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Hearty Tomato Soup with Homemade Croutons

Creamy tomato soup from the popular red and white can has always been a home fast-food favorite on chilly evenings. My Hearty Tomato Soup recipe delivers the delicious tomato flavor we love in a nourishing, satisfying alternative. Its preparation requires a little more effort than using a can opener—but not much.

By pairing fire-roasted tomatoes with chicken stock rather than the customary water, this recipe has a richer depth of flavor. Although I use homemade stock, quality canned chicken stock works fine. For your soup to have the smooth texture of canned cream soup, use a blender. I prefer to pulse the tomatoes in a food processor for a slightly chunky, heartier consistency. In the unlikely event that you have leftovers, store the remaining soup covered in the refrigerator. Serves 4


2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

¼ small yellow onion, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

½ tsp. sugar (optional)

2 14.5-ounce cans fire roasted diced tomatoes

2 cups chicken stock

½ cup heavy cream

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft and going translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and optional sugar and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and stock, increase heat to medium-high, and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  2. Remove from heat and allow to cool enough to handle safely.

  3. Process the soup in two batches in a food processor until desired consistency (or in a blender for smooth soup); return the soup to the saucepan. Stir in cream and reheat gently over low heat.

  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with homemade croutons.

Homemade Croutons

Homemade croutons are not only quick and easy to prepare, but they’re much more delicious than packaged ones from your grocer. The key to great croutons is cutting the bread cubes roughly the same size—whether you like large croutons like I do or smaller ones—so they bake uniformly.

Making croutons from scratch also affords you a range of creative alternatives and combinations. There are many options, from grated parmesan to a dash of cayenne pepper, basil, steak seasoning, or paprika to plain with no seasonings. Do you have children who enjoy helping cook dinner? Croutons are an ideal recipe for them to make.


1 full-size loaf French bread

1/3 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1/2 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. dried parsley, crushed


  1. Preheat oven to 350° while prepping croutons.

  2. Slice French bread into uniform-sized cubes and place them in a large mixing bowl.

  3. Drizzle bread cubes with olive oil, and sprinkle with garlic powder, black pepper, salt, and parsley. Mix bread cubes using your hands, turning the mixture repeatedly until well coated.

  4. Spread bread cubes evenly on a coated baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Take care not to overbake, which will make the croutons hard. If you’re making smaller croutons, after 15 minutes, check them every five to prevent overbaking.

  5. Cool before serving. Store extra croutons in a zip-top bag.


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