How to Make Tomato Soup from Fresh Tomatoes

A bowl of delicious homemade tomato soup using fresh tomatoes.

Learn how to make a smooth and flavorful homemade tomato soup using fresh, homegrown tomatoes, and experience the joy of garden-to-table goodness with this delightful recipe.

How to make tomato soup from fresh tomatoes

Whether your fresh tomatoes come from the farmers market or from your own backyard garden, they will add a freshness and uniqueness to your homemade tomato soup. 

Plus, making tomato soup from scratch is truly easy! 

Roasted tomato soup is one of my favorite soups and is a great way to enjoy the delicious tomatoes from my summer garden. I hope this recipe might become one of your favorites too.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase I might earn a small commission, but it doesn't affect the price you pay. Read my disclosure here for more info.

A green bowl of ripe tomatoes from the garden
Not all homegrown tomatoes are beautiful, but their flavor makes up for any cosmetic defects. Plus they're perfect for using in a pot of homegrown tomato soup, where the imperfections can be cut out and discarded.

Further down in this post there's a link to a free printable pdf of this recipe with concise directions. You'll also find tips and suggestions for topping your soup, storing and reheating leftovers, and more.

Why homemade is best

By creating your own homemade tomato soup, you take control of every step and every ingredient, ensuring the highest quality and the freshest taste. You can harvest the ripest tomatoes from your garden or choose the finest ones from your local farmers market, with superior flavor and nutrition as the result. 

Plus, you have the freedom to personalize the soup to your taste, by adjusting the taste, seasonings, and texture. Homemade tomato soup is a labor of love that will not be forgotten.

And yet this homemade soup so easy to make!

What you need to make this garden fresh homemade tomato soup

Most tomato soup recipes tell you to use paste tomatoes, such as the Roma variety, which have more "meat" and less liquid. 

But personally, I grow a large variety of tomatoes in a small space - slicing-type tomatoes, salad tomatoes, big beefsteak tomatoes and even cherry tomatoes. 

My young grandson and I love walking out to the garden in the afternoon and snacking on all the ripe cherry tomatoes. There is no room for Romas!

I include all of the varieties I grow in my tomato soup. And because I use whatever tomatoes are ripe, every batch of soup tastes a bit different. That's part of the charm!

Using several varieties of fresh tomatoes gives the soup a deeper, richer flavor, so don't be afraid to be adventurous.

Using more than one tomato variety is optional though. If you have just one type of tomato, go ahead and make this soup - it will still be delicious.

This recipe also includes onion, garlic and celery, as well as fresh basil and spices. 

You'll also need a roasting pan or baking pan, a large pot, and a blender or immersion blender.

The easy way to peel tomatoes

Peeling tomatoes used to be the worst part of making literally anything with tomatoes.

You used to have to blanch the tomatoes in boiling water, then plunge them in ice water for a few minutes and then tediously remove the skins. Honestly, it was a terrible chore.

A peeled tomato in a woman's hand.
Freeze your fresh, homegrown tomatoes to make them super-easy to peel.

But the texture of tomato soup made with unpeeled tomatoes is not as appealing, and usually has a bitter taste as well. You really do need to peel the tomatoes.

However, there is a trick. Freeze the tomatoes first. 

How to freeze fresh tomatoes so they're easy to peel

You don't have to blanch tomatoes before freezing them short-term. 

Blanching stops the enzyme action that causes tomatoes to lose quality, but we're freezing these tomatoes for a short time. Blanching isn't necessary in this case.

Simply wash the tomatoes, cut out the cores, place them in a large zippered bag and put them in the freezer for a few hours before peeling.

If you are freezing an overabundance of tomatoes but don't plan to make homemade soup right away, you can keep them in the freezer up to three months.

To cut the core out before freezing, use a sharp knife and cut out the top of the tomato where it was attached to the plant - you know, that white part. 

When you're ready to make soup, take the bag of tomatoes out of the freezer, and hold the frozen tomatoes under hot running water. After a few seconds the skins will start to "let go" and you can peel them off easily. 

Seriously. It's that easy. 

If necessary just hold a stubborn-skinned tomato under the hot water for a bit longer, then try again.  

If you prefer, you can drop the tomatoes in a large bowl of hot water instead. After a few minutes, remove from the bowl and peel. Replace the hot water as it cools.

Roasting the vegetables for tomato soup

Not all tomato soup is made from roasted tomatoes, but trust me, you'll love the extra flavor. It's super easy to roast the tomatoes and other vegetables.

A roasting pan full of tomatoes, onions, garlic and celery for tomato soup.
Roasted vegetables to make tomato soup from scratch using homegrown tomatoes.

Preheat your oven to 450°F.

Chop the peeled tomatoes, onions, garlic and celery. 

Use a baking pan, roaster or baking tray with a lip to keep the juices from making a mess in your oven. You can line the pan with foil if you wish, then use a bit of olive oil to keep the vegetables from sticking.

Add the vegetables to the baking pan, drizzle a little more olive oil on top and sprinkle with sea salt. Use "just enough" oil; don't overdo it.

Roast the vegetables in the oven for at least 30 minutes or until the onions are caramelized. Set the vegetables aside.

Simmer your soup ingredients

In a large pot, melt the butter. Please use real butter, not margarine or other butter alternative.

When the butter melts, add the flour and whisk until smooth. Cook for another minute or two, then whisk in the chicken broth.

Now add the roasted vegetables, a bay leaf and a pinch of sugar if desired. 

Simmer for about 30 minutes until the liquid has reduced a bit and the vegetables are soft.

A pot full of simmered tomatoes and other hearty vegetables for homemade tomato soup from fresh tomatoes
Simmer the vegetables until they are soft.

Add the basil, salt and pepper to taste, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

Blending the tomato soup

Let the pot cool for a few minutes, then remove the bay leaf. 

Add the soup to a blender in small amounts and blend until smooth, or use an immersion blender. 

If you'll be blending the soup in a blender, be sure to let it cool a bit before blending. Hot soup can erupt like a volcano in a blender if you're not careful.

Blending the tomato soup in a Ninja blender.

Return to the pot and heat the soup back up. Add heavy cream if desired.

One of the nice things about making tomato soup from scratch is that you can add cream or not, whichever you prefer. You can also adjust the consistency or texture of the soup to your preference. 

Cream will thicken up the soup a bit, or if your soup is too thick, you can add some additional chicken broth.

Pour your soup into bowls and serve. Keep reading for suggestions for topping your soup.

A white bowl of homemade tomato soup on a brown charger.

Homemade tomato soup recipe using fresh tomatoes

>> Download a printable pdf of this recipe here <<


Olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 or 2 ribs of celery, chopped
1 Tbsp flour
4 pounds tomatoes (approximately), halved, cored and peeled
1 quart chicken stock
1 bay leaf
3 leaves of chopped, fresh basil, or 1 tsp dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp sugar (optional - see the Tips section below)
pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
3/4 cup heavy cream (optional)

Peel and core the tomatoes, then chop tomatoes, onion and celery, and mince the garlic.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Add vegetables to a baking pan or roaster, using a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking to the pan. Drizzle a little more olive oil on top and sprinkle with sea salt. 

Roast the vegetables in the oven for at least 30 minutes until the onions are caramelized, and set the vegetables aside.

In a large pot, melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Let cook for a few minutes, then add the chicken broth and whisk until smooth.

Add the roasted vegetables to the large pot. Add bay leaf and sugar if desired. Bring to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes. Add basil, salt and pepper to taste, and cayenne pepper if desired. Continue simmering for another 10 minutes.

Let the soup cool for several minutes, then remove the bay leaf. Blend using a blender or immersion blender. If using a blender, add the soup in small amounts. Blend until smooth.

Return the soup to the pot and reheat. If desired, add heavy cream. If your soup is too thick, add extra chicken broth.

Pour soup into bowls and serve. See the delicious ideas below for topping your soup.

Tips to perfect your homemade tomato soup

A bowl of tomato soup on a white plate and a brown charger, with spoon and crackers.

Serving and topping ideas for homemade tomato soup

Serve this garden fresh tomato soup with your favorite crackers, crusty homemade bread or the classic grilled cheese sandwich.

Try topping your bowl of tomato soup with:

  • dollop of sour cream or homemade yogurt
  • fresh basil leaf
  • crunchy croutons
  • shredded cheese
  • a spoonful of homemade salsa
  • sliced jalapenos
  • sliced green onions or chopped chives
  • bacon bits

If your homemade tomato soup tastes acidic

Sometimes, depending on the variety of tomatoes you've used, homemade tomato soup can taste a bit "sharp" or acidic, or even slightly metallic.

Always taste your soup first before trying to adjust the flavor, because each and every batch of soup can taste slightly different. A lot of variables from your garden can affect the taste of fresh tomatoes slightly as well, such as sunshine, temperature and rainfall.

If the flavor seems a bit too sharp, add a pinch of baking soda to balance the acidity.

Also note that the sugar in the recipe is optional. Your fresh tomatoes might be sweet enough without it!

How long can you keep tomato soup in the refrigerator?

If you have leftover soup, you can store your homemade tomato soup in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. According to Martha Stewart, tomato soup might last a bit longer than other soups because of the tomatoes' acidity. 

However, cream soups don't last as long, so if you added heavy cream to your soup, you might need to discard it after 3 days.

Always trust your eyes, nose and tongue when you've stored leftovers in the fridge. If you notice that it doesn't look right, smells funny or tastes "off," discard your leftovers without eating.

To reheat, bring your soup just up to a boil. Turn down the heat and let it simmer, stirring gently, for three minutes.

Can you make homemade tomato soup with home-canned tomatoes?

Absolutely! Open the jar, drain the tomatoes, and add to the roasting pan with the other vegetables.

Here's how to can your homegrown tomatoes, no matter what variety you're growing. Just because they aren't paste tomatoes doesn't mean you can't can them.

How to make homemade tomato soup using frozen tomatoes

It's just as easy to make tomato soup with frozen tomatoes. After all, in the first step of this recipe we froze the tomatoes so they would be easy to peel. 

If you threw a bag of ripe tomatoes in the freezer in late summer because your plants produced like rockstars and you couldn't stand to look at another tomato, you'll really appreciate 

Freezing them is an easy way to store them until you can make tomato sauce or to can them for longer-term storage,  or to freeze them for a few months so you can make this wonderful soup during the winter.

No need to blanch them first, or to remove the skins before freezing. However, remember that this is a short-term storage solution for tomatoes, and they should be used within three months of freezing.

When you're ready to make soup, remove the bag of frozen tomatoes from the freezer, cut out the core if necessary, peel the tomatoes, and add the tomatoes to the other vegetables in the roasting pan.

A hot bowl of homemade tomato soup is a lovely reminder of the summer garden in the middle of winter, and the perfect warming meal on cold winter days when the wind is blustery and leafless trees are stark against the sky.

For more gardening inspiration and suggestions on using your homegrown produce, subscribe to Oak Hill Homestead's weekly newsletter The Acorn, and join me on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest. I'd love to see you there!

Related posts:
Best Tomato Trellis Ideas
How to Save Tomato Seeds from Your Garden

a bowl of homemade tomato soup with spoon and crackers

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase after following an affiliate link, I might receive a small commission but it does not affect the price you pay. Read my disclosure here.


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