How to Make Easy Homemade Tomato Soup

Whether your garden overproduced, or you just want to make something fresh and delicious for dinner- this easy tomato soup recipe is packed with goodness!

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Tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches are a simple meal that our family enjoys, especially when the weather gets cooler and the gardens have been closed up leaving us with thousands of tomatoes!

With nearly 20 tomato plants this year, we had plenty of tomatoes to decide what to do with. My good friend had made a batch of tomato soup and I was excited for her to come over to show me how she did it!

She’s a mom of 4 kids too and so she understands what it means to be efficient and quick when it comes to meal prep.

We started with a combination of romas and larger tomatoes, a few green peppers and a couple of onions, washed cored, and quartered.

Homemade Canned Tomato Soup: A Few Rules

One of the challenges about making canned tomato soup is that many recipes use ingredients like flour as a thickener or cream for added texture and flavor. Neither of these can be safely canned, even with a pressure canner.

(Believe me, I tried and ended up throwing out 25 quarts of canned tomato soup after a lengthy conversation with the Ball Jar company, so not to risk botulism.)

The other thing about making it for canning is that you need to use an acid.

When you can tomato soup, you have to make sure the acid level is high enough that it will be shelf-stable. But you also don’t want that acid level to affect the soup.

When canning tomatoes, The National Center for Home Food Preservation advises that you use no more than 3 cups of vegetables for every 22 lbs of tomatoes. If you add too many vegetables, you dilute the natural acid from the tomatoes, and your soup is no longer able to be canned.

Sticking to this advised ratio, I added most of my flavorings for this soup in the way of dried herbs and spices.

How To Make Tomato Soup For Canning

Once you have a good recipe, made for putting in jars, the process is pretty straightforward:

  • cook vegetables until very soft
  • puree the vegetables
  • season the soup
  • reduce the soup
  • can it!
  • I used an immersion blender to puree our cooked tomatoes, peppers and onion.

If you have a blender that doesn’t sufficiently chop up tomato skins, you might want to strain the soup before seasoning and reducing it. Alternatively, use a food mill to puree the tomatoes and get rid of the skins.

What Tomatoes Should I Use?

The best tomatoes to use are “paste” tomatoes. These are tomatoes that have thicker, meatier walls and contain less water.

This means there will be more tomato and less juice, and the soup will thicken up faster, which is important because thickeners can not be used in homemade canned tomato soup.

Probably the most commonly known “paste” tomato is the Roma tomato. These little tomatoes have great flavor and work wonderfully for making homemade tomato soup.

chopped tomatoes

Adding Acid For Canning

Acid is incredibly important in making sure your homemade canned tomato soup will stay shelf-stable.

To really make sure the acid level is right, it is common to add lemon juice or citric acid to the jars when you are canning anything tomato related.

You might be worried that lemon juice would affect the flavor of the soup. It does, but only slightly. And your soup won’t taste lemony at all. Rather, it just tastes slightly brighter.

Citric acid doesn’t alter the flavor of the soup at all. So if you’re concerned about the lemon flavor, use citric acid.

However, there is another factor. I found that when I added milk to serve the tomato soup that had citric acid in it, the milk separated a little. When added to the soup that had lemon juice, the milk separation was barely noticeable.

Choose which route is best for your tastes!

Serving Homemade Canned Tomato Soup

canned tomato soup

Keep in mind that you are making a slightly condensed tomato soup. The finished soup should be slightly thicker than you like to serve it, particularly if you like to add cream or milk to your tomato soup.

Finally, to serve the canned tomato soup, simply pop open the jar, pour it into a bowl or saucepan, add as much milk or cream as you desire, and reheat.

It’s so easy, and it’s a great way to have a quick lunch or dinner ready in no time. This is the perfect way to preserve your summer tomatoes so you can enjoy them all winter long! (And you skip all the extra salt and additives in the store-bought cans of tomato soup!)

What else can I do with this tomato soup?

I use this tomato soup in all sorts of instances! It’s wonderful in our other soups, chili, casseroles and especially our homemade spaghetti sauce! You can even spice it up with some taco seasoning and add it to enchiladas! Really, get creative!

Freeze it!

You can also freeze this soup if canning isn’t your thing or you don’t have a canner. You can omit the lemon juice and could even add butter to the recipe if you so choose and are intending on freezing it. Store your soup in jars or freezer bags. As with all frozen things, I just have to remember to take it out to thaw in the morning.

tomato juice

Homemade Tomato Soup (to be canned)

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 Pints


  • instant pot/ larger canning pot
  • Immersion Blender
  • food mill
  • Jars


  • 7 lbs tomatoes (romas work well but throw in what you have)
  • 1 cup onion diced
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • lemon juice or citric acid (for canning)
  • 2 peppers (optional)


  • Wash and quarter tomatoes, peppers and dice the onion. Place them in a large soup pot with 1/2 cup of water. Cook uncovered for 30 minutes- 1 hour, stirring occasionally until all vegetables are very soft.
  • Remove pot from heat and let cool slightly. Working in batches, transfer vegetables to a food mill to puree. This will also help remove the skins from the tomatoes without having to burn your fingers doing it.
  • Pour the smooth tomato puree back into the large soup pot.
  • Add the spices, sugar, and herbs to the mix. (everything but the citric acid/lemon juice)
  • Bring to a simmer
  • While the soup is simmering, wash up jars and prep for canning, keeping them warm. Prepare your water bath or canner.
  • When the soup has reached the desired consistency, taste it and add salt to taste.
  • Add 1 Tbsp of lemon juice to each pint jar or 2 Tbsp to each quart jar. (OR 1/4 tsp citric acit to each pint and 1/2 tsp citric acid to each quart).
  • Fill jars with the soup, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. (A canning funnel makes this process a breeze)
  • Wipe the rims clean of any spilled soup and cover with fresh lids and rings.
  • Process your canned tomato soup in a boiling water bath canner for 40 minutes for pints or quarts. (Adjust the processing time as needed for your altitude)
  • After processing, carefully remove the jars from the water and set them on a clean towel.
  • Once the jars have cooled, check that the lids have sealed.
  • Store your sealed jars in a cool place for up to 1 year.
  • If any of the jars did not seal, simply refrigerate immediately and eat them up within 1 week.


To serve: reheat your canned or frozen tomato soup with some milk or cream, as desired.
Keyword tomato soup

What’s your favorite thing to serve with tomato soup?



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This post may contain affiliate links from a paid sponsor, Amazon or other program. When you use these links to make a purchase I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. This allows me to continue creating the content that you love. The content in this article is created for information only and based on my research and/or opinion. 

Emily T.

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