Garden Tomato Soup

$5.95 recipe / $0.74 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
5 from 3 votes
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One of my goals this summer was to make tomato soup from scratch… and by scratch I mean whole tomatoes, not canned. Tomato soup made from fresh tomatoes is a completely different beast from soup made from canned tomatoes, neither being inferior to the other. I love each for their own attributes but had never made one from scratch and was quite determined to do so.

Despite the fact that this recipe requires pounds of fresh vegetables that are cut, diced and shredded prior to cooking, it was actually very quick and easy to assemble. I didn’t feel like going out to buy a pint of cream so I decided to use a little trick that I learned in the food service biz for making soups taste “creamy” without using cream (we used this trick in a fresh green gazpacho). The secret is bread crumbs. A small amount of bread crumbs are boiled into the soup to add thickness and a surprisingly creamy flavor. I was so surprised at the creamy, buttery flavor when I tasted the soup that I demanded to know who snuck butter into the broth… but then I remembered that I was the only one home and it must have been the bread crumbs. Amazing.

I worked off of this recipe by Emeril Lagasse and, of course, made a few alterations.

If you’re not into fresh tomato soup, stay tuned. I’m sure to whip up a batch made from canned tomatoes some time soon.

Garden Tomato Soup

Bowl of Garden Tomato Soup garnished with basil leaf

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Garden Tomato Soup

5 from 3 votes
If you have an abundance of tomatoes from your garden, make this flavorful and fresh garden tomato soup.
Servings 8
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 30 minutes
Total 45 minutes


  • 1 yellow onion ($0.42)
  • 3 ribs celery ($0.37)
  • 2 carrots ($0.25)
  • 3 cloves garlic ($0.12)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil ($0.42)
  • 4 lbs. ripe tomatoes (about 5) ($3.41)
  • 2 cups chicken broth ($0.20)
  • 1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs ($0.09)
  • 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar ($0.02)
  • 1.5 tsp salt (or to taste) ($0.05)
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil ($0.50)
  • 1 tsp Worchestershire sauce ($0.05)
  • freshly cracked black pepper to taste ($0.05)


  • Finely dice the onion, celery and garlic. Wash and shred the carrots (use a large cheese shredder). Cook all four in a large pot with 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat until softened (about 10 minutes).
  • Wash and dice the tomatoes. Add them to the cooked down vegetables and cook the mixture until the tomatoes are soft and begin to fall apart (about 10 minutes).
  • Add the chicken broth along with the rest of the ingredients: bread crumbs, salt, pepper, brown sugar, worchestershire sauce and chopped basil. Continue to cook for 10 more minutes.
  • Working in batches, puree the mixture in a blender until smooth. Be very careful; hot liquids in a blender can be very dangerous!

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Serving: 1ServingCalories: 136.21kcalCarbohydrates: 16.68gProtein: 3.19gFat: 7.31gSodium: 749.16mgFiber: 3.88g
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Eat the soup hot with a big slice of nice crusty bread – yummmmm!

Step By Step Photos

diced veggies in pot
Dice the onion, garlic and celery as small as possible and shred the carrots. Small pieces = faster cooking time. Cook the vegetables in a large pot with 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat until they have softened.

cooked vegetables in pot
After about ten minutes, they will all be soft (and super fragrant).

Tomatoes added to other veggies in pot and stirred with wooden spoon
Wash and dice the tomatoes, add them to the pot and continue to cook until soft. The tomatoes do not need to be cut as small because their high water content help them break down quickly.

stock and bread crumbs added to cooked veggies in pot
After the tomatoes have cooked down and released their juices, add the chicken brothand the bread crumbs.

Package of fresh basil with a few leaves taken out to chop with knife
Chop about a half cup of fresh basil leaves and add them to the pot.

seasoning added to pot of soup
Add the rest of the seasonings (salt, pepper, worchestershire and brown sugar) and continue to cook for about 10 minutes. Puree the soup in batches until it is smooth and creamy.

Top view of a bowl of Garden Tomato Soup garnished with basil

NOTE: Usually you have to buy carrots and celery in a bag or bunch but only need to use a few of each. I hate watching the rest get all rubbery in the fridge then eventually go to waste. I love soup and will most likely make soup again soon so I decided to prep the rest of my carrots and celery (prep = wash and chop), pack them into freezer bags and freeze them for later. Many soups use celery and carrots as the base for the broth so I know these will get put to good use!

Left over chopped veggies in zip lock bags to freeze and save for later
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  1. I made this today, but had to make a few changes.
    I used roma tomatoes, because I read roma not ripe. I weighed them out, and thought that Beth must get some really big roma tomatoes if it only takes 5, when I had to use 12 to get 3 lbs. Then I realized I misread.

    I forgot to buy carrots, so I used a small beet instead, and couldn’t find my grater so I cubed it. It took a lot longer to cook than grated carrots would have, but anything that my immersion blender couldn’t handle got scooped out and tossed.

    Because I was using an immersion blender, I didn’t bother to dice the garlic, or cut anything up smaller than a rough chop.

    Since I used a beet instead of a carrot, I decided to use dried dill instead of fresh basil.

    Even with my changes, it was really good! I served with Beth’s Air Fryer Grilled Cheese, made with sourdough and Muenster cheese. My MIL has covid, and is suffering from diminished taste, so for her portion, I added a little garlic salt to the butter mixture.

  2. Made this today, as I had celery in my fridge and some leftover shredded carrot. I loved it! I never knew making tomato soup with fresh tomatoes was this simple. Adding bread was genious, a great way to use it up and delicious. The changes I made was to use some balsamic vinegar instead of worcheshiretersauce. Mostly because it felt more aproperiate to the italian flavors. I also used dried herbs, as I could not be bothered to go to the store to get fresh basil when I had everything else. Thanks for the recipie! 

  3. This tomato soup is outstanding! I quadrupled the recipe, left out the breadcrumbs and plan to can it.

  4. I strongly suggest an immersion blender, well worth the investment for making creamed soup – much less frightening.

    1. It sure does! Just be sure to cool in the refrigerator before freezing.

  5. I made it. It was amazing! Thanks for sharing. (Also, I KNEW you looked familiar… Hutch posted a recipe the other day and I told her I liked this site also. She responded with, “I went to school with her” and I said, “aha!”)

  6. This soup was so good my husband who tolerates tomato soup from the can said he would be having this for lunch tomorrow. I did make on change and mad a roux to thicken the soup but it was only 1 tbsp of flour and butter.

  7. Made it. Loved it. Boom tick. Such a great recipe!

    I also add grinded up some salt and saffron in a mortar/pestle thingy and added it. Smelled heavenly and tasted even better!

  8. OK, blending hot liquids in a blender is one of the most frightening experiences of my life. Just, y’know, for the record.

  9. Made it! Love it! Chopped all the veggies with my food processor and used my immersion blender to blend at the end. Another win for Budget Bytes :D

  10. “I was so surprised at the creamy, buttery flavor when I tasted the soup that I demanded to know who snuck butter into the broth… but then I remembered that I was the only one home and it must have been the bread crumbs. Amazing.”

    Certain breadcrumbs have MSG added (sometimes under sneaky names) so if you’re wondering where the umami comes from, that could be a culprit :D