How Many Calories Does Homemade Tomato Soup Have?

Basic homemade tomato soup contains relatively few ingredients and is easy to prepare. Though full of flavor, it contains few calories and high amounts of nutrients, making it a good choice for a light lunch or appetizer.

Classic tomato soup made with 2 tbsp. of extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp. unsalted butter, a large onion, a large clove of garlic, 3 cups lower-salt chicken broth and a 28-oz. can of whole peeled plum tomatoes yields 8 servings, and each serving contains 110 calories. Only five of those calories come from fat.

Topping your soup with 1 tbsp. of sour cream will add 35 calories, sprinkling on 1/2 oz. of cheese will add 50 to 60 and croutons will add 58. Adding 1 cup of pasta to the original recipe will add about 30 calories per serving.

Tomatoes are rich in potassium. They also contain high amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C and lycopene, which are all antioxidants that protect your body from damaging free radicals. Lycopene is the carotenoid pigment phytochemical that gives fruits their red color.

Is Tomato Soup Healthy for You?

In winter months, a bowl of soup warms you and fills your stomach at the same time. Not all soups are created equal, but tomato soup is a good choice when prepared in healthy way. Cooking your own tomato soup allows you to control the ingredients used, creating the opportunity for you to prepare it in a way that offers high nutrient content for a small amount of fat and calories.

The ingredients used in a healthy version of tomato soup are those that are nutrient-dense. In addition to tomatoes, try adding cooked celery, carrots and potatoes blended with the tomatoes. Add garlic, onions and basil for flavor and use vegetable stock to prepare the soup. Some recipes call for milk or cream. Use low-fat or fat-free versions to cut fat and calorie content. Top your soup with low-fat cheese, cubes of avocado or baked croutons. Limit the amount of salt added to prevent exceeding your daily recommended totals.

When cooking the vegetables used in your tomato soup, use a small amount of oil so that you can keep it healthy by cutting fat grams and calories. Putting the ingredients in a slow cooker reduces the amount of cooking oils you need. Boiling vegetables rather than sauteing them offers these same benefits. Skip the added salt and sugar, which keeps the soup healthier. Gazpacho is a variation of tomato soup that uses raw vegetables and is served cold. Typically, tomatoes and garlic are pureed to create the broth, and chopped cucumbers, bell peppers, onions and avocados are mixed in before serving.

Tomatoes are a good source of vitamins C and A, which contribute to healthy immunity, teeth and reproduction. Tomatoes also offer iron, which is important for healthy blood flow, and fiber, which regulates digestion and helps keep cholesterol at a healthy level. Adding other vegetables increases these numbers. Lycopene is an antioxidant that tomatoes contain in high doses and is important to men because it plays a role in prostrate-cancer prevention. Using low-fat milk or cheese in your tomato soup increases your calcium intake, and serving it with some whole-grain crackers gives you energy in the form of complex carbohydrates.

Campbell's is a widely known brand that offers commercially prepared tomato soup. A serving contains 90 calories, 0 g of fat and 10 percent of your daily vitamin C needs. However, it also contains 480 mg of sodium, something that homemade soup likely doesn't. Campbell's Tomato Bisque has 130 calories and 3.5 g of fat. It has 880 mg of sodium. Eating canned tomato soup increases your sodium intake, so be sure to balance what you eat the rest of the day to prevent overloading. Restaurant tomato soup is also likely to be higher in fat, calories and sodium than a version you prepare at home. For example, a bowl of Applebee's tomato basil soup has 250 calories, 14 g of fat and 1,350 mg of sodium.

How to Cook Real Tomato Soup

Whether you serve it ice cold with a salad in the summer or warm with a toasted cheese sandwich on a winter afternoon, tomato soup is a comforting, healthy meal. Prepping the tomatoes for soup can be a bit of a hassle the first time you do it, but once you've mastered the basic technique, it's a fairly straightforward process. Fresh tomato soup is best in summer, when ripe tomatoes are plentiful. But you can substitute an equal weight of hot-house-grown plum tomatoes -- usually available year-round -- if you crave fresh tomato soup during cold weather.

Things You'll Need
  • 1 1/2 lbs. tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp. tomato paste or 1/4 cup tomato juice, optional

Step 1
Peel 1 1/2 lbs. tomatoes. The simplest way is to cut a shallow X in the bottom of each tomato and remove the core at the top, then use tongs to dip each tomato into boiling water for about 10 seconds. Immediately dunk the tomato in ice-cold water. When it's cooled, the skin should slip right off.

Step 2
Seed the tomatoes by cutting them in half and squeezing the seeds and juice into a bowl. Discard the seeds. If you like, you can save the juice to flavor salad dressings and stews.

Step 3
Use a sharp, serrated knife to dice the tomatoes.

Step 4
Melt 1 tsp. oil and 1 tsp. butter together in a stockpot over medium heat until the butter is completely melted. Add 1/4 cup chopped onions, and cook until they are tender and translucent, five to 10 minutes. Stir the onions frequently while they are cooking.

Step 5
Add the diced tomatoes and 1 cup vegetable broth. Add 1 tsp. tomato paste or 1/4 cup tomato juice, if desired. Although you don't need to add tomato paste or juice, those ingredients will make your soup a richer shade of red. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce the heat so it can simmer and thicken for 20 to 25 minutes.

Step 6
Puree the tomato mixture in a blender, and then gradually reheat it with the remaining vegetable broth to finish. If you prefer a chunkier soup, you can simply add the vegetable broth when the tomato mixture has finished cooking. For warm soup, serve immediately. Chill for 1 to 2 hours if you want to serve it cold.

Tips and Warnings
To boost your soup's flavor and nutrition, add chopped red, orange or yellow peppers with the tomatoes or stir in spinach or kale when you add the last of the vegetable broth. If you like, substitute chicken broth, tomato juice or vegetable juice for the vegetable broth in the recipe. Top your tomato soup with grated cheddar or parmesan cheese, homemade croutons or basil pesto.

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