Can we resolve to do one thing in 2013?

Creamy Tomato Soup with Brown Butter Garlic Croutons I

Okay, good.

We’re not going to put anything in our mouths that isn’t insanely delicious and wonderful. Yeah yeah – I know how it sounds. But you have to do it.

I think I decided to do this somewhere between the years of 2009 and 2010. At least I’m pretty sure. But whatever, it really was the greatest decision I ever made. The greatest. I make it all count. I can say with sincerity that 98% of the stuff I eat everyday are things I enjoy so, so much. Even to the point of covering with vegetables with, well… something. It’s necessary.

Creamy Tomato Soup with Brown Butter Garlic Croutons I

So now… tomato soup.

You’re bored already, right? I mean, tomato soup can be boring. Plain. Unexciting. All of those things.

Creamy Tomato Soup with Brown Butter Garlic Croutons I

The thing about tomato soup? Is that I really don’t care that much for tomato soup. Or at least, I DIDN’T care for tomato soup. Didn’t think I did. You might remember that I’m generally not a fan of tomato sauce. So tomato soup? Eh. It’s sort of like a giant vat of sauce in soup form. Plus, my mom never made tomato soup when we were growing up, and it was due to one very specific reason. I sort of want to tell you but you’re sort of going to die when I do. And since I can’t keep anything from you, here it is: ummmmm, so Mother Lovett used tomato soup… as… tomato sauce. Yeah. Like tomato soup from a can. She put it on noodles. Like spaghetti. Treated it like tomato sauce.

I know. What? This doesn’t even make sense. I didn’t experience this first hand (uh, thank God?) but subliminally I believe it played a part in my tomato sauce hatred and lack thereof tomato soup tastings.

Creamy Tomato Soup with Brown Butter Garlic Croutons I

I have, however, always enjoyed the idea of tomato soup, especially when paired with grilled cheese and even more so especially because you know I’m that weird person that dips my grilled cheeses in ketchup. I will forever choose ketchup over tomato soup for dipping purposes any day, but since it’s freezing cold and the heart of winter and slightly depressing because the holidays are coming to a close which basically just means there is no longer a constant flow of cookies in the home, soup it is. Plus, soup is satisfying and offers sustenance and all that good stuff. And since I know you’re so tempted to only eat a few lettuce leaves today, it’s just not happening. Hear that? Not. Happening.

I mean… there’s croutons!

Creamy Tomato Soup with Brown Butter Garlic Croutons I


Creamy Tomato Soup with Brown Butter Garlic Croutons

Yield: serves 4-6

Total Time: 1.5 hours


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 sweet onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 (28-ounce) cans whole, peeled tomatoes
4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
1/3 cup freshly grated havarti cheese

2 cups cubed whole grain bread
3 tablespoons brown butter
2 garlic cloves, minced


Heat a large soup pot oven medium-low heat and add olive oil and butter. Add onions, salt, pepper, seasonings and smoked paprika, then stir well to coat. Cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5-6 minutes. Stir in garlic and tomato paste, using the back of the spoon well to mash the tomato paste and evenly distribute it throughout the onions. Cook for another 5-6 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, allowing the tomato paste to become golden in spots.

Add in both cans of the tomatoes (with juice) and the stock, bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let bubble for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. While the mixture is simmering, I occasionally mashed the tomatoes down just to make them easier to blend.

While the soup is cooking, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Brown the butter and let it sit for 2-3 minutes, then toss in the minced garlic cloves and stir for 30 seconds. Add bread cubes to a large bowl and pour the garlic/butter mixture over top, tossing well to coat. Place the bread cubes on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, tossing once or twice during cooking. If you desire them more golden, bake a little longer - just keep an eye on them.

After the hour is up, very carefully add the mixture to a blender (you will probably have to do this in two parts) and puree until totally smooth. Add back to the pot over low heat. Stir in the mascarpone and havarti, stirring until it's completely melted. Taste and season additionally with salt and pepper if needed. Serve in big bowls with an extra dollop of mascarpone and bunch of croutons on top.

Creamy Tomato Soup with Brown Butter Garlic Croutons I

Hello comfort in a bowl.

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123 Responses to “Creamy Tomato Soup with Brown Butter Garlic Croutons.”

  1. #
    Alissa — January 2, 2013 @ 3:33 pm

    I really want this soup for dinner tonight now! It looks amazing and you did a wonderful job with the photography, I can almost smell it cooking!


  2. #
    Jenny — January 2, 2013 @ 3:42 pm

    I think you need to go to brown butter rehab ;)


  3. #
    Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen — January 2, 2013 @ 4:20 pm

    I’ll take it!


  4. #
    Rachel — January 2, 2013 @ 4:48 pm

    This looks divine – can’t wait to make it! And as for the whole soup as sauce thing, I’m British, but I moved to Los Angeles in September. You know the Campbells Soup advert on last month where they describe how the soups can be used as sauces? This is so far away from the British foodie mindset, you should have seen the look on my face when I first saw it..!


    • G Andolina — February 12th, 2013 @ 11:09 pm

      Your face probably looked just like mine when I heard about adults — actually anyone over the age of four (and not being stoned) — eating canned baked beans on toast . The mind boggles — the palate reels.


      • DamnedFan — April 7th, 2013 @ 1:49 pm

        I love you for this. My sentiments exactly.

  5. #
    Julia {The Roasted Root} — January 2, 2013 @ 6:06 pm

    I agree – everything you eat, you should enjoy! Life’s too short to consume foods that don’t taste great. This soup looks wonderful and is a perfect example of not having to sacrifice great flavor for a healthy meal!


  6. #
    Kristen @ notsodomesticated — January 2, 2013 @ 6:08 pm

    I like your idea to only eat delicious things … life is too short! ;)


  7. #
    tracy {pale yellow} — January 2, 2013 @ 6:40 pm

    Yummmmmm, warm steamy soup on this cold winter’s day sounds absolutely divine! I’m always in love with your photos that capture the beautiful steam.


  8. #
    Heather at Kitchen Concoctions — January 2, 2013 @ 7:21 pm

    I absolutely HATED tomatoes when I was a kid but could gobble up tomato soup like no other! It was always my favorite!


  9. #
    Emily @ Life on Food — January 2, 2013 @ 8:12 pm

    I love tomato soup. Love, love, love it! This looks amazing with the mascarpone and croutons.


  10. #
    JulieD — January 2, 2013 @ 8:12 pm

    Looks amazing, Jess! I totally agree, don’t eat anything you don’t like!! :)


  11. #
    Anacristina — January 2, 2013 @ 8:50 pm

    made this today & it was delicious thanks for the recipe!

    x’s & o’s


  12. #
    Katherine R. — January 2, 2013 @ 9:14 pm

    Sigh of relief – I am not the only one who prefers grilled cheese dipped in ketchup over tomato soup. You’re right though, this soup may take some Seasonal Depression.


  13. #
    Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen — January 2, 2013 @ 10:25 pm

    There is nothing weird about dunking grilled cheese in ketchup :) However, I’d love to dunk one in a big bowl of this too!


  14. #
    Ross @ TheFaceBaby — January 2, 2013 @ 10:34 pm

    I re-he-heaaaally hope you’re a proper ketchup snob … in which case Bubba’s face on Instagram was totally intended to compliment your post. If not, I apologize in advance for judging you :0P


  15. #
    Lucy Lu — January 2, 2013 @ 11:23 pm

    I have just recently been OBSESSED with tomato soup. I tried this tomato garlic with roasted red pepper bisque at a cafe downstairs, and it BLEW my mind. Never been a soup girl before, but now I am so excited to try out recipes that could potentially be as good as the bisque. This looks amazing, especially with the croutons.


  16. #
    Moni @ {Moni Meals} — January 2, 2013 @ 11:42 pm

    Wow JESSICA! This is a dream meal. I have to try these croutons. I will do my best in 2013 to eat only scrumptious!! Happy New Year.


  17. #
    Maggie — January 2, 2013 @ 11:59 pm

    Is it possible to substitute the mascarpone & havarti for something else?


  18. #
    Aikko @ Bake Happy — January 3, 2013 @ 1:14 am

    Looks yummy Jessica! I want to savor this one while sitting on a big couch reading a good book :)


  19. #
    Tiffany — January 3, 2013 @ 2:41 am

    Jessica I’m madly in love with your spoons and bowls. Is it possible to know the names of the brands? Thank You!


  20. #
    Sandra — January 3, 2013 @ 7:58 am

    Well so much for the Campbell’s I was going to have today.


  21. #
    Kristi @ Cherry Jasmine — January 3, 2013 @ 9:01 am

    I love tomato soup! I’m really looking forward to trying this!


  22. #
    Keisha — January 3, 2013 @ 9:23 am

    I can definitely get behind that resolution. Especially with recipes like this. Tomato soup and grilled cheese is my all time favorite comfort meal. I got all warm and cozy just looking at the pictures!


  23. #
    Mercedes@Satisfy My Sweet Tooth — January 3, 2013 @ 9:50 am

    I love tomato soup and this version looks particularly creamy and flavorful! I love your photo with the steam coming off the soup, beautiful!


  24. #
    Gerry @ Foodness Gracious — January 3, 2013 @ 10:59 am

    Awesome comfort dish, perfect for the cold, I love the steam pic too :)


  25. #
    Natalie — January 3, 2013 @ 11:54 am

    Wow this looks delicious! I love the croutons especially, a perfect touch!


  26. #
    Akta — January 3, 2013 @ 12:21 pm

    Feel so hungry! This is so good for winter!


  27. #
    Amanda — January 3, 2013 @ 1:14 pm

    I just followed a bunch of Mother Lovett links back form this post. She sounds amazing and I loved reading your stories about her. One of the links led me back to your early WordPress page – I love your wedding photo with the veil and the bouquet!


  28. #
    Arthur in the Garden! — January 3, 2013 @ 2:00 pm

    Now you have done it! I will have to make this tonight! Yummy!


  29. #
    Natalie @ In Natalie's Shoes — January 3, 2013 @ 2:11 pm

    This sounds amazing! Until recently, I, too, did not like tomato soup. Just the thought of gross tomatoes being in soup-form grossed me out. I learned to love it once I tried dipping my grilled cheese in a cup of the (previously) disgusting stuff. Now, I love it. Thanks for the delish recipe!


  30. #
    chelsea @ serves two — January 3, 2013 @ 2:16 pm

    this post came at the perfect time! i’ve been on the lookout for a yummy tomtato soup recipe to make this month. and as for grilled cheese dipped in kethcup- i got the idea from you and won’t eat a GC without it now ;)


  31. #
    Lex Czaplicki — January 3, 2013 @ 2:17 pm

    Looks wonderful!


  32. #
    Ashley — January 3, 2013 @ 2:32 pm

    Making this tonight. I am a HUGE tomato soup fan so I am super excited about this new recipe. Thank you!


  33. #
    Chels R. — January 3, 2013 @ 3:21 pm

    I want a bowl of this right now!


  34. #
    Melissa — January 3, 2013 @ 4:26 pm

    Ok, this bread! I have seen it before in your pictures and I am now obsessed. You mentioned in a different comment that you can get it at Whole Foods and I searched my two stores high and low with no success. What section of Whole Foods do you find it? Thanks!


  35. #
    Laura — January 3, 2013 @ 6:46 pm

    When you simmer for an hour… is that covered or uncovered? Love your blog!! Thanks for all of the great recipes.


  36. #
    Tee — January 3, 2013 @ 10:27 pm

    That soup looks wonderful! I had to comment because my mother used Campbells tomato soup as a spaghetti sauce too. Notice I didn’t write “pasta” sauce, because we never had anything except spaghetti with Campbells soup, but she made it oh so special by adding a bit, I mean a small bit, of Italian seasoning, straight from the spice aisle. That is as racy as she got with her cooking!


  37. #
    Amber @ Slim Pickin's Kitchen — January 5, 2013 @ 10:41 pm

    I was never really a big fan of tomato soup either, and I never grew up having it as a kid. Now I adore it and probably couldn’t live my life without it every now and again. OMG, Mother Lovett’s “spaghetti” sauce reminds me of Honey Boo Boo’s “sketti” recipe which consisted of nothing but ketchup, parkay, and noodles. Lawd have mercy…bless their hearts.


  38. #
    Kelsey K. — January 6, 2013 @ 1:59 am

    Ahhhhh I need this. Now.


  39. #
    Anna I — January 6, 2013 @ 7:15 am

    Wow – just made the peanut butter and banana cookies with my two girls – we loved making them and they taste fab! then came accross this soup recipe – was thinking of making carrot soup for lunch, but to be honest, I’m the only one who likes it, so this will be much better! thanks for some great recipes…


  40. #
    Archana — January 8, 2013 @ 12:42 pm

    Cannot wait to try this out. Thanks.


  41. #
    Lisa — January 8, 2013 @ 1:21 pm

    I’ve been known to dip my toasted cheese in ketchup while eating a bowl of tomato soup. LOL. You’re in good company. Thanks for the recipe! Can’t wait to try it.



  42. #
    sasha york — January 8, 2013 @ 3:57 pm

    I’m with you on your resolution. Eating consciously and consciously “so,so enjoy”ing everyhing we eat, is IMHO no less an accomplishment than watching your weight.


  43. #
    Louise Biedrzycki — January 12, 2013 @ 7:57 am

    You had me at smoked paprika! it is like adding “Shades of Gray” to food. Can’t wait to make this.


  44. #
    Emily — January 12, 2013 @ 9:01 am

    I made this last night and we finished it for lunch today. It was heavenly even without the croutons, we just loved the richness of the soup. Thank you!


  45. #
    Megan — February 3, 2013 @ 8:11 pm

    I made this soup last week and loved it! Making my 2nd batch right now. Delish!!


  46. #
    Sandra — February 22, 2013 @ 12:15 pm

    My sisters made a batch of this soup and they brought me some for lunch.
    Quite possibly the best tomato soup I’ve ever had. The little bits of havarti really, really make it…SO GOOD.


  47. #
    Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets — March 2, 2013 @ 10:43 am

    I like the sound of comfort in a bowl, and I love the use of mascarpone and Havarti cheeses. Yum; this looks and sounds fabulous. Can’t wait to try it.


  48. #
    Bradley Lichtenberger — April 13, 2013 @ 12:05 pm

    If chicken soup is one of your favorite meals, it pays to keep an eye on which restaurants feature real homemade soup. Many are generally adding additional ethnic tastes now, so you should find a new favorite that features spicy Mexican flavors, and also subtle Asian tastes. For those who have issues with additives such as MSG, it is imperative that you really ask the staff about the soup preparation. The last thing you want is an allergic reaction to the food. Once you find a restaurant that will serves a soup you prefer, do not be afraid to offer them praise. Knowing a customer appreciates the extra prep involved, they are likely to continue. ”

    My own web blog


  49. #
    bee — May 22, 2014 @ 2:54 pm

    This soup looks like fishcurry hahahahahahahahaahahaha


  50. #
    kaleapea — June 13, 2014 @ 4:36 pm

    How much fresh tomatoes would you use?



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