Make an Ordinary Tomato Soup Extraordinary with These Ingredients

  • By Jess Dang
  • January 8, 2013

Creamy Tomato Soup with Sundried Tomatoes

After more than 10 years in Northern California, I no longer handle the cold very well. While I understand a Bay Area winter is nothing compared to the noreasters I endured as a kid, it still gets plenty cold. Cold enough for me to spend most days in my home office bundled up in a fleece and a hat, dreaming of tomato soup. I don’t know what it is about the cold that makes me crave tomato soup, but it just does. Most likely I just want to experience the summeriness of tomatoes but understand that it has to be packaged in a medium appropriate for winter, hence the soup.

I have spent many winters eating and making tomato soups. Some have tasted a bit bland, flat; others were too acidic. Each time I made a little tweak and believe that I’ve finally arrived at the perfect tomato soup recipe. My secret ingredients are sun-dried tomatoes, tomato paste, and a dash of cinnamon. The sun-dried tomatoes add a rich depth and pop of flavor. The tomato paste caramelizes the onions creating a lovely sweetness. Together with the cinnamon they both help to neutralize any acidity the tomatoes may have. When blended together, these flavors all soften into each other and create a perfectly balanced tomato soup.

I also like knowing that if any huge natural disaster were to come upon us (like a norwester?) and I couldn’t get to a store for days, I could still whip up this soup with just a few pantry essentials. Plus, you can easily repurpose it as a sauce. It’s a delicious medium for vegetables, covers pasta nicely, and makes ordinary proteins, like a baked chicken breast, feel extra special. And when you dip a grilled cheese sandwich into it, there isn’t a more comforting winter meal.

Tools: A 3.5 quart Dutch oven | An immersion blender


1 4

The Best Tomato Soup Recipe

This creamy tomato soup is just as delicious without the cream if you're looking to save a few calories or are just lactose intolerant. The addition of sun-dried tomatoes provides all the flavor and depth you'll need.

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 20 min

Total time: 25 min

Serves: 4


  • Olive oil - 1 tbs.
  • Garlic, minced - 2 cloves (P)
  • Onion, chopped - 1 (P)
  • Tomato paste (buy it in a tube, it'll last longer) - 1 tbs.
  • Diced tomatoes, drained - 1 28 oz. can
  • Sun-dried tomatoes - 6
  • Chicken stock or vegetable broth - 1.5 to 2 cups
  • Cinnamon - ¼ tsp.
  • Cream (optional) - 4 tbs.
  • Basil, chopped (optional) - A few leaves



  1. Heat a 3.5 quart Dutch oven over med-high heat. Add olive oil and then minced garlic to heated oil. Once you can smell the garlic, add the onions with a pinch of salt and the tomato paste. Saute for 3 minutes. The sugars from the tomato paste helps to caramelize the onions, creating extra sweetness
  2. Add the tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, 1 tsp. salt, and enough stock to cover all ingredients. Cover and bring to a boil and then simmer covered for 10 minutes (P)
  3. Let the soup cool and then puree with an immersion blender. Stir in cinnamon, season to taste with salt and pepper, and top with cream and chopped basil if using
  1. I also love repurposing this soup as a sauce. It is a delicious medium for vegetables, covers pasta nicely, and makes ordinary proteins, like a baked chicken breast, feel extra special
Note: (P) means it can be prepped or made ahead of time, which is especially useful for those that like to get a head start on dinner and finish it right before eating


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