Homemade tomato soup is nearly always superior to the canned variety, but of course, it takes more time and effort to prepare. You can, however, enjoy the better flavors and more satisfying experience of making your own soup while also taking advantage of the convenience of canned goods.
Start with premade tomato sauce as the main ingredient and add other elements – aromatics, seasonings and more – to suit your tastes. It is usually possible to make a delicious tomato soup from tomato sauce plus items you already have on hand with minimal fuss, but the basic recipe is easily adapted to more complex takes on tomato soup as well.
Two-Ingredient Tomato Soup From Tomato Sauce
The most basic version of tomato soup made from tomato sauce requires just two ingredients: tomato sauce and vegetable or chicken stock. Homemade stock is ideal, but store-bought is fine as is stock made using a bouillon cube or granules.
Empty the jar or can of tomato sauce into a saucepan, set the heat to medium and stir in the stock until you get a soup-like consistency. A ratio of one part sauce to one part stock is usually sufficient. Simmer the soup for five minutes or so, add salt and pepper to taste and serve.
This two-ingredient tomato soup can be improved considerably with a few more items from the pantry. Some tomato sauces (and stocks) are more flavorful than others, so taste the soup first. Consider adding a touch of sugar, garlic powder, crushed red chili if you like a little heat and a dash of soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce for an umami boost. A pinch of dried herbs also works wonders – parsley, basil, oregano, thyme and Italian blends are all nice choices.
Add Onions and Other Vegetables
To give tomato soup made from tomato sauce a more complex flavor, aroma and texture, start by sauteing some finely diced onions in butter or olive oil. Diced celery and carrots are excellent additions with the onions, as are bell peppers, mushrooms and fresh garlic. Add the tomato sauce and stock once the vegetables have softened. Tomato soup made this way will have a chunkier texture, but you can make it smooth with an immersion blender or regular blender if you prefer.
Make it Creamy
Many people prefer a creamy tomato soup, which is easy to achieve by adding one of several ingredients. Heavy cream or whole milk blended into the soup turns it creamy in an instant. You can use just a splash or a whole cup of cream or milk depending on how creamy you want the soup to be. Adjust the amount of stock accordingly and be careful not to boil the soup after adding dairy; just let it simmer gently.
Nondairy options include coconut milk and soy, almond or oat milk. You can also give the soup a creamier texture by blending in some cooked beans drained from a can, such as cannellini or navy beans.