It’s cliche but there’s nothing more comforting than a bowl of homemade tomato soup. It’s simple to make, garnished with homemade croutons and it can be made ahead for easy lunches during the week.
News Alert: Making soup from scratch during a busy weekday is not realistic! But carving out 40 minutes on a Sunday afternoon to make a big pot not only sets up easy-to-warm up lunches for the week but also provides a pocket of solace before the workweek commences.
Chopping, stirring, and simmering a cozy pot of soup is a dose of therapy. It’s a feel-good experience.
- In the winter months, when tomatoes are scarce or, at best, sad and flavorless at the grocery store, good quality canned tomatoes save the day. I like to use San Marzano whole tomatoes. They cost more than regular canned tomatoes, but their flavor and sweetness are well worth the extra change.
- I used chicken stock, but for an all-veggie soup experience substitute vegetable stock.
- I like my tomato soup bright. A splash of balsamic vinegar makes that happen.
- You’ll need some olive oil, onion, and garlic plus plenty of fresh herbs like parsley and basil.
In my world, no soup is complete without a garnish, so while the soup simmered I made some simple croutons. They keep well for a few days in an airtight container but feel free to substitute your favorite store-bought brand.
- All you do is toss some bread cubes in olive oil, Italian seasoning, and salt.
- Toast the bread cubes in a 375°F oven until they’re golden and crispy on the outside.
I topped my soup with Parmesan cheese, but feta, blue cheese, or cheddar works well, too. A different cheese each day, perhaps?
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In the space of about 40 minutes you can make both the soup and the croutons. Start with the soup and while it simmers prepare the croutons or, if time and resources are scarce, use your favorite store-bought croutons instead.
For the Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 28 ounce can whole tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ½ tablespoon chopped parsley
- ½ tablespoon chopped basil (see note)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (see note)
- Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
For the Croutons
- ¼ of 12 inch of a loaf of soft French bread, cut into 2 inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Make the Soup
- Heat the olive in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook them until they start to soften, about five minutes or so.
- Add the tomatoes (plus the juice). Break them up with a spatula and give it all a good stir. Add the chicken stock and vinegar. Increase the heat until the soup starts to bubble, then reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Let the soup simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Make the Croutons
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- While the soup simmers, make the croutons. In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, herbs, and salt. Add the bread cubes and gently toss them in the oil until lightly coated.
- Spread the cubes in an even layer on a sheet pan. Bake the croutons until they turn golden and have dried out, about 15 minutes. Let them cool for a few minutes.
- While the croutons cool, add the fresh parsley and basil to the soup. Puree the soup until smooth (see note).
- Serve the soup with croutons and grated Parmesan cheese.
Good basil is hard to find during the winter, so I buy the tubes of pureed basil. Look for them near the fresh herbs in the produce department. Start with a teaspoon of salt, but be sure and give the soup a taste at the end. Depending on your tastes, you may want to add a pinch or two more.
An immersion blender makes pureeing a soup easy work, but if you need to use a stand blender be sure to let the soup cool before blending. Otherwise you risk a soup explosion and no one wants to clean soup off the ceiling.
- Category: Lunch
- Method: Simmer
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
- Calories: 276
- Sugar: 5.1g
- Sodium: 795.1mg
- Fat: 9.4g
- Saturated Fat: 1.7g
- Unsaturated Fat: 7.1g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 41.4g
- Fiber: 2.8g
- Protein: 10.5g
- Cholesterol: 4.5mg
Keywords: homemade tomato soup, tomato soup recipe
The nutrition information in this recipe is an estimate only and was calculated using Nutrifox, an online nutrition calculator.