creamy tomato soup

by Amy on 6 March 2012

first , apologies for not posting in over a week. my beloved computer croaked last week, leaving me without a way to blog + edit photos. oh, the horror! luckily, my wonderful new computer has arrived + thus, blogging can re-commence! now, on to more important things, like this soup.

is there any meal as deliciously comforting as a bowl of tomato soup + a homemade grilled cheese sandwich? nope? i didn’t think so. believe it or not, my husband recently revealed that he had never eaten a homemade grilled cheese before – how crazy is that? so, on a chilly night a few weeks ago, i decided to show him how truly fantastic the classic pairing of grilled cheese + tomato soup can be. that meal, and this soup? absolutely, positively delicious.

this soup is wonderfully creamy, rich, + decadent. between the butter, bacon, veggies, thyme + half-and-half, it really packs an amazing flavor punch. the smokiness of the bacon adds a great depth to the soup, so if you’re vegetarian, use liquid smoke instead of bacon so you can still get that great note. the soup is amazing served simply with a fresh hunk of baguette, + even better when paired with a delicious grilled cheese sandwich hot off the griddle.

as a testament to how delicious this soup is, i had a completely different meal planned for last night’s dinner. but, after writing this post + remembering how delicious it was, i changed gears + decided to make this soup, paired (yet again!) with homemade grilled cheese. + it was as scrumptious last night, if not more so, than i remembered it being. don’t you love it when that happens?!

creamy tomato soup

makes 4-6 servings, adapted from food network kitchens


3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 slices bacon, finely chopped (or substitute liquid smoke – see note above)
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or substitute vegetable stock)
1 (28-ounce) can whole, peeled tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
5 fresh thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
kosher salt + freshly ground black pepper, to taste


heat the butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. add the bacon + cook, stirring, until crisp + most of the fat has rendered, about 1 minute. using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate + set aside.

lower the heat to medium, add the onion, carrots, celery, + garlic + cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until soft + fragrant, about 8 minutes. stir in the flour + cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. pour in the broth + crush the tomatoes through your fingers into the pan.

bring to a boil while whisking constantly. add in the thyme springs (make sure you count them so you know how many stems to pull out later) bay leaves, tomato paste, reserved cooked bacon pieces, + crushed red pepper, if using. lower the heat + simmer for 20 minutes. remove from the heat + let cool.

remove + discard the thyme stems + bay leaves. if you have an immersion blender, you can puree the soup directly in the pot. otherwise, working in batches, transfer the mixture to a blender/food processor + puree until smooth. return the puree to the pot + reheat over medium heat. whisk in the heavy cream or half-in-half, + salt + pepper to taste. divide among warm soup bowls + serve immediately.

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{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Caroline @ chocolate & carrots March 6, 2012 at 9:07 am

I can see why you’d make it twice! It looks fantastic! 😀 Mmm!

2 Steph@TheChickpeaChickadee March 6, 2012 at 9:33 am

This looks amazing! Sounds like a wonderful recipe. I love tomato soup. Thanks for sharing the recipe.
Sorry to hear about your computer. Congrats on your new one:)

3 Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl March 6, 2012 at 9:41 am

Hee, I can’t believe your hubby had never had homemade grilled cheese before! It’s a staple around here for us–and with this soup?!?! Yumm-o!

Total bummer on the computer, but I’m so glad you’re back up and running now!

4 amy March 6, 2012 at 9:43 am

isn’t it crazy? while his siblings ate ’em a lot, he just was never interested in the good ol’ grilled cheese. thankfully, that has now changed + the wonderful grilled cheese/tomato soup pairing is now on a much more frequent rotation in our household. =)

5 Julie at Burnt Carrots March 6, 2012 at 9:44 am

Glad you are back up and running with a new computer! This might be my favorite combination in the entire world and I’m shocked that your husband’s never eaten an entire grilled cheese!!! That is insane!!

6 amy March 6, 2012 at 9:55 am

thanks so much, julie! it really made me stir-crazy to not be able to post in over a week, so i’m glad i’m back, too. =)

7 kristen @ notsodomesticated March 6, 2012 at 9:57 am

Yum, this looks awesome! Do you think I could use an immersion blender instead?

8 amy March 6, 2012 at 9:59 am

yes, you could definitely use an immersion blender – in fact, it would be easier than blending it in batches. i’ll update the recipe to suggest that, too – thanks kristen!

9 elizabeth @ chronic venture March 6, 2012 at 10:10 am

glad you’re back to blogging!! I need some tomato soup in my life again soon and this looks just delicious!

10 Ally Garner March 6, 2012 at 10:11 am

Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear your computer died. That stinks. I hope you were able to salvage all of your photos & documents though. I love tomato soup, and love it more when it’s homemade. I even saw an idea on Pinterest to cut a grilled cheese into bite sized pieces & dip in tomato soup like fondue. Brilliant! Your recipe looks & sounds delicious.

11 amy March 6, 2012 at 10:27 am

some of my pictures/documents are still on the dead computer, but the folks at the apple store think they’ll be able to pull everything off no problem. phew! + luckily i backed up my computer pretty frequently. ps – love the idea of doing a mini grilled cheese ‘fondue’ with the tomato soup. such a fab idea!

12 Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious March 6, 2012 at 10:30 am

I missed you for a week! But with the new mac and the grocery store mishap, I totally understand.

The soup looks great! Can’t wait to have it with some grilled cheese :)

13 Renee March 6, 2012 at 10:32 am

How was it before adding the heavy cream? My husband prefers his tomato soup not creamy. I was wondering for making it and then dividing it up to make creamy for me and regular for him.

14 amy March 6, 2012 at 10:40 am

it was delicious before adding the cream! by the way, i actually halved the called-for amount of cream from the original recipe, because after adding a bit at a time, it seemed that amount was perfect to give it a lightly creamy note without being too heavy. feel free to play around with it, or omit it altogether – it was still delicious without any cream in there at all. =)

15 Joanna@Drizzleofsunshine March 6, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Hi Amy! This recipe looks delicious. I can’t believe your hubby never had a homemade grilled cheese. Good thing he has a good wife to make it for him WITH this delicious soup. I actually never had tomato soup until I was much older. I didn’t have a lot of American type foods until I was out of my parents’ house I guess. I will definitely have to try this one. I think I might like the creamier version over the regular one! Have a great week, buddy!

16 amy March 6, 2012 at 12:29 pm

ha, isn’t he so lucky to have me around? =) you’ll have to let me know what you think of this soup if you try it – it’s definitely one of my favorites. have a lovely week, friend!

17 Susan (Oliepants) March 6, 2012 at 12:45 pm

This is totally screaming comfort and “eat me”. Delicious and beautiful!

18 Choc Chip Uru March 6, 2012 at 1:50 pm

At first glance you can tell this is a rich, delicious warm soup :)
A decadent comforter!

Choc Chip Uru

19 claire @ the realistic nutritionist March 6, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Oh this looks PERFECT. Not a traditional recipe by any means. I mean, bacon? In a soup? I’m in LOVE.

20 amy March 6, 2012 at 2:36 pm

i couldn’t agree more. bacon in *anything* is pretty much a win for me!

21 Cassie March 6, 2012 at 3:17 pm

yay for new computers! and for tomato soup that will make it all better. this sounds amazing!

22 amy March 6, 2012 at 3:29 pm

i agree, cassie – yay to both!

23 Terry March 6, 2012 at 3:31 pm

This soup sounds amazing! I love tomato soup alone or with grilled cheese sandwiches.

24 Lesley Eats March 6, 2012 at 5:51 pm

I’m officially challenging you to make this vegan next time and see what you think. Olive oil instead of butter, no half and half (just skip it), vegetable stock, and Liquid Smoke. It’ll definitely be cheaper and healthier and I bet it will be just as tasty!

25 amy March 6, 2012 at 6:04 pm

challenge officially accepted! honestly, i’m 99% sure i’ll like it just as much, even if the flavors are slightly different. the real test will be to serve it to others without telling them that i altered the recipe, + see if they can even tell a difference. =) will report back!

26 Julie @ Table for Two March 6, 2012 at 8:08 pm

I’m obsessed with creamy tomato soups such as this. This looks absolutely delicious and something I’d gulp up instantly! I’m glad you got your computer back :) yay for a new Mac!

27 Blond Duck March 7, 2012 at 6:04 am

Classic and elegant!

28 Jeff March 7, 2012 at 11:42 am

Instant droolage! I was not even expecting the bacon! Honestly a mind-blowing recipe that is causing me hunger pangs! And HOW CAN YOU NOT HAVE HOMEMADE GRILLED CHEESE? For shame sir…for shame. Good thing you made him some!

29 amy March 7, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Jeff, you’ve definitely gotta try it – the bacon adds sooo much depth + a lovely texture to the soup. + my husband agrees – he’s so happy he now knows the gloriousness that is homemade grilled cheese!

30 Jackie @ Domestic Fits March 7, 2012 at 1:29 pm

You poor thing! I would panic without my computer! Glad that you are all back up and running now :)

31 sportsglutton March 7, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Welcome back to the cyber world with a new and hopefully improved computer. Nothing wrong with getting back into the swing of things with an enjoyable bowl of tomato soup. Delish!

32 amy March 7, 2012 at 3:06 pm

it’s definitely improved! my old computer was a dinosaur, always freezing + crashing. this new one is a zillion times better!

33 Katia March 7, 2012 at 3:10 pm

I apologize too dear Amy! I’m in Italy in this period: I can neither cook nor post anything… I miss all that! :(
Homemade grilled cheese and tomato soup?! I’m in!

34 amy March 7, 2012 at 3:55 pm

i was wondering why i hand’t seen you post anything in a few weeks! glad to know it’s for a good reason – because you’re in italy! hope we get to hear all about it once you get home. =) enjoy the rest of your trip!

35 Jess March 8, 2012 at 7:51 am

Oh, YUM! Tomato soup has always been one of my favorites!!! And with bacon? You’ve got me very intrigued!!!!

36 Kathryn March 8, 2012 at 11:36 am

There aren’t many things that are better in the world than a bowl of creamy tomato soup. Love it.

37 natalie (the sweets life) March 8, 2012 at 1:15 pm

at least you got a new computer out of the deal! this soup was definitely worth the wait-looks great!: )

38 amy March 8, 2012 at 6:45 pm

awww, thanks natalie!

39 angela@spinachtiger March 8, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Amy, how could someone not have had a grilled cheese before? And this iconic duo is wonderful. This is the kind of food to get back to.

40 Steve @ the black peppercorn March 8, 2012 at 8:41 pm

Nothing like a warm bowl of creamy tomato soup! We make them a lot. This looks outstanding!!

41 Baking Serendipity March 8, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Grilled cheese and tomato soup is my all time favorite after a long day :) So simple and comforting!

42 Tiffany {A Clove of Garlic} March 12, 2012 at 11:13 pm

This one sounds amazing! I love creamy tomato soup but I have never had it homemade. Looks like a winner!

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