Adaptations, methods, substituted ingredients, precise measurements: halfway through the afternoon, those things don’t matter. What matters is getting dinner on the table. – Rhonda Franz

Make This Tomato Soup Your Way

This simple tomato soup can be made in a variety of ways, depending on your kitchen tools and depending on the time you have available. It all goes in one pot, and prep time is minimal. So, if at 3:00 you don’t have anything for supper but you can take 20 minutes to get these ingredients put in an turned on…you’ll have supper in twoish hours and still hang with your children after school.


  • In the slow cooker (When you’re on top of things, and can put these ingredients in during breakfast, OR with a couple of hours for it to all sit and simmer).
  • In the Instant pot. (Also last-minute, but great if you can at least give it two to three hours.
  • On the stovetop (For kinda last-minute. At least 30-40 minutes would be great)

I don’t mean to make this recipe hard by not having measurements; I mean to make it easy. Like, kinda-last-minute, throw-in-fresh-tomatoes-but-also-canned-stuff-plus-a-few-cooking-staples easy.

one-pot tomato soup captain mom

You can totally scroll down for official recipe with (mostly) measurements

If you prefer measurements (you say toh-may-to, I say to-mah-to), so I’m including measurements below in the official recipe…just scroll on down. For those who are comfortable adding in this and that and modifying as you go, I’ve included how I made this quite easily this week with staple ingredients and leftovers.

It’s still the same creamy, tasty, just-right-robust tomato soup. (Me and mine love all things tomatoes.)


Tasty Tomato Soup


Earlier this week, I was home for about an hour in between All the Things. I only needed about 15-20 minutes to get this tomato soup going in my Instant Pot on the Sauté setting. After lathering the pot with oil, I added other things:

    • Big, fat can of crushed tomatoes.
    • Small can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
    • I put in a half stick of butter. I remember thinking, this seems like a lot. And then I remembered things with lots of butter are so, so good. And I haven’t worried about it since.
    • I had one fresh, lonely tomato on the counter. I chopped him to pieces and chucked him in the pot. He’s lonely no more. I also had some cherry tomatoes still growing on a plant. I add those to soup sometimes.
      cherry tomato on a vine for tasty tomato soup

      I neglected to get a picture of the regular on-the-vine tomato I used, so I took a picture of my cherry tomatoes. Still on a vine in my yard. You can also put those in this soup.


    • Pour in stock. Chicken stock is what I used. 2-3 cups at least.
    • I poured in some whole milk and half n half until the soup looked like fall: you know…kinda mildly light orange. (Some tomato recipes call for heavy cream. Believe me, if I had that I would have used it. But if I had that, I’d be guzzling it and probably would never have enough left over to add to soup. Besides, butter and heavy cream are pretty much first cousins.)
    • Salt, pepper, mixed Italian seasonings, parsley, a smidge of raw sugar, two minced garlic cloves, a few pinches dried onions (which are great to use in a pinch…and don’t take the time to chop and sauté.)
    • I added leftover salsa in the refrigerator and I think, no I am convinced this brought some essential taste to the soup: livened it up a little. I’ll just bet you’re hoarding (or have plum forgot about) a cupish of salsa or pasta sauce somewhere on those cold shelves. Pull that out and pour it in.


garlic herbs butter sugar for Captain Mom's tasty tomato soup



This mixture got all hot and bothered in less than 20 minutes of sauté time, so I switched it to the Slow Cook setting for 2 1/2 hours. I then flew the coop to pick up a child from school.

When I got home, the kitchen hugged me all warm and cuddly and smelled like magic and herbs. I tasted the soup and added salt. I might have added a little more milk or chicken stock since it had time to get warm before serving. That evening, I ate dinner before dinner. And then I had dinner again with my family.



no-measurement tasty tomato soup

No-Measurement Recipe: Tasty Tomato Soup

A flavorful tomato soup recipe using mostly stuff you'll have at home, plus leftover in the fridge. Very loose with the measurements here.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8


  • 2 oil Any kind, really. I used avocado oil and brushed it all around my Instant Pot
  • 1/2 stick butter Don't skip the butter.
  • 2-3 fresh tomatoes (optional, but good) Got cherry tomatoes? Slice 'em and use 'em.
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 12 oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup salsa or pasta sauce (optional) You have some leftover in the fridge, right?
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2-3 teaspoons salt At least. If possible, taste 30 minutes prior to serve time.
  • 2 teaspoons pepper At least. Might need more.
  • 3 tablespoons Italian herbs You can also just put in the herbs you like: oregano, basil, whatever.
  • 1/4 cup dried parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped At least.
  • 1/4 cup sautéd onion, chopped Or dried onions.
  • 2-3 cups milk, cream, or half n half You might need more
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock Or beef stock. That's fine, too.


Slow Cooker

  • Put all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook on low all the day (8ish hours) or high for just a morning or afternoon (2-3 hours).

Instant Pot

  • While adding ingredients, turn on Saute setting. After mixture is hot (about 15 minutes), switch to Slow Cook setting for 2 - 2 1/2 hours.


  • Add all ingredients to big pot on stove. Put on medium heat, stirring fairly regularly as soup heats. When it starts to bubble, you can turn it down and let it sit for 20ish minutes on low, or set on a simmer burner for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.