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Fresh Creamy Tomato Soup is a creamy and comforting soup made with juicy tomatoes, fresh basil, robust onion, and chopped celery, all topped with crunchy and cheesy cornbread croutons!

Not only is this tomato soup recipe delicious, it’s on the healthier side and can be ready in 30 to 40 minutes, start to finish. That makes for some easy dinner prep!

a bowl of creamy tomato soup garnished with a sprig of basil.

Autumn is right around the corner, making it a perfect time to whip out toasty-warm and comforting soups!

But, today’s irresistible creamy tomato soup with crunchy cornbread croutons is the perfect quick lunch any time of the year.

I’ve always been a fan of tomato soup, but let me tell you, the cornbread croutons are what make this bowl of goodness extra special! 

It stores well in the refrigerator for about two days. Make it the night before a busy day and serve for a simple and soothing lunch. Or pack it into a thermos for your kid’s lunch box!

For more heart-warming soups, check out this Potato Broccoli Cheese Soup or my Healthy Butternut Squash Soup.

ingredients for creamy tomato soup

Key ingredients & substitutions for Creamy Tomato Bisque

Creamy Tomato Soup

  • Tomatoes — Beautifully ripe tomatoes are a must for this recipe, of course. You can use a can of San Marzano tomatoes if you’re in a pinch.
  • Basil — You’ll want to use fresh basil leaves to get the most authentic and full flavor. If you use dried basil instead, expect the taste to differ slightly.
  • Onion — A yellow onion is the right balance of sweetness for this recipe. You may also use white onion or another variation if you’d like.
  • Celery — Crunchy chopped celery makes this recipe lean more on the healthy side. Once added to the soup, the flavor blends well and doesn’t stand out. However, if you prefer not to include celery, it won’t make or break the recipe.
  • Chicken broth — Choose a low-sodium chicken broth to stick to a healthier twist or try vegetable broth if you prefer.
  • Cream — You can’t have a creamy tomato soup without some cream, right? I like to use heavy cream for its silky texture and full flavor.
  • Tomato paste — Get a robust tomato taste by adding some tomato paste to the soup. Substitute with tomato puree or tomato sauce if you can’t get your hands on the paste, but be sure to increase the measurements if you are not using the concentrated tomato paste.

Cornbread Croutons

  • Corn muffin mix — You can use your favorite brand of corn muffin mix or even make your own cornbread recipe. I like to use Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix.
  • Milk — You can use a milk alternative as a substitute, like almond milk, buttermilk, or even sour cream.
  • Parmesan cheese — Grated parmesan cheese gives these cornbread croutons a cheesy flavor. You can try using Romano or asiago as a replacement.

How to make Creamy Tomato Soup with Fresh Tomatoes

You’ll love how simple it is to make such a deliciously rich soup!

process steps for making creamy tomato soup: chop vegetables; add to pot; cook until soft; stir in cream.

STEP 1 | Prep the veggies

Wash and cut fresh tomatoes into wedges, removing the core. Then, chop the onion and celery. For the fresh basil leaves, roll them in a tight roll and chop them finely.

STEP 2 | Boil and simmer

Add the chopped vegetables, chicken broth, and tomato paste to a large soup pot. Bring those ingredients to a rolling boil.

Then, reduce the heat and allow the soup time to simmer for about half an hour. The slow simmer will soften the veggies nicely.

tip

  • No need to peel the tomatoes! The peels and seeds are a great source of antioxidants, plus you’ll be blending them up anyway once they’re cooked and softened.

using an immersion blender to blend up tomato soup in a pot.

STEP 3 | Add remaining ingredients and blend

Next, remove the large pot from the heat, careful not to splash the soup. Stir in the heavy cream, chopped basil, salt, and pepper.

An immersion blender is what I use to blend all the ingredients well and attain a silky smooth texture. If you don’t have an immersion blender at home, check out the recipe card for how you can still blend this tomato soup to perfection.

tip

  • Make this soup dairy free. Substitute coconut cream for the heavy cream for a still delicious non-dairy option.

STEP 4 | And serve!

Serve this Creamy Tomato Soup Recipe topped with a handful of peppery parmesan cornbread croutons, more shredded Parmesan cheese, and freshly chopped basil. Here’s an idea, place a dollop of sour cream on top, too!

How to make homemade cornbread croutons

You’ll never buy pre-made cornbread croutons again!

process steps for making parmesan cornbread croutons: mix up batter; spread in pan; bake; cut into squares.

STEP 1 | Mix and bake the cornbread

Start with a box of Jiffy corn muffin mix and combine it with egg, milk, Parmesan cheese, and coarse ground black pepper.

Next, pour the silky batter into a prepared baking dish and bake exactly as the muffin mix box directs.

STEP 2 | Cool and cut into cubes

Once the cornbread has finished baking, allow it to cool completely on a wire rack. Then, cut the cooled cornbread into small 1-inch squares.

Drizzle the cubes with olive oil and gently toss with a rubber spatula, trying not to break the cubes up.

STEP 3 | Bake again until crispy

Place the olive oil-tossed cornbread cubes onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Make sure they are arranged in an even layer, then sprinkle some additional parmesan cheese on top. Bake the croutons for about 15 minutes until they are lightly golden and perfectly crispy.

a bowl of creamy tomato soup garnished with a sprig of basil and topped with cornbread croutons.

Frequently asked questions

Can you serve this creamy tomato soup with different croutons?

I don’t see why not! You can absolutely make some buttery croutons from white country bread, sourdough bread, or really any other tasty loaf.

Are tomato soup and creamy tomato soup the same thing?

Not exactly. While classic tomato soup is essentially tomato puree and water, creamy tomato soup is made with cream as a key ingredient. That makes sense, right? Furthermore, traditional tomato soup is rich in tomato flavor, but the cream in creamy tomato soup cuts the acidity of the tomato.

What if I don’t have an immersion blender?

No worries! You can process the soup in a blender or food processor instead. See the tip box below to learn how.

tip

  • To process soup in a blender or food processor: Pour half of the soup into the blender bowl and cover with the lid.
  • Remove the cap of the blender lid (to allow steam to escape) and place a clean towel over the opening to protect against splatters.
  • Blend the soup until it is smooth and pour it into a large bowl. Repeat this procedure until all the soup is blended.

a spoon lifting tomato soup out of a bowl.

Serving suggestions

Create the perfect soup and sandwich combo by serving this homemade creamy tomato soup with my Turkey Melt Sandwich.

Better yet, get extra creative with my Bruschetta Waffle Panini, which is essentially a glorified grilled cheese prepared with a waffle maker!

A batch of my Pimento Cheese Muffins would be so lovely for a lite lunch. Or make it a soup and salad combo alongside my Autumn Salad with Butternut Squash, Turkey, and Kale.

a bowl of creamy tomato soup garnished with a sprig of basil and topped with melty parmesan cheese.

Behind the recipe: Homemade Creamy Tomato Soup

Creamy tomato soup is a classic! Equally adored by both kids and adults, there’s just something about tomato soup that is oh-so comforting and soothing for the upcoming chilly and long holiday days.

For the most nostalgia, serve this creamy tomato soup with a hot and crispy grilled cheese!

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a bowl of creamy tomato soup garnished with a sprig of basil.

Creamy Tomato Soup with Parmesan Cornbread Croutons

Fresh Creamy Tomato Soup is a creamy and comforting soup made with juicy tomatoes, fresh basil, robust onion, and chopped celery, all topped with crunchy and cheesy cornbread croutons!
4.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Soups & Stews
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 269 kcal

Ingredients
  

Soup

  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 lbs. tomatoes cut into wedges
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Croutons

  • 1 8.5 oz. pkg. Jiffy corn muffin mix
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions
 

Soup

  • Combine first 6 ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cream; add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Place half of soup in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining tomato mixture.
  • Ladle into bowls and serve with cornbread croutons; garnish with thinly sliced basil and shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Cornbread Croutons

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease bottom of 9 x 13 baking dish.
  • Stir together corn muffin mix, egg, milk, Parmesan cheese, and the coarse ground black pepper.
  • Spread into prepared pan and bake 15 minutes. Cool; then cut into 1 inch squares and place in large bowl.
  • Gently toss squares with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Pour onto a baking sheet and sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese and pepper, if desired. Bake for 15 -20 minutes, stirring midway, until golden brown and crispy. Allow to cool.

Notes

Adapted from Cooking Light
  • No need to peel the tomatoes! The peels and seeds are a great source of antioxidants, plus you’ll be blending them up anyway once they’re cooked and softened.
  • Make this soup dairy free. Substitute coconut cream for the heavy cream for a still delicious non-dairy option.
How to process soup in a blender or food processor:
  1.  Pour half of the soup into the blender bowl and cover with the lid.
  2. Remove the cap of the blender lid (to allow steam to escape) and place a clean towel over the opening to protect against splatters.
  3. Blend the soup until it is smooth and pour it into a large bowl.
  4. Repeat this procedure until all the soup is blended.

Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingsCalories: 269kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 8gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 438mgFiber: 3gSugar: 11g
Keyword cornbread crouton, parmesan, tomato, tomato soup
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was.
sheila thigpen in her kitchen

About Sheila Thigpen

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I have made this soup before and can testify how delicious and easy it is. It will definitely put you in the mood for the autumn season!

  2. Can I use dry basil leaves in place of the fresh? Also what kind of tomatoes did you use? Tomato soup is my favorite and I’m always looking for a great recipe.

    1. Hi, Michelle! I used Campari tomatoes for my soup–they are firm and sweeet (I bought at Kroger). However, the original recipe at Cooking Light called for plum tomatoes. If you use dried basil, add 1-1/2 teaspoons which equals the 1 tablespoon of fresh basil. Have a great day!

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