tomatoes for tomato soup

Best Tomatoes for Tomato Soup – Complete Guide

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Tomato soup can be a delicious, decadent dinner, but when making tomato soup at home, you would want to use the best tomatoes.

How the soup turns out will depend quite largely on the tomatoes you use, so spending some time picking the right tomato pays off!

Which are the best tomatoes for tomato soup?

The best tomatoes for tomato soup include plum tomatoes, such as San Marzano or Roma tomatoes, as well as cherry tomatoes and Beefsteak tomatoes. There are a few options to choose from, depending on how you want your soup to turn out.

To find the best tomatoes for tomato soup to use, read on to find out more about the better options, and how they taste when made into soup!

What Are the Best Tomatoes to Use for Tomato Soup?

There are many different tomato varieties out there, and it can become quite confusing to decide which would be the best to use for tomato soup.

In a perfect world, you would use homemade tomatoes to make tomato soup, as these would be freshly picked and have the beautiful sun-ripened flavor that would come through in a soup, but this isn’t always possible!

Alternatively, you can be selective with the tomatoes you buy from the grocery store or farmers’ market when making tomato soup, to be sure you will be getting the best flavor possible.

These are the best types of tomatoes to use for tomato soup:

Plum Tomatoes

Plum tomatoes are ideal to use to make tomato soup. They are flavorful and dense and have a low water content, so you will be getting so much quality from the meaty flesh. Due to these qualities, plum tomatoes are used to make paste or sauce.

plum tomatoes

The extra flavor that plum tomatoes give does make them a great choice, and with a low water content, they will not dilute the soup or flavors. 

Not only do plum tomatoes give great flavor to tomato soup, but they make preparation easy as well, as the skin is thin enough to be added to the soup without changing the texture, and there are minimal seeds and liquid, so you don’t have to spend time skinning or deseeding the tomatoes.

If you can get your hands on some plum tomatoes then they are definitely worth using to make your next batch of tomato soup!

San Marzano Tomatoes

San Marzano tomatoes are a type of plum tomato, but they have some unique qualities. If you were wanting to make tomato soup with an Italian flavor, then these are a great choice.

San Marzano tomatoes

These tomatoes are long and thin, but they are rich in flavor and have low acidity, so they help make a well-balanced tomato soup that isn’t too acidic.

Authentic San Marzano tomatoes are grown near Naples, so try to look for these authentic tomatoes if possible, to be sure you are getting the best flavor.

San Marzano tomatoes also have few seeds, so you can either skip the deseeding process, or you can quickly deseed the tomatoes.

With the right Italian herbs and spices, you can make a delicious Italian tomato soup using San Marzano tomatoes!

Roma Tomatoes

Roma tomatoes are also a type of plum tomato, which means they are well-suited to making tomato soup!

roma tomatoes

These tomatoes are oblong in shape and taper to a point. They are meaty and with little liquid and seeds, and they have a strong, tangy, intense flavor. The meaty flesh is ideal to make soup with, without it becoming too watery.

Roma tomatoes are often used for cooking and canning due to their low water content, and the flavor is intensified in the meaty flesh, meaning the flavor is more intensified in the food you cook too.

Roma tomatoes are very popular, so you will have a good chance of finding them at your grocery store or farmer’s market!

Cherry Tomatoes

When considering tomatoes to use to make tomato soup, you will probably think of larger tomatoes, but you really should consider giving the small cherry tomato a chance!

Cherry tomatoes are beautifully sweet, which means they will help to make a sweeter tomato soup, with low acidity. The best cherry tomatoes to use would be those still on the vine, which are still firm and with a deep color.

You can use cherry tomatoes as is, without deseeding or skinning them, as they have a low seed content, and the skin is thin enough to cook.

You will need quite a few cherry tomatoes to make a soup, as they are smaller in size, but they do work beautifully to make a sweeter tomato soup.

Beefsteak Tomatoes

Beefsteak tomatoes are large, fleshy tomatoes that are suited to many different cooking purposes. The thick flesh has good flavor, but it has a thick texture too. While thick, this flesh breaks down easily when cooked, and can be used to make a smooth sauce or soup.

beefsteak tomatoes

You will also only need a few beefsteak tomatoes to make tomato soup, as they are large and one tomato goes a long way. Just keep in mind that the flavor of tomato soup made from beefsteak tomatoes will be slightly lighter than plum tomatoes, but it will have a lovely sweetness to it as well.

The sweetness of beefsteak tomatoes can be balanced out with some extra salt and spices, and this makes for a deliciously balanced soup.

Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom tomatoes are another option you can use to make tomato soup, although you will have to look for these when they are in season.

Heirloom tomatoes are known to have a thin skin and quite a soft flesh, so you do have to be careful when handling them. However, this means that they cook down nicely in tomato soup, and you do not have to worry about removing the skin beforehand.

heirloom tomatoes

The flavor of heirloom tomatoes is quite sweet, but it does have a sharp acidic flavor as well, so you might need to balance this out with a little more sweetness, salt, and other spices.

The color of heirloom tomatoes can often be lighter, more orange or yellow, than other tomato varieties suited for tomato soup, so this can affect the color that your soup turns out to be!

Canned Tomatoes

We have listed all of the fresh tomatoes you can use to make tomato soup, but if you are in a hurry and cannot pop out to the store to buy fresh tomatoes, then you can use the tin of canned tomatoes that you have sitting in the pantry!

While it is always better to use fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes can still work well to make tomato soup. As the tomatoes are already broken down and soft, it saves some prep time too. 

canned tomatoes

If possible, then use a mix of canned tomatoes, some whole peeled plum tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, and chopped tomatoes, but it is also fine if you only have one type.

You can pop the tomatoes directly into the saucepan and cook them along with the added ingredients, such as stock and spices, and you can really add to the flavor with some other fresh vegetables and herbs!

You will not be able to roast the canned tomatoes the way you would roast fresh tomatoes, so some of this flavor will be lacking.

Red Peppers

Red peppers are not a type of tomato, but, we definitely think you should consider using them along with one or two other types of tomato when making tomato soup!

red peppers

Don’t use red peppers alone to make tomato soup, as it obviously will not be tomato soup, but rather as an additional ingredient to bring out some of the flavors of the tomato soup.

Red pepper is quite a sweet ingredient to use, and this means it works really well to balance out some of the more acidic flavors of tomato, especially when using tomatoes that have a higher acidity level.

When using red peppers to make tomato soup, you should definitely try to roast the peppers first, as this brings a lovely smoky, deeper flavor to the soup, and helps to develop the sweetness of the red peppers too.

Using roasted red peppers is also a great idea when using canned tomatoes to make tomato soup, as it adds more flavor and texture.

Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Sun-dried tomatoes have an intense flavor, which is due to the tomatoes being left to dehydrate in the sun. These are obviously drier than fresh tomatoes, as all the liquid has been removed, so you will need to use them in addition to other fresh tomatoes, such as plum tomatoes.

sun-dried tomatoes

Including sun-dried tomatoes in your soup mixture gives the soup a deep, rich flavor that you likely won’t be able to achieve with fresh tomatoes on their own. As the flavor of sun-dried tomatoes is quite intense, you would only need to add a few to the fresh tomatoes.

Do You Have to Peel Tomatoes for Tomato Soup?

Whether or not you need to peel tomatoes for tomato soup depends entirely on the type of tomato you are using.

Some types of tomatoes have a thin skin, such as plum tomatoes and cherry tomatoes, and these are perfectly fine to use to make soup as is, as the skin will cook down along with the flesh, and not have much of an effect on the texture at all.

There are some types of tomatoes that have thicker skins, which should ideally be removed before cooking.

The easiest way to remove the skin from tomatoes is to blanch the tomatoes in boiling water, which will cause the skin to shrivel, and then dip them into ice cold water, which will cause the skin to pull away from the flesh, making the skin much easier to peel.

Do You Have to Deseed Tomatoes to Make Tomato Soup?

Once again, whether or not you remove the seeds from tomatoes before cooking them to make tomato soup will depend on the type of tomato, as well as what you prefer your soup to be like!

If you want a really smooth tomato soup, then it is better to remove the seeds before cooking, but some types of tomatoes have very few seeds to start with, so it isn’t always necessary.

Tomatoes which have quite a few seeds tend to contain more liquid and water too, so deseeding them before cooking the tomatoes into a soup does not only help with a smoother texture but gives the soup a more intense flavor as well.

Plum tomatoes and cherry tomatoes can typically be used without deseeding them, as they do not have a high liquid content, and they do not have too many seeds, so it really is up to you.

Should You Roast Tomatoes for Tomato Soup?

It is advised that you roast tomatoes before using them to make tomato soup, especially when using fresh tomatoes. It is also a good idea to roast these along with various herbs, and onions, to deepen the flavor profile of the tomatoes, and therefore the soup.

Roasting the tomatoes helps give the soup a more concentrated flavor, and it also breaks down the acidity slightly as well. All of this goes towards making a beautifully decadent tomato soup with lots of different flavor notes and richness.

Is It Better to Use Canned or Fresh Tomatoes for Tomato Soup?

When making tomato soup, it is definitely better to use fresh tomatoes instead of canned tomatoes, but if you simply cannot get your hands on fresh tomatoes, then canned tomatoes can be fine.

There are many ways you can enhance the flavor of canned tomatoes to make a good tomato soup, and if tomatoes aren’t in season, it might even be better to use canned tomatoes rather than using dull, watery fresh tomatoes. 

If you do end up using canned tomatoes to make tomato soup, try to choose a good quality option, and preferably plum tomatoes as these are always best for tomato soup!

Best Tomatoes for Tomato Soup

There is quite a bit of choice when deciding which tomato to use to make comforting, delicious tomato soup, you just have to be sure to choose a tomato variety that works well in soup!

Some of the better tomatoes to use to make tomato soup include plum tomatoes, San Marzano tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, and canned tomatoes.

These tomatoes are not only great because they have intense flavors, but they have low water contents, few seeds, and thin skins, making preparing them for soup much easier as well.

Some great ingredients to add to the soup include roasted red peppers, and sun-dried tomatoes, to increase the depth of flavor and richness of the tomato soup.

Take a read through the above guide on all you need to know about the best tomatoes for tomato soup and start making a fresh batch!

Related Questions

Which Type of Tomato is Best to Use for Tomato Sauce?

The best type of tomato to use to make tomato sauce would be Roma tomatoes, or any other plum tomato, as these have little to no seeds, and develop a delicious flavor when cooked and reduced.

What is Good to Add to Tomato Soup?

You can add so many different ingredients to tomato soup to enhance its flavor and texture. Some of the better options include fresh rosemary, crispy bacon, cream, melted cheese, and sauteed onions.

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