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Creamy Tomato Soup with Peppery Parmesan Cornbread Croutons is a really simple — and quick — made-from-scratch recipe featuring fresh tomatoes (duh!), other veggies and spices, and low-sodium chicken broth.

Not only is it delicious, it’s on the healthier side, too! An added bonus is that this soup can be ready in 30-40 minutes, start to finish. That makes for some easy dinner prep!

Creamy Tomato Soup with Peppery Parmesan Cornbread Croutons | Life, Love, and Good Food

Creamy Tomato Soup

There’s nothing as soothing as a piping-hot bowl of homemade soup, especially once the weather starts turning cooler.

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

I adapted the original Cooking Light recipe by adding a little cream to give this soup a smooth, velvety texture. You can save a few calories by leaving out the cream and this soup will still be delicious. 

ingredients for creamy tomato soup


  1. Cut fresh tomatoes into wedges, removing the core. Chop the onion and celery.
  2. Add the vegetables to a soup pot along with the chicken broth and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for half an hour.
  3. Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the heavy cream, basil, salt, and pepper. Use an immersion blender to process the soup until it is smooth.
  4. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with cornbread croutons. YUM!

What if I don’t have an immersion blender?

No worries! You can process the soup in a blender or food processor instead. Here’s how:

  1. Pour half of the soup into the blender bowl and cover with the lid.
  2. Remove the cap of blender lid (to allow steam to escape) and place a clean towel over the opening. This will protect against splatters.
  3. Blend the soup until it is smooth and pour into a large bowl.
  4. Repeat this procedure until all the soup is blended.

How to make cornbread croutons

Bake cornbread ahead of time to make crunchy croutons for this soup.

  1. Start with a box of Jiffy corn muffin mix and combine it with egg, milk, Parmesan cheese, and coarse ground black pepper.
  2. Pour the batter into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and bake as directed.
  3. After the cornbread has cooled, cut it into 1-inch squares and toss with olive oil.
  4. Return the croutons to a baking sheet and sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees until crispy.
Creamy Tomato Soup with Peppery Parmesan Cornbread Croutons | Life, Love, and Good Food

To make this recipe, you may need…

You’ll need an immersion blender, a food processor, or a blender to process the soup into creamy goodness. Remember, always blend hot soup with caution.

Serving tip

Serve Creamy Tomato Soup topped with a handful of Peppery Parmesan Cornbread Croutons, more shredded Parmesan cheese, and freshly chopped basil.

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Creamy Tomato Soup with Peppery Parmesan Cornbread Croutons | Life, Love, and Good Food

Creamy Tomato Soup with Peppery Parmesan Cornbread Croutons

A simple made-from-scratch soup featuring fresh veggies and low-sodium chicken broth. Delicious and healthy, soup's on in 30-40 minutes, start to finish!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Soups & Stews
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 269 kcal



  • 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


  • 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



  • 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.


Adapted from Cooking Light


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.


  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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