Total Time
Prep 5 mins
Cook 35 mins

Of all my recipes, this is one of the few dishes that is repeatedly requested by my family and friends. We usually serve this soup with a couple of grilled cheese sandwiches, and it's such a satisfying meal for a cold and chilly day. I have made the delectable soup using canned tomatoes as well as fresh tomatoes from our garden, and I cannot tell the difference between the two versions. The time calculated for this recipe is based on using canned tomatoes (which is how I usually make it since it's more convenient). But if you wish to use fresh tomatoes, please consider that it will be about 10-15 minutes more of preparation time.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. If using fresh tomatoes, peel the tomatoes, preserving as much juice as possible. Place peeled whole (or canned whole) tomatoes in a large kettle. Simmer tomatoes in their juices over low heat for 20 minutes, or until tomatoes are mushy and easily break apart when stirred with a wooden spoon.
  2. In a skillet, sauté the onion and celery in butter about 5 minutes, or until onions are clear. Add the sautéed onion mixture to the kettle with the tomatoes. Add milk, baking soda, sugar, celery salt, tomato sauce and tomato paste to the kettle, and stir well. Simmer over low heat until the soup is beginning to steam, but don’t let it come to a boil (or the milk can separate from the tomato base, giving the soup a clumpy rather than a creamy texture). Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Serve hot, with a handful of cheese sprinkled on the top of each serving.
Most Helpful

5 5

Made this wonderful soup for your Football Pool week 8 win. We really loved this soup. Thank you for posting, it is a keeper.

5 5

Wonderful soup. I used fresh tomatoes from my garden. Since I didn't have tomoato paste, I used more tomato sauce. I used a little bit of half and half cream and the rest was whole milk. After the photo, I decided to puree the soup. I like it better that way. Thanks NorthwestGal :) Made for Almost 5 tag game

5 5

Delicious! I didnt add 6 full cups of milk so the soup would be on the thicker side and instead added a 1/4 cup of cream to increase the creaminess. Its got a pretty common flavor similar to what you get from a good canned soup, but way healthier and super easy to make.