Easy Three-Ingredient Tomato Soup

My favorite tomato soup recipe! You wouldn’t think that three ingredients — butter, onion, and tomato — can come together to make such a velvety and delicious tomato soup, but let me tell you. They can. Jump to the Tomato Soup Recipe or watch our quick recipe video showing how to make it.

Watch Us Make the Recipe

How To Make The Easiest Tomato Soup From Scratch

This simple homemade tomato soup is quick, easy, and insanely delicious.

The soup is inspired by one of the most famous recipes out there — Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce. Butter, tomatoes, and onion are simmered until slightly thickened. Out comes the onion and the sauce is ready to be spooned over pasta.

It’s genius and absolutely delicious. We use the same three ingredients in this tomato soup, but add a little water and blend everything together just before serving.

Easy Three-Ingredient Tomato Soup Recipe

Making The Soup

Here’s how to the best (and easiest) tomato soup:

Combine butter, onion, and tomatoes. Grab a Dutch oven or pot, place it over medium heat and melt the butter. Add half an onion that’s been cut into large wedges and a large can of tomatoes.

Add water or broth and simmer. Bring everything to a low simmer, add some salt and leave it alone for about 40 minutes. See how creamy it gets? That’s thanks to the butter.

Blend. I find an immersion blender is useful, but a blender works, too. Adjust the soup for seasoning then grab a bowl…and maybe a grilled cheese sandwich? This soup is also amazing topped with homemade croutons or served next to this easy buttery garlic bread.

Tomato Soup Ingredients
Tomatoes (canned or fresh), onion, and butter.
Cooking tomato soup
What the tomato soup looks like after adding water (or broth) and simmering.

What Tomatoes Should I Use

This tomato soup is excellent with canned tomatoes. I love using whole peeled tomatoes or crushed tomatoes. By the way, we love San Marzano Tomatoes and are always pleased with tomatoes from Muir Glen. Neither are watery and both taste great.

You can also use fresh tomatoes. You will need 10 to 12 whole tomatoes (or about 2 pounds). It’s best to peel them, but we have made the soup with unpeeled tomatoes.

A Quick Recap

This is your new favorite weeknight meal. Promise.

  • This tomato soup has three ingredients (plus water and salt).
  • Everything is tossed into a pan — no browning, no hovering over a stove.
  • You can use canned tomatoes — and should.
  • Did I mention there are only three ingredients?

What Our Readers Are Saying

If you don’t believe that our recipe helps you achieve perfect tomato soup at home, take a look at what our readers are saying about the recipe! More reviews are in the comments section below.

“WOW!! What a delicious and easy tomato soup, my three and one-year old were as thrilled as my husband and I were.” – Ashley

“This is the best tomato soup, hands down!! Cannot say that emphatically enough. Did not change a thing from the recipe and it was perfect. Couldn’t be easier to make.” – John

“Made this exactly as written. Oh my gosh, this was amazing!!!” – Dayna

Easy Three-Ingredient Tomato Soup Recipe

More Easy Soup Recipes

Recipe updated, originally posted October 2015. Since posting this in 2015, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear and added a quick recipe video. – Adam and Joanne

Easy Three-Ingredient Tomato Soup

  • PREP
  • COOK

You only need three main ingredients to make this velvety, rich tomato soup recipe. This, friends is your new favorite weeknight meal.

Makes 2 generous servings

You Will Need

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 large onion, cut into large wedges

1 (28-ounce) can tomatoes, we prefer to use whole peeled or crushed, see notes for fresh tomatoes

1 1/2 cups water, low sodium vegetable stock, or chicken stock

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, or more to taste


    Melt butter over medium heat in a Dutch oven or large saucepan.

    Add onion wedges, water, can of tomatoes with their juices, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for about 40 minutes. Stir occasionally and add additional salt as needed.

    Blend the soup, and then season to taste. The soup doesn’t need to be ultra-smooth, some texture is a nice touch. An immersion blender does make quick work of this, or you can use a blender. If you use a regular blender, it is best to blend in batches and not fill the blender as much as you usually would since the soup is so hot. We like to remove the center insert of the lid and cover it with a kitchen towel while blending — this helps to release some of the steam and prevents the blender lid from popping off (which can be a big, hot mess).

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Can I use fresh tomatoes? Yes. If you want to use fresh tomatoes, you will need 10 to 12 medium tomatoes (or about 2 pounds). You can peel them, but we skip this step since we will be blending the soup in the end anyway.
  • Can I add basil? This soup is delicious with and without basil. Adding a handful of fresh basil at the end before blending the soup is a fantastic idea.
  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values. We have omitted salt since you will need to add to your tastes.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving: Serving Size Half of the recipe / Calories 348 / Total Fat 24.9g / Saturated Fat 14.8g / Cholesterol 61mg / Sodium 1485.4mg / Carbohydrate 29.6g / Dietary Fiber 4.5g / Total Sugars 15.4g / Protein 7.8g
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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474 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Melissa Boos July 21, 2019, 10:23 pm

    I’ve made this many, MANY times and have gradually adjusted it based on my families preferences. The first few times I made as written (and I now ALWAYS have what I need to make it on hand). I always use the San Marzano tomatoes. It’s worth the extra $1. I typically use chicken stock instead of water, add a few cloves of garlic, and add some basil. I’ve also thrown a shallot in just because I had it and when I have it available I often throw in a few pieces of roasted red pepper. Any way I make it it’s always loved and delicious! From my 1 year old to my 95 year old great grandma… nobody has rejected this!

  • Shirl July 19, 2019, 11:05 pm

    OMG. This soup is the bomb. I’m truly in shock on how good it actually was. I tripled the recipe and I used one can of diced medium chili tomatoes so it has a spice to it.? Never do I post how it comes out, but I had to scream on how good it was. Thanks

  • Alexa July 10, 2019, 12:36 pm

    Mine turned out very acidic, even tried to add a little cream, didn’t help. Any advice for next time?

    • Joanne August 19, 2019, 3:28 pm

      Hi Alexa, What kind of tomatoes did you use? Maybe using fresh ripe tomatoes would be best or if you used canned, try a different brand (we love Muir Glen). As for balancing acid in tomato soups/sauces, a little sugar usually does the trick and as you already mentioned, a splash of something creamy like cream.

  • Melissa July 7, 2019, 9:16 pm

    Best soup ever. Will not buy store bought soup again. Also great with garlic bread

  • katy July 3, 2019, 10:46 pm

    I put garlic in mine!

  • Kristina May 23, 2019, 1:08 pm

    I have made this several times now…AMAZING!! The first time I made it we ate it as a soup..DELICIOUS!! I wanted to also share what a MAGNIFICENT base this soup is for pasta sauce, and also works very well for pizza sauce. Highly recommend.

    • Joanne August 19, 2019, 3:28 pm

      We are thrilled you enjoyed it so much!

  • Ann May 22, 2019, 5:52 pm

    Fantastic soup! I make it often. Lovely with fresh basil, cracked black pepper or croutons on top. I prefer it with broth but water works in a pinch. I always keep a can of Glen Muir tomatoes in my pantry just so I can make this soup. I shared the recipe with my mom and she loves it. I’m going to try the lentil soup with lemon and turmeric next. Thank you!

    • Joanne May 22, 2019, 6:15 pm

      This is wonderful to read, Ann! So happy you enjoy the soup and let us know what you think about the lentil soup, it’s a new favorite for me.

  • Susan Brown May 11, 2019, 4:17 pm

    Just going out to buy the ingredients to make the Orzo pasta salad. Thanks.

    • Adam May 11, 2019, 4:40 pm

      Be sure to come back to let us know how it went 🙂

  • Oakchic May 4, 2019, 8:48 am

    My family and I love this soup! I’ve made it for lunch and for dinner! I double the recipe and after I blend it I add about 1/2 cup of heavy cream to make it even more creamy. Delish!

  • Tina April 28, 2019, 8:25 pm

    I had the flu and wanted tomato soup. I found this recipe and I was amazed at the simplicity! I thought “there is no way this is going to come out tasting amazing” I was wrong! Because I wasn’t feeling well, I didn’t want to “watch the pot”. So I tossed everything into the InstantPot and hit the soup mode (after melting the butter on the sauté mode) I used an immersion blender and it was incredible! I added a few crushed up cheese straws for croutons. This is now my new favorite soup! Can’t thank you enough!

  • Suzanne April 23, 2019, 9:18 am

    Just wondering if you could use shallots in place of onion? I have some that I need to use up.

    • Joanne May 1, 2019, 12:26 pm

      Shallots would be lovely!

  • Lori April 9, 2019, 11:46 am

    This soup looks awesome and I can’t wait to try it!! Just had a question: I freeze my tomatoes whole from my garden – could I use these or would they make the soup too watery? Thanks

    • Joanne August 19, 2019, 3:30 pm

      Great question. I think you will be fine, but if you think the soup seems a bit watery after 30 to 40 minutes, give it another 10 minutes of simmer time to reduce it a little more.

  • Ann woodside April 3, 2019, 3:38 pm

    Can you substitute butter with anything else? Thanks

    • Joanne August 19, 2019, 3:29 pm

      Hi Ann, You can use olive oil or even coconut oil. The olive oil will be creamy and neutral and the coconut oil will add a hint of coconut flavor, which is different from the original recipe, but still delicious.

  • Jessica March 28, 2019, 7:35 pm

    I’m trying earthbalance margarine, instead of butter to make it vegan. Does it matter if it’s white or sweet onion?

    • Joanne March 29, 2019, 1:17 pm

      Hi there, We have used both types of onion in the soup before and it tasted great. Use whatever you have.

    • chris June 24, 2019, 7:22 pm

      Make with olive oil to make vegan same amount as the butter… you can also throw in some protein powder to give it some cheesy-ness in taste.

  • Glen March 28, 2019, 5:54 pm

    Can you blend everything together first so not blending hot soup.

    • Joanne August 19, 2019, 3:30 pm

      We have not tried this, but you should be able to.


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