Creamy Tomato Soup with Buttery Croutons


This quick, easy tomato soup is comfort in a bowl, especially when it is topped with brown butter croutons.

Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
6 servings

This comforting, creamy tomato soup from Seattle chef Tom Douglas comes together quickly and easily by using a few pantry staples, such as canned whole tomatoes, garlic, onion, and extra-virgin olive oil. Dried seasonings like crushed red pepper flakes, celery seeds, oregano, salt, and pepper deepen the flavors of the soup, which comes together in just 30 minutes.

This soup is delicious when eaten on its own, but the crowning glory is the freshly made brown butter croutons added on top. They add contrasting crunch and a touch of richness, and can be made while the soup simmers. Eaten together, the soup and croutons are an example of how satisfying a simple meal can be. This soup is sure to become part of your regular repertoire.


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, very thinly sliced

  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed

  • 5 cups canned whole tomatoes in their juice (from three 14-ounce cans)

  • 1 cup water

  • 2/3 cup heavy cream

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed

  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • Four 3/4-inch-thick slices of white country bread, crusts trimmed, bread cut into 3/4-inch dice


  1. In a large saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the sliced onion and smashed garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juice, the water, heavy cream, sugar, crushed red pepper, celery seed and oregano and season with salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat, breaking up the tomatoes with the back of a spoon. Reduce the heat to moderate and simmer for 10 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, cook the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter over moderately high heat until it begins to brown, about 1 minute. Scrape the browned butter into a medium bowl. Add the olive oil to the skillet. Add the diced bread and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until it is slightly browned, about 6 minutes. Transfer the bread to the browned butter and toss well.

  3. Working in batches, transfer the tomato soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Return the soup to a clean pot and rewarm the soup if necessary. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with the croutons.

    Creamy Tomato Soup with Buttery Croutons
    © James Baigrie
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