Spicy Tomato Soup

Spicy Tomato Soup is easy to make at home and so perfect for a chilly day! This homemade tomato soup is a comfort food classic with a bit of zing. Makes 4 servings.

Love comforting soups? Don’t miss Instant Pot French Onion Soup, Sweet Potato Bisque and Chicken Spaetzle Soup!

Close up of a white bowl holding spicy tomato soup with a swirl of cream and basil leaves on top

This tomato soup recipe was originally published on March 19, 2014. It was updated in January 2021.

It should come as no surprise that as a Tennessee girl, I wasn’t raised to know and love all kinds of spicy foods. This drew quite a bit of commentary when I attended college in Louisiana and more when I married a native Louisianan.

My husband adds hot sauce to everything.

My exploration of spicy foods started off as me wanting to make a meal flavorful (read: HOT) enough for him, but not so spicy that my tastebuds would be rendered useless for the rest of the day.

Why I love this recipe:

This Spicy Tomato Soup is an old favorite.

I made it with Winston’s love of hot sauce in mind. Not only is it a quick meal to whip up, but it’s quite delicious, and it packs a punch of heat, too.

If you’re not one for spiciness, I recommend making this soup without the added hot sauce, as that adds heat and a lovely acidity to the soup.

This easy tomato soup recipe is comforting and like the stuff from a can… but completely homemade and with some serious spice, too.

It also comes together in a pinch, so you can have dinner on the table in less than 20 minutes if you work real quick!

Serve this homemade tomato soup with grilled cheese or alongside some bread, like Honey Cornbread. It is so dang good.

Other comfort food recipes you should try: Chicken Pot Pie | Texas Chili | Vegan Potato Leek Soup | Cottage Pie | Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Need some dinner inspiration? Head on over to my Dinner Recipe Index for some ideas.

Ingredients for soup sit on a blue striped towel on a marble counter

What you need to make this recipe:

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In addition to these tools, you’re going to need a few ingredients, too.

  • Extra virgin olive oil—or another lightly flavored oil
  • Onion—yellow or white onion would be perfect in this tomato soup recipe
  • Garlic cloves—or pre-chopped garlic if that’s more your speed. If you’re using this, be sure to measure with your heart, because this is oftentimes less flavorful. 😉
  • Tomato puree—a 28. oz. can that is preferably unseasoned
  • Vegetable broth—you could swap chicken broth for this, though the soup will no longer be vegetarian.
  • Kosher salt—I use a medium-grain kosher salt, but you can use the same amount of a medium-grain sea salt. If using a finer grain salt (whether it’s kosher, sea or table salt), use less, then taste your soup and add more, if necessary.
  • Pepper—we’re using both (freshly ground) black pepper and red pepper flakes to this recipe for a bit of heat.
  • Fresh basil—but dried basil works here, too, if you don’t have the fresh stuff on hand
  • Hot sauce—your favorite kind! Tabasco is a mainstay in our house.
  • Heavy whipping cream—you can substitute coconut cream for this if you’re vegan and want to make this a vegan tomato soup! This is also sometimes referred to as heavy cream, and it is not the same thing as half-and-half or light cream.
Collage of six images showing how to make Spicy Tomato Soup

How do you make tomato soup from scratch?

Prep your ingredients. Chop the onion, as well as chiffonade the basil. Get everything out of the cabinets/pantry/fridge so that once you’re cooking, you don’t have to leave the stovetop.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan or a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

Cook the onion and garlic. Saute until transparent. This will take 3-5 minutes, depending on your cookware and your stovetop.

Add the tomato puree and broth. Bring the mixture to a boil.

Season with the salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes and hot sauce. Give it a taste and add more salt and pepper, if necessary. Let simmer for 5 minutes.

Blend. Remove the soup from the heat, and transfer to the blender, blending the soup until smooth.

Add the heavy whipping cream and basil. Blend again until everything is smooth.

Garnish with additional basil, and enjoy warm.

We like to pair ours with a grilled cheese sandwich, but you do you!

Three white bowls of tomato soup with spoons in them sit on a striped blue towel

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a chiffonade? How do I do this?

A chiffonade is a type of cut used for flat-leaf herbs like basil, as well as leafy greens.

Basically, you’re going to take a few basil leaves, stack them on top of each other, then roll them tightly into a roll and then slicing to make little thin ribbons.

How can I spice up tomato soup?

We spice up this homemade creamy tomato soup with a combination of red pepper flakes and hot sauce. It has some serious heat, so if you’re not one for spiciness, I suggest going light on the hot sauce.

If you’re here and looking to spice up a canned soup mix, add a few shakes of hot sauce into your soup to give it a little zing!

What is the difference between tomato soup and tomato bisque?

Back in the day, for a soup to be a bisque, it had to involve a seafood stock. Now, a soup is considered a bisque if a cream is used to add thickness and creaminess.

A half-bitten triangle of a grilled cheese sandwich sits on top of a white bowl holding creamy tomato soup

Quick tips and tricks to the best Creamy Tomato Soup

  • Double the recipe for a crowd! This soup is so comforting and perfect for a soup party.
  • Freeze the leftovers or make a batch to freeze. Simply put the room temperature soup into a freezer-safe storage container. Freeze for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat it, let it thaw in the fridge and reheat in the microwave in 30 second bursts.
  • Customize it to your tastebuds. If you’re not a fan of heat, I suggest using half of the suggested hot sauce and half of the red pepper flakes, too. Taste as you go and add more if you can handle it. Because there’s nothing more frustrating than making a dish that’s too spicy for you to handle.
  • Make it vegan with a simple swap. Instead of using heavy whipping cream, turn this into vegan tomato soup by using coconut cream. Easy peasy and fantastic if you’re cooking for people who have different diets than your own.
Close up of a white bowl holding spicy tomato soup with a swirl of cream and basil leaves on top
Yield: 4 servings

Spicy Tomato Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Looking for a soup to warm your soul as winter loosens its grasp on our country? Try this Spicy Tomato Soup, a heat-filled and warming soup for a cold day.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 28 oz. tomato puree
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil (or 1 tablespoon dried basil)
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. When hot, add the onion and garlic cloves, cooking until transparent, about 5-6 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato puree and broth. Season with salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes and hot sauce. Stir and bring to a boil.
  4. Remove from heat, and transfer to a blender. Blend the ingredients together until smooth, then pour in the heavy whipping cream. Measure in the basil, too, and blend until smooth.
  5. Spoon out the soup into bowls. Chiffonade another fresh basil leaf, topping the soup with the herb garnish, and enjoy warm.

Notes

Quick tips and tricks to the best Creamy Tomato Soup

  • Double the recipe for a crowd! This soup is so comforting and perfect for a soup party.
  • Freeze the leftovers (or make a batch to freeze.) Simply put the room temperature soup into a freezer-safe storage container. Freeze for up to 3 months. When you're ready to eat it, let it thaw in the fridge and reheat in the microwave in 30 second bursts.
  • Customize it to your tastebuds. If you're not a fan of heat, I suggest using half of the suggested hot sauce and half of the red pepper flakes, too. Taste as you go and add more if you can handle it. Because there's nothing more frustrating than making a dish that's too spicy for you to handle.
  • Make it vegan with a simple swap. Instead of using heavy whipping cream, turn this into vegan tomato soup by using coconut cream. Easy peasy and fantastic if you're cooking for people who have different diets than your own.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4 servings

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 213Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 986mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 5gSugar: 12gProtein: 5g

Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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10 Comments

  1. Homemade tomato soup is really the best, isn’t it? I am firmly in the spice-lovers’ camp (regardless of a midwestern childhood where even salt was looked at with suspicion), so this sounds just about perfect!

  2. Oh yum… this makes me want to scratch my dinners plans and make this instead! My mouth is watering. Love tomato soup and anything spicy 🙂

  3. I love tomato soup, whatever the weather happens to be! Particularly with grilled cheese… mmmm 🙂 What is it about tomato and cheese? They go so perfectly together, like peas and carrots… or actually, even better than peas and carrots (you wouldn’t grill those in a sandwich together). Love the extra spice in this Erin. Gorgeous! x

  4. Tomato soup is my favorite! It’s so hard to get at any restaurant here in the States, so I always make my own. Will definitely try this recipe! Thanks for sharing, Erin.

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