines a vegatable soup. Either way, very yummy! perfect for late summer harvest!
I live in India and I cannot find celery here. Is there anything I can use as a substitute?
Casey-wow! That is a good question and one I’ve never really thought about since celery is so common in the US. But then I looked back and I don’t remember ever seeing it in a market in South East Asia either.
My first thought is just leave it out alltogether. Celery has a very mild flavor and probably won’t be missed all that much. It helps add to the flavor complexity of the soup and compliments the other vegetables, but is not a deal breaker.
On the other hand, what else can you find there? How about fennel bulbs? That has a similar consistency, but a very different flavor profile. Still, I think it would be good.
As I mentioned below, I used parsley flakes (they’re in a similar vegetable/herb family as celery), and it was great! Also, sweeter radishes have been a great substitute in other soup recipes. Maybe add some extra stock to make up for the lack of celery water-juice in the recipe.
Thanks! Those are great ideas!
If you have Silver Beet in India you could try that, it has not much taste of its own and it has the consistency of Celery, I use it in my Vegetable Soup. Hope this helps.
Silver Beet may be known by another name in India.
Thank you for this delicious sounding recipe! There are a lot of recipes out there but most have dairy in the recipe and in a household with dairy issues this is great! Can’t wait to make it this weekend!
Hello Former Chef –
I have so many tomato’s from my garden so yesterday I Googled “fresh tomato soup” and found your site. I printed this recipe and just finished making it. It’s so good! Thank you so much for sharing it with us.
This was incredibly delicious with my fresh garden tomatoes and onions! I didn’t have any celery on hand, so instead I just used a tablespoon of parsley flakes, which added a really nice depth to the flavor anyway. LOVED your recipe, thank you! Can’t wait to try the marinara sauce. 🙂
This recipe looks and sounds yummmy!!I cook a lot with tomatoes making stew with it…and the way i do it is, i chop up the tomatoes put in a bowl sprinkle some salt to welted and then cover the top and put it in the sun for a while so it can be easy to squeeze on a colander the heat from the sun gives it a good flavor and makes it soft too, if there is no sun just heat it up on a stove. this for those that don’t have a blender you can use this method.
This was wonderful. I made it and then lost the recipe and was frantic. Now I’m back again. I have 16# of tomatoes waiting to be made into soup and canned. Thanks for sharing.
This sounds delicious ! You could perhaps call it tomato vegetable soup if you didn’t strain it or put it through a blender. I would like the vegetables through the soup too.
Thank you for such a brilliant recipe. I loved how simple the ingredients are; Directions and pictures were very easy to follow. Watching the vegetables break down was so amazing especially with all the beautiful colors. The soup was fabulous.
I added 8oz silken tofu at the end to give a little protein. Paired wil crusty bread with Harvati cheese took my favorite comfort meal to a knew level.
Kathy in Iowa
Just made the soup today. So yummy. I decided to skin the tomatoes but did not remove the seeds. Also left it chunky. It was very gratifying to recieve so much praise this evening for my homemade tomato soup. People went back for seconds and thirds.
Yummo – could also make a cold tomoato soup for summer!!
Too much salt in my opinion. 1 tablespoon is plenty. Delicious otherwise!
I really loved your soup! I used almond milk and added bell peppers. I chose not to strain it because I like the texture. I added some smoked paprika and it is great! Thanks so much!
I made this soup recipe this evening, added my own touches, but I could’ve used a little less stock. Next time I will. To thicken it up, I used tomato paste. Came out PERFECT!! My kids and I like creamy soups, so I added heavy cream to it, and few more herbs, like basil, thyme, and rosemary. Sauteed them with the other vegetables. Ran everything through the food processor, and oh my, oh my!! LOL It was delicious!!
Oh yes, and I did not have to strain it either. The texture was perfect.
LOL – one more thing, I used coconut oil to saute the vegetables. Hope I didn’t leave anything out! Add a small dollop of sour cream to it as well as a little bit of pesto, or a couple of dashes of tabasco. What a perfect meal. I’m happy!
Katherine- Sound like you made a great soup! Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed it!
I like Tomato soup recipes, want to try this method
I WAS A LITTLE SHORT ON MY CARROTS LIKE A 1/2 CUP—- SO I USED SOME RED PEPPERS NOT GREEN BUT THE RED PEPPER AND I ADDED WITH THE VEGETABLES —-AS IT WAS COOKING AND REALLY NOT MUCH , (SMOKED PAPRIKA),( SMALL AMOUNT NOT MUCH WHEN T IS COOKING CARAWAY SEEDS &FENEL SEED) ALSO WHEN IT WAS ALMOST DONE NOT BEFORE JUST 2 oz of Sofrito i used the DUCAL BRAND because i lived in Miami and its allot of spanish and spanish spices here in the stores in comes in a 4oz Pkg just used t 2oz of the 4 oz because it has sodium 33% this way at the end DON/T PUT MORE SALT WHAT EVER YOU DO AND ADD THIS ALMOST WHEN IT DONE SO IT WON/T TAKE FOREVER TO COOK…( ALSO A GOOD TIP THAT YOU CAN PUREE IT WHEN ITS ALMOST DONE SO THE TOMATOES WILL BREAK DOWN FASTER THIS IS OK AND IT WORKS GREAT…….
I was searching for a recipe to make soup using the fresh tomatoes sitting on my kitchen table, and voila! I love this recipe, thanks so much for sharing it, and with great details and photos too! I modified it to make it a spicy tomato basil bisque, because I was also wanting to use some of the fresh basil I’m growing, and added cream cheese and some crushed red pepper. Yum!
WOW! I was looking for a tomato soup recipe without all the added cream and butter most recipes call for and this was the bomb. I used last years frozen whole tomatoes in my version of your soup. I slipped the skins before adding them and blended my soup with the seeds as I don’t mind them in my soup (my Moulinex made short work of blending the soup). I added Schiracha for a nice kick. I have poached your recipe. Thank you very much!!
Great soup but would recommend putting it all through a Mouli Mill . I also added some peppers and a couple of potatoes in a triple recipe. Very ,Very healthy !
I should have said Red Peppers , cause they taste the best.
My Mouli Mill has three strainers and I use the biggest holes. You have to clean it often, but with the 36 cup recipe there was very little waste. Don,t forget to turn the Mouli Mill in reverse quite often as this takes the skin and etc back of the sieve .
Gary, thanks for the feedback! I’ll have to look at the Mouli mill.
I have put in green peppers, as well as banana peppers — whatever my garden has. I’ve made 2 batches each of the past 2 summers. Really love this recipe. But we’re quite happy with me simply blending it with the hand-held mixer. No need to strain it. We really like the texture. And yes, super, super healthy. Have also served it at a special fall lunch with girlfriends, and as a dinner appetizer at a dinner party, while the BBQ was being done.
This is the 2nd year in a row I’ve made this. Forgot how delicious it is! For my first bowl I put a dollop of sour cream and a bit of sliced fresh basil..so delicious! I think I might buy a container of ricotta tomorrow & put a tablespoon or two on top. Yum! Thanks for this recipe 🙂
Well, this was my first original tomato soup. It was perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing. I did the blender/strainer thing.
I did have a problem with the blender. I put the stuff in, about 1/2 full, and turned it on and it went flying all over the kitchen. What a mess. I’m a messy cook to begin with. So then I learned to pulsate a few times and then churn it. And I bought that giant size sieve. My kitchen is 8×10 at best and storage is very limited. So I have to find a home for that. But I’m not complaining!
I knew I was going to like this soup so I made a double batch! Ran low low on celery and had fresh kohlrabi in garden so I diced up one and it was delicious. I did simmer it longer then an hour and my implsifer pulverized everything barely had a cup of pulp! A+++
What to do with all of these tomatoes?? Thank you Chef for such a wonderful recipe!! I’m glad I found your site.
If I can the soup, do I need to freeze it or can I just can it?
The recipe looks delicious! Can’t wait to try it!
I don’t can, but my understanding is if you do it properly, it’s shelf-stable so no need to freeze, right? Of course, you can always just freeze the soup and not mess with canning. 🙂
This soup is wonderful! Even my husband, who is not a “tomato soup guy” liked it. The texture was wonderful, and the veggies give it added depth. I used a food mill instead of a strainer because it’s new and I’m still trying to justify its existence. I think it was a good investment. Thanks for sharing your recipe.
Just made this soup with my own tomatoes and had to leave a comment– this recipe is fantastic and easy to follow! Perfect flavor that I was hoping for! I used a hand blender and really went to town so no need to strain. I did add some black pepper and about 8 fresh basil leaves as I puréed. Great soup to freeze and enjoy all winter. Thanks!
Thanks for letting me know! I’m about to make another batch myself with all my too-small tomatoes.
Thanks for this recipe. I had so many tomato’s to use, I searched and searched for a recipe to make with them. I finally found this and it sounded great! It’s on the stove cooking as I’m typing! 🙂 It smells delicous!
Chef, Thank you!
My 10:30pm try a new recipe craving kicked in as usual and with the giant box of fresh tomatoes and veggies from my uncle, this seemed like the perfect plan. I searched through many recipes most of which called for canned this or canned that, not what I was looking for, not tonight. It smells divine throughout the house and I can not wait to share it with my family tomorrow
p.s. I love that you included your own photos, I am much more a visual person and found them to be very helpful!
So many garden tomatoes and carrots led me to this recipe…superb…the best tomato soup and sooooo healthy.
As a busy person, I used my crock pot and it worked perfectly. Working on my 3rd batch now.
Loved this soup. I’ve had a parsnip from my garden that thought it was a carrot, this was the perfect place for it. At the end I put the soup through the vita mix and it came out just wonderfully, no muss no fuss. It had a really nice texture, on the hearty side. yum. thanks for the recipe.
Like so many others commenting here, I wanted to find a new use for all my tomaotoes. I have not yet tried this recipe, just found it, but I most certainly will. As others have stated here too, what I really like about this recipe is that the ingredients are simple, mostly all found in the garden, and I make my own stocks too, so this is perfect! I do have a question, here goes. I can alot of fresh tomatoes for future use, and there always is lots of tomatoe juice in them, if I use my fresh canned garden tomatoes for this recipe do I need to reduce the amount of liquids added or will it not make any differance? Just thinking how good this will taste during our cold winters in Minnesota. Thanks for your input~I am excited to try this recipe! I love making homemade, good, wholesome healthy food for my husband and kids and this looks like a winner!!
If your tomatoes have a lot of juice you might try reducing the liquid or leaving it out altogether. You can always add not later. Have fun!
Last time I tried making a tomato/veggie soup, it was a disaster. This time, I think I put waaay too much onions in my soup. It’s super strong and almost unbearable. However, I can’t afford to let it go to waste so I will try and force myself to eat it. hmmmm….
Just made this. Tasted great! I didn’t strain it all that well and think it may have been easier just to try and fish out the peels before I pureed. Thanks for sharing such a great and easy recipe.
Soup tasted great but it was a lot of work to make. Mostly the straining, no fun! I won’t make this again.
Tomato soup is my favorite, and this recipe is now a staple in my soup rotation! I’ve made it twice now..first time with skin and seeds(my food processor really ground things up, wasn’t much left in the strainer) and the second time(last night) with skinned and seeded tomatoes! I’d have to say the second was the winner-not to acidic. I found that adding a little salt and sugar(1/2tsp) at a time helped from being to salty or sweet. I also added two more cups of veggie broth, a little bit of dried basil, and I left a couple cups of tomatoes/veggies unprocessed so it’d be a little chunky. I’m in heaven!!!!! Thank you! 🙂
So glad to hear you enjoyed it! Thank you so much, I love these types of comments. 🙂
Can I use table salt instead of kosher salt?
Yes, but you’ll need to be careful. Table salt is stronger in the same amount. Use less, and taste it as you go.
Thank you for sharing. Going to be making this and canning 🙂 Will leave out the oil though so I can can it.
I would take the skins off first. To me it don’t take that long and you can squeeze most of the seeds out. 🙂
Question, if you want to use something other than sugar, any suggestions? would natural honey be okay? Is regular salt okay or should I add more/less?
You don’t have to use any sugar at all if your tomatoes are sweet enough. If not and you don’t want to use an white sugar use whatever sweetener you prefer. You’ll probably want to use less salt if you use iodized salt, but as always, do it to your personal taste.
Made this tonight. I used a ninja and strained it but there was nothing left. Everything went thru! Added some white pepper oregano and basil. Will eat for dinner tomorrow!
I was going to make your soup since we have tons of tomatoes just starting to fill up the freezer. Hubby brought me in enough to make your soup today but I realized it was supper not lunch and needed something more substantial sooooo.. I used your recipe as a base and just added potatoes, broccolli and chicken, pasta and a bit of milk. Didn’t have any cream at the time. I fried the chicken in the pan with onions and garlic then removed it and added blended tomatoes. I blended it with my Braun in the chopping device till they were smooth, no skin and few seeds to worry about. Then I added the veggies and when almost cooked added the pasta. I break spaghetti to about 2″ so it fits on the spoon. Once it was all cooked I added half a cup of milk and served.
I know it’s not your recipe just the base but I did a small scoop in a bowl before I added my stuff to it and loved it!! If I hadn’t I would have let it cool for the dogs and just made chicken soup in another pot. I am going to write this down and use it as is or as a base for a bigger meal. Thank you so much, I’ve tried other tomato soup recipes and hated them, love this.
Wow, that’s one of the most unique adaptations of one of my recipes I’ve ever read! 🙂 Glad you enjoyed it.
This recipe looks great.
I have a tonne of cherry tomatos and a few other varieties growing so will try this tonight, may add some potatos & maybe last nights chicken to also
Will let you know how it goes!
I’m going to try this. I canned all of my tomato’s this year. So now I like 60 quart jars of them. I made home made spaghetti sauce today but I’m looking for other options to use them. I have bookmarked this page.
This soup is great! Made it once last year and again today. 2 tbsp of salt makes a very savory soup; I noticed it last year and meant to cut back a bit this year but forgot until it was too late. I am definitely not a former chef and my tendency is to methodically follow the ingredient list of recipes without thinking about what I’m doing. Hope I remember to cut back on the salt next time…
Franz- Are you using Kosher Salt or regular table salt? If you are using regular table salt, that will definitely make it too salty. This is why I would prefer “salt to taste” but then people complain I’m not specific enough! 😉
Thanks for answering. I used ‘Kosher sea salt’ that I got from a specialty spice shop. We had some company for dinner last night and I served the soup as a first course (with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream) and everyone said it was delicious! I still think I’ll cut back on the salt a bit next time though…
This recipe is superb!Very healthy,natural and tastes good.Thank You for sharing 🙂
I have very little sun in my yard, and it’s mostly on the driveway, so I grow tomatoes in bins. This year, I am giving up making sauce from the crop and only making this soup. I can buy a pretty good sauce for less than it costs me to grow and make it, but nothing tastes like homemade tomato soup — nothing!
I’m making the recipe as we speak. It sounds like a very nice basic tomato soup recipe, but I’m a little puzzled about it asking for two tablespoons of salt. Isn’t that way too much?
Regardless, thanks for a very clear recipe.
Well, I always want to say, “salt to taste” but then I get people asking me for exactly how much. 🙂
I find this soup needs more salt than you expect, especially when using really ripe fresh tomatoes which tend to be very sweet. Given that it makes about 12 cups, that’s only 1/2 a teaspoon per cup.
Regardless, you should always season it to your own personal taste (especially if you think it will be too much).
I have been making this soup for a few years and it is awesome! I did reduce the salt, also, but otherwise, I followed the recipe closely. I always have tons of tomatoes from my garden at this time of the year. I made spaghetti sauce, also.
This was delicious! I made the mistake of turning the heat a little bit too high, but other than that there were no problems. I didn’t strain it, but it still tasted great!
This sounds so good. Tomato is my favorite soup and with chili sounds perfect. Thanks
Hello there, I made this soup for the first time two days ago and it is the best soup I have ever tasted, my husband loves it too so today I made another pot and its smelling just as delicious as the first lot. I went totally by the directions and they are right on. Its so good to have a recipe where you can leave the skins on the tomatoes. That part is so time consuming. With so many tomatoes at this time of year this is a great way to preserve some. This year has been fantastic for growing tomatoes and all other vegetables. We had such hot weather here for such a long stretch of time.
The immersion blender is the answer to getting this soup finished. I froze some of my first batch and plan to do it with this batch. I may even be doing another batch tomorrow, Thanks so much for a wonderful recipe. Lin
I’m so happy to hear this! Thank you for letting me know. I’ve made a TON of this soup this summer too! It’s always a favorite.