Healthy creamy tomato soup is protein-rich, thanks to the addition of white beans. Smooth and delicious, it’s a perfect choice for lunch or dinner.
Why you’ll love it: Homemade tomato soup is relatively easy to make and tastes 100% better than canned.
How long it takes: 30 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: large saucepan, blender
True confession: I’ve always loved the familiar red & white can of cream of tomato soup. It’s cheap and easy, and tastes pretty good with a sprinkle of dried basil. But I knew I could do better than that. My goal is always to move away from ultra-processed food, and condensed cream of tomato soup definitely falls into that category.
I wanted to add a little protein boost to the soup, too, so the idea of adding canned beans intrigued me. I have lots of recipes for soup that include beans but I really love the creamy bisque-like consistency of traditional tomato soup.
And so here we have it! My healthy creamy tomato soup recipe! I really hope you love it as much as we do. Just like the red and white cans of soup, you can keep the ingredients of this soup on hand in your pantry.
By the way, if you like the idea of “sneaking” beans into your recipes, be sure to try black bean brownies. They are moist and delicious. You’d never guess that they are made with black beans.
About This Recipe
This tomato soup recipe doesn’t require much hands-on time, only about a half hour. Canned tomatoes make the job easy and your blender does most of the work. If you’d prefer a soup with fresh tomatoes, try our roasted tomato soup (it also includes roasted garlic and is SO GOOD).
This soup is healthier and more filling than most tomato soups, thanks to the “secret” addition of puréed white beans. The beans give the soup a creamy texture but also add protein and fiber.
Puréeing the soup in a high-powered blender yields the creamiest soup but an immersion blender works okay, too. The texture of the soup won’t be quite as smooth. Be careful, though, the soup is hot!
I’ll get you started on the recipe here, describing the ingredients you’ll need and the process. Look for specific information on the recipe card near the end of the post.
What You’ll Need
- Canned Diced Tomatoes: The base of the soup is canned tomatoes. That means no peeling of tomatoes, etc. Simply open a can and dump it in the blender.
- Canned Beans: Any type of soft white beans will work. I usually have a can of cannellini beans (which are actually white kidney beans) in my pantry. Great Northern beans or navy beans are also good choices.
- Onion and Garlic: These aromatics add subtle flavor to the soup. A yellow cooking onion is always a good choice for soup but any type of onion you happen to have is fine.
- Basil, Thyme, Rosemary: A medley of dried herbs give the soup a delightful fresh-from-the-garden feel. Pantry herbs are easy to use and handy.
- Smoked Paprika: This bright red spice adds just a tinge of smoky flavor. If you prefer, regular paprika can be substituted.
- Half & Half: Just a half cup of this 50/50 mixture of cream and milk makes the soup ultra-creamy. Use milk if you’re looking for a low calorie soup or substitute a dairy free milk if you are vegan.
How To Make It
You’ll need a good-sized saucepan to get started. Heat a splash of olive oil, then add the chopped onions. Don’t spend a lot of time mincing the onions. Bigger pieces are just fine because it’s all going to go into the blender.
Once the onions have softened, add the garlic and dried herbs. Cook them just for a minute or so, until the garlic is fragrant and the herbs are somewhat hydrated.
Transfer the onion mixture to your blender. Set the saucepan aside for now; you’ll be using it again in a few minutes.
Add the canned tomatoes to the blender. It’s not necessary to drain them first. In fact, the liquid is needed for the blender to work well. Rinse the sludgy stuff off the canned beans and drain them. Add them to the blender, too, along with the half & half.
Blend the mixture until it’s very smooth.
If you are using a handheld immersion blender, simply put all the ingredients into your saucepan and blend until smooth. I usually put the pan on the counter or in an empty sink. Tilt the pan slightly as you blend the soup so it blends evenly.
Heat the blended soup over low heat until it’s steaming hot. Try not to boil the soup because that may cause the cream to curdle. Low and slow is the key here.
Check the seasoning in the soup before you serve it. Add more salt and pepper, if you think it needs it. If the soup tastes too tangy to you, add a pinch of brown sugar.
What To Serve With Tomato Soup
Garnish tomato soup with a sprig of fresh basil or homemade croutons. If you’re feeling fancy, make a decorative swirl of half & half.
While the puréed white beans help thicken this tomato soup, you may not always want to add beans to your tomato soup. Tomato soups can also be thickened with cornstarch or flour. Add a couple of tablespoons to water or milk, then slowly stir the mixture into the soup. Cook for a few minutes until the soup has the right consistency.
Because tomatoes are acidic, when you add dairy products such as milk, the acid causes the milk to coagulate or curdle. The fat in milk counteracts the acidity so you’ll see less curdling when you use heavy cream, half & half, or whole milk.
Always stir the milk into the soup slowly, over low heat. Don’t boil the soup once you’ve added the cream.
Food 52 claims that if you add a half teaspoon of baking soda to the soup before you add any dairy, it will prevent curdling because it neutralizes the acid. I’m definitely going to test this claim soon.
Make It Your Own
- Make this soup nondairy or vegan by substituting a nondairy milk for the half & half. Another option is to simply omit the milk and add a half cup of water or broth. The soup won’t be quite as creamy but it’s still delicious.
- Play around with the seasonings if you like. Instead of smoked paprika, use regular paprika. Use fresh herbs if you have them.
- Be sure to try my other recipes for tomato soup, too. I love ’em all!
more Tomato Soup Recipes
- Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Soup with Tortellini
- Creamy Tomato Soup with Whole Wheat Orzo
- Instant Pot Tomato Soup – creamy & easy to make!
- Smoky Roasted Tomato Soup
Storage & Reheating Tips
Refrigerate any leftover soup in a tightly covered container. It will keep for three to four days. Because it’s a creamy soup, it doesn’t freeze well.
If you plan on freezing some of the soup, hold off on adding the half & half. Freeze the soup for four to six months. Thaw it overnight in the fridge. When you reheat the soup, stir in the half & half.
Reheat individual portions of the soup in the microwave until warm. Larger amounts can be reheated in a saucepan, over low heat, until warm.
Interested in a weekly meal plan (it’s free!) that includes this tomato soup recipe? Take a look at my Meal Plan #17. You’ll find a wholesome recipe for each weekday plus a categorized grocery list. Let me do the planning for you this week!
We’ll be adding a new meal plan weekly. If you’re interested, browse all of our meal plans.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, diced small (½ cup)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper, more to taste
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika, more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon dried crushed rosemary
- ½ cup half-and-half
- 2 cans (14.5 oz.) low-sodium diced tomatoes, undrained (or a 28 oz. can)
- 1 can (15 oz.) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (low sodium, if possible)
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar, optional
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté the onions in olive oil for about 5 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add garlic, basil, thyme, paprika, and rosemary; continue to cook for about 1 minute or until fragrant. Remove from heat and transfer to blender container.
- Add tomatoes, beans, and half-and-half to blender; blend until smooth. A high-powered blender will give you the smoothest texture. An immersion blender works well but the soup won't be quite as smooth.
- Pour blended soup back into the saucepan and heat over medium low heat for 5 to 10 minutes until heated through. Try not to boil the soup.
- Taste and season, adding smoked paprika, salt, and pepper, if desired. If the soup seems too tangy, add the brown sugar.
- This recipe works fine with cannellini beans, great northern beans, or navy beans, whatever you happen to have in your pantry.
- To make this soup nondairy or vegan, substitute a nondairy milk for the half & half.
- Recipe updated 11/3/2022.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.