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Garden Fresh Tomato Soup

Overhead shot of Garden Fresh Tomato Soup on a white background, with whole tomatoes off to the side
Recipe At-A-Glance
Vegetarian55 minutes
This Garden Fresh Tomato Soup is a simple and delicious way to enjoy summer’s bounty. Use whatever kinds of tomatoes you have on hand–it will come out great, regardless!

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It’s hard to fathom in the middle of January when a fresh homegrown tomato sounds like just about the best thing on the planet—but there comes a time each summer where I just can’t even look at another tomato.

I’ve canned as much as I can handle. I’ve had caprese salads every day for two months. I’ve dried more sundried tomatoes than any normal family uses in a year. And that’s when I start to pull out the tomato recipes that use A LOT of tomatoes. Like this Garden Fresh Tomato Soup.

Overhead shot of ingredients for Garden Fresh Tomato Soup in a stock pot

Even if you aren’t knee-deep in tomatoes, I’d recommend whipping up a batch of fresh tomato soup before the tomato plants stop producing. I know it seems counter-intuitive in the middle of summer (just like summer chili), but fresh tomato soup is so light, bright and comforting that I feel like it is appropriate in all seasons. And the flavor? Oh my, the flavor! You’ve never had tomato soup until you’ve had it made with fresh homegrown ‘maters.

Whenever I make this, I use all different varieties, colors, shapes, and sizes of tomatoes—whatever is coming off in the garden goes into the pot. Feel free to use all one kind if that’s all you have on hand.

Single angle shot of Garden Fresh Tomato Soup on a white background, with whole tomatoes off to the side

I use an immersion blender to get the smooth texture of this soup, but if you don’t have one, go out and buy one. Seriously, one of my favorite kitchen appliances!

Okay, if you still don’t have one, blend the soup in batches in your blender with the vent covered with a kitchen towel to release steam. Also, if you are looking for a perfectly smooth soup, be sure to peel and seed the tomatoes before cooking. I am entirely too lazy for that bullhockey, so I toss the whole tomatoes in– skin, seeds, and all. It’s just slightly less smooth, but worth saving the time!

Overhead shot of assorted tomatoes

I’m not here to be all-up in your kitchen bidness, but you might as well pull out the skillet at the same time you pull out the stock pot. Because you best be making a gooey, crunchy grilled cheese as this soup simmers. Grilled cheese and tomato soup were made for each other. Enjoy!

Garden Fresh Tomato Soup

Garden Fresh Tomato Soup

Yield: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

This Garden Fresh Tomato Soup is a simple and delicious way to enjoy summer’s bounty. Use whatever kinds of tomatoes you have on hand–it will come out great, regardless!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups broth of choice (chicken, beef, vegetable, etc.)
  • 6-7 cups roughly chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons honey (optional)
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup milk or cream

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and garlic and sauté for about 7 minutes, until translucent and softened.
  2. Add the butter and let it melt. Whisk in the flour, and then continue to cook and whisk for one minute.
  3. Gradually whisk in the broth. Add the tomatoes, basil, vinegar, celery seed, paprika, honey, and a bit of salt and pepper.
  4. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat so the soup simmers and cook for 20-25 minutes, until the tomatoes have softened and cooked down.
  5. Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the milk or cream.
  6. Puree the soup with an immersion blender until smooth (or carefully transfer it in batches to a regular blender). Taste and adjust seasonings if desired. Serve hot, garnished with additional fresh basil if desired.

Notes

This soup is delicious with a variety of garnishes! Try feta cheese and chives, grated Parmesan cheese, croutons, or a dollop of crème fraîche.

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

Leave a Reply

57 Responses
    1. Cassie

      Yeah, vinegar definitely adds a nice dimension to it. You can’t really *taste* it, but if it isn’t in there, you know something is missing.

  1. We have a surplus of tomatoes and my hubby just came down with a summer cold, last night I thought how great a tomato soup would be! And I wake up to this… Perfect! Can’t wait to try it out? Does it freeze well? (we have that many tomato’s lol!)

    1. Cassie

      I haven’t tried it, but I’d imagine it would freeze fine. Although I might not put in the milk and just add it after you’ve defrosted it. Dairy can be so iffy in the freezer sometimes.
      And I hope your hubby feels better soon. Summer colds are the worst! At least in the winter, you feel like you *should* have a cold.

  2. Athena

    Though I’m not a fan of tomato soup, yours looks really yummy. I might have to give it another try. One of my friends swears by putting cream cheese in hers.

  3. Shauna

    Doug hates tomato soup. It hurts my heart, because one of my favorite comfort meals is grilled cheese and tomato soup. So far, Ty loves tomatoes, I wonder when I can feed him soup? Maybe as a “to-go” lunch in a sippy cup? Is that a weird idea?

    I love to put cheez-its in my tomato soup. Or Cheezums or whatever the heck they are called here (I forget, but they are NOT as good as Cheez-Its). Or Cheddar Bunnies! Yummy.

    1. Cassie

      What?! Tell him I said that is unacceptable.

      And no, I don’t think in a sippy cup is weird! They have the adult Soup-to-Go, why not for kiddies?

      1. Shauna

        I think I’m going to try that! One of these days I’ll give him soup in a cup (and pack some in a thermos for myself). 🙂

  4. Oh, wow, that IS an awful lot of tomatoes! The soup looks absolutely delicious though 🙂 Here in Aus it’s the start of spring but still quite chilly, so this soup will definitely be on my menu planner soon methinks!

    1. Cassie

      Oh I didn’t use all of those tomatoes in the soup! That’s just illustrating the fact that we have so many! I’d say there are 6-7 large tomatoes for the soup. 😀

  5. LOVE this soup, it looks so refreshing, do you think if you made it you could freeze it and reheat when it starts getting chilly out?? I can imagine getting cozy on my sofa with this soup when it’s raining out!

      1. Michelle

        Great soup!!! I doubled the batch and froze it. Reheated just fine. Completely out…..making this again this weekend!!!

  6. I made this the other night with a few alterations because of what I had in the house. I used shallots instead of onion, sour cream instead of milk and left out the celery seed. It was delicious! With a grilled cheese to dip in it, Yum! I also thought this would be a great base for a Manhattan Clam Chowder? Thanks for the recipe, I will definitely make it again and again.

  7. mike

    I have never made fresh tomato soup, I grew up with Campbells and learned to hate it in my teeny town in southern Indiana.
    I’m only lacking a couple of ingredients but tommorrow I’ll find out what REAL tomato soup tastes like. Terrific site! Thanks!

  8. Mandy

    I made this to use up a bunch of tomatoes like you did.It turned out REALLY good. I did add 2 T of sugar and I really think it added something to it. Great recipe! I did leave out the milk. I plan on freezing it and I figured I could just add a dash of cream to each batch I re heat. I used my immersion blender.. LOVE to use it when I can.Thank you for the reipe!!

  9. Kimberley

    I have just made this with the glut of tomatoes I have at the moment. I didn’t have any herbs in it and didn’t add the milk as I haven’t yet gone to the shops, but I did put an extra blob of butter in at the end instead and it is delicious. Thanks for the great recipe! I’m going to freeze in two-portion lots and enjoy this over winter which I wish would hurry up – it’s so darn hot at the moment!

  10. Shauna

    I have made it 3 times recently and it gets great reviews from my family each time. Very tasty and pretty simple to make. I did remove the skins. The Magic Bullet still left it a little chunky.
    I have one batch in the freezer for winter. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Bryan

    I made this last night with fresh tomatoes and basil from my garden. My family raved! Is was very good! We had BLT’s with fresh tomatoes of course to go with it.

  12. Joseph Smith

    Thank you for posting the recipe! It was a great way to enjoy the fresh tomatoes that come in this time of year. It made for an easy yet delicious dinner tonight.

  13. This soup was so good that I made it over the weekend and I’m making it again tonight. I followed the recipe exactly. I love it! So easy. I’m sure you can alter it a bit if you have different tastes, but you should try it as is. It’s delicious! I made it fresh and served it. I don’t know about freezing.

  14. Doug Carder

    Is there somewhere on your site that would have the nutritional values for this soup. It sounds and looks yummy. Thank you!

  15. Janice

    This probably sounds like a dumb question but here goes. I was going to boil the fresh tomatoes to remove skins. Do I need to?? I didn’t see like this step in your recipe so I wasn’t sure if it was necessary.
    Thanks,
    Looks delicious,
    Janice

    1. Julie @ Wholefully

      If you want it to be perfectly smooth, yes, remove the skins. But if you are okay with it being a litle more “rustic” (read: not quite as smooth), you can skip that part!

  16. peat

    Thanks for the recipe. I didn’t have all the ingredients precisely but I improvised around it and it worked out really well..
    I used coconut oil instead of olive oil and as I didnt have any basil or paprika I just used tuscan herbs.
    Blending removed all the skin strings well. Keeps the goodness in!

    We both enjoyed the soup tremendously.
    Thank you for the website and the recipe.

  17. Zula

    I made it without celery seed. Because I didn’t have. It was spontanious try but successful. Very tasty. Loved it. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  18. Erin Cruz

    We tried this tonight and although there was only three of us, There were no left overs. Substituted BLT’s for grilled cheese and that worked too. Great recipe!

  19. Christine

    Thank you so much for this recipe, no one in my family really likes tomato soup( canned). But everyone raved about this one. We had grilled cheese sandwiches with it. So yummyThanks again.

  20. Mary

    My husband is bedridden with severe Ulcerative Colitis. He can barely stand anything, but after I made this he was working very hard not to drink all the soup I made! He is up now for the first time
    in two days reading to our boys! Yay for delicious healthy soup that has given my husband a boost!

  21. Debora Delaney

    Your fresh home made tomato soup and found the answer to my quest. Now I can have good soup with out the “junck” that’s in caned food!
    Thank you!!!

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