Traditional recipes

Tomato soup with pasta stars recipe

Tomato soup with pasta stars recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Soup
  • Vegetable soup
  • Tomato soup

This is a simple, yet delicious tomato soup that we make in Poland. It's loved by kids - which might be because there are small pasta stars in it! At least you know there's also plenty of vegetables in it, too.

2 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • Homemade beef and vegetable stock
  • 1 or 2 beef bones
  • 2L water
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 parsnip, chopped
  • Tomato soup
  • 1 (400g) tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 250g pasta stars
  • single cream to taste
  • chopped parsley

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:30min ›Ready in:50min

  1. Make your own beef and vegetable stock by covering beef bones, celery, onion and carrot with cold water; cook over a low heat until vegetables have softened. Strain the stock into a bowl; dice the cooked vegetables and remove any meat from the bones. Add the diced vegetables and pieces of meat back into the stock. Discard bones.
  2. Add chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, salt and pepper into the stock. Cook for few more minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, mix cream with 3 to 4 tablespoons hot soup. Add to pot and stir well.
  4. In a separate pot, boil pasta stars until al dente, rinse with cold water and drain well.
  5. Spoon pasta stars into bowls, ladle soup on top and sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley.

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  • 8 ounces whole-wheat rotini
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups low-sodium "no-chicken" broth or chicken broth
  • 1 (15 ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 6 cups baby kale or baby spinach
  • ½ cup slivered basil
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish

Combine pasta, water, broth, tomatoes, oil, Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and crushed red pepper in a large pot. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Uncover, reduce heat to medium-high and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Stir in kale and cook, stirring often, until most of the liquid has been absorbed, 5 to 7 minutes more. (If using spinach, add it after about 10 minutes, so it cooks in the remaining 2 to 3 minutes.) Stir in basil. Garnish with Parmesan, if desired.

How to Use Tomato Soup as Pasta Sauce

We’re very into pasta these days (always), and easy pantry pasta recipes in particular. But what if you’re out of canned tomatoes? You can use tomato soup as pasta sauce! Though this piece was originally written a few years ago, it’s well worth revisiting now when grocery shortages are such a common problem. Plus, get tips on how to dress up this easy dinner with what else is on hand.

Some Background

I wake up early because the baby is sick and can’t sleep. After cleaning up one mess after another (all before 8 a.m.), we hustle out the door, running late (of course), to get him to grandma’s before I head to work. After putting out one fire after another all day, having consumed only an apple and a cup of coffee over the last nine hours, I swing by to pick up my wife and my son before heading home for the evening. I’m tired, I’m hungry, I’m cranky, and I have to feed the family. Ugggghhhhhh!

Does this sound familiar? If so, I’m sorry. But there’s hope! Cooking does not need to be complex, involved, or over-complicated to be good—especially on a weekday night. Sure, it would be great to have elegant, gourmet, farm-fresh meals every night. But if we’re talking like this, it’d also be nice to have a live-in chef or a driver to cart us from one restaurant to another, where we’d indulge in prix fixe menus in private dining rooms. These things aren’t realistic, though, so on an average Tuesday night, it’s okay to simply put food on the table that fills the belly and goes down easy.

When my day looks like the one I described above, I’m looking for a couple things: 1) What’s quick and easy 2) What’s inexpensive and 3) What do I have around the house? Looking through my cupboards, it’s a pretty safe bet I’ll have tomato soup and pasta, and looking through my fridge/freezer, I’ll likely have some sort of meat. Luckily, that’s all I need to make a great, simple, quick, and inexpensive meal at home.

The Origins of This Dish

Before I move on, I have to give credit where credit is due. My mom, and her mom before her, made the meal I’m about to outline on a regular basis. So, this is a decades-tested dish made generation after generation that I recommend adding to your repertoire. They called it Creamettes and ground meat.

Gotham Steel 5 Quart Multi-Purpose Pasta Pot with Strainer, $42.93 on Amazon

Can you guess what was in it? Pretty obvious, huh? They used Creamette-brand elbow pasta, and ground meat, of course! But there’s one essential non-named ingredient that turns this pasta dish from bland and dry to tasty. So tasty that it was a favorite meal of my sister during our childhood. Guess what it is. That’s right, tomato soup. Impossible, you say? Very possible. One can of condensed tomato soup is all you need. It’s so easy, so cost effective, and so good you’ll be wondering why you haven’t been doing this for years!

How to Make It

1. Take one pound of your favorite ground meat and brown it in a pan. For more flavor (but higher fat content), use ground chuck. For a leaner (though less flavorful) option, use ground sirloin or ground turkey.

2. Cook 8 ounces of your pasta of choice in a larger pot.

3. Combine the browned ground meat and the cooked pasta in the larger pot.

4. Add 10.75 ounces (one can) of condensed tomato soup to your pasta and meat over heat. Do not add water. The consistency of the condensed soup is perfect.

5. Mix until warm and evenly distributed. Salt to taste.

6. Serve with parmesan cheese (if you have it) on the side (alternative: bake or microwave with your cheese of choice on top).

You’ll get 3-4 servings from this recipe, depending on portion size. Still skeptical? Try it out. If you’re looking for something with a bit more pizazz from time to time, give these things a try:

  • Add some sautéed onion to the mix. I prefer yellow or red. The flavor complements the meat and sweetness of the tomato soup.
  • Mix in some cayenne pepper to taste. This will add some extra spice—that is, of course, if you think spice is nice.
  • Stew some cherry tomatoes and add with the soup. This will give the sauce some tomatoey (spell check recognizes this as a word, so I’m going with it) texture.
  • Add sauteed zucchini, peas, or even asparagus for some veggie content. Be aware that the water content of a vegetable like zucchini, or even the cherry tomatoes mentioned above, might change the consistency of the sauce. You may also want to adjust down your meat or pasta content or adjust up your soup content to account for the added ingredient(s).
  • Mix in some parmesan cheese with the tomato soup and let it melt as the soup is warming. This will give your sauce a richer, saltier flavor and a thicker texture.
  • Warm the tomato soup with some milk or half-and-half prior to adding it to the pasta and meat. This will give your sauce a creamier texture and taste. However, it will also thin out the sauce. If you like it, great! If not, you can work around this in a couple ways. You can reduce the sauce, letting some liquid evaporate, or mix up a cornstarch or flour slurry to thicken it up prior to adding it to the pasta and meat. For a great discussion on thickening techniques, check out this discussion.

There you go! The next time you have one of those days, don’t worry. This pasta dish, using regular-old-condensed-tomato soup as sauce, is something you can whip up without breaking a sweat, your spirit, or the bank. And if you have kids, there’s a solid chance they’ll like it too!

In a large nonreactive pot, heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat. When butter is melted, add the onions and cook over medium-low/medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent. Do not brown.

Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes more, stirring to be sure garlic does not burn. Add the flour and continue cooking and stirring for 1 to 2 minutes more.

Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, sugar, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat while stirring to make sure that the flour is not sticking to the bottom or sides of the pan. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Use a hand-held immersion blender to puree soup until very smooth. (Alternatively, let the soup cool slightly and puree in batches in a blender. Be sure to crack the lid or remove the center cap to allow steam to escape.) Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Stir in remaining 3 tablespoons of butter.

Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with fresh basil, croutons, and a generous sprinkling of Parmigiano-Reggiano.

What else do you need to make secret ingredient tomato basil soup?

The ingredient list is short, but the flavors are huge!

  • tomatoes (lots of them!)
  • onions
  • carrots
  • garlic
  • olive oil
  • stock (be it vegetable or chicken)
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper

Tomato Soup


  • ▢ 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ▢ 3 cups (2 onions) chopped yellow onions
  • ▢ 1 tablespoon (3 cloves) minced garlic
  • ▢ 4 cups homemade chicken stock or canned chicken broth
  • ▢ One (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes preferably San Marzano
  • ▢ Large pinch saffron threads
  • ▢ 1 tablespoon kosher salt or less to taste
  • ▢ 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ▢ 1/2 cup orzo uncooked (optional)
  • ▢ 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • ▢ Grilled Cheese Croutons


Show Nutrition

Recipe Testers' Reviews

Susan Bingaman

In my family, this is always how we serve our grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. There’s really nothing better than a bite-sized piece of perfectly grilled sandwich soaked through with tomato soup. I’ve never made my own soup, but that’s all changed now. The flavor of the soup is fantastic. It’s rich, tomatoey, and a little bit sweet from those lovely golden brown onions.

I knocked the tablespoon of salt down to 2 teaspoons since I’m a bit sensitive to sodium. Since the sandwich soaks up quite a bit of the liquid part of the soup, the solid parts in the soup are kind of left behind in an oniony/orzo-y slurry. Maybe a buzz from an immersion blender would do the soup some good for the chunky texture-averse, like my husband.

Oh, one more thing: I don’t have a panini grill. I made the sandwiches on my ancient griddle and they were just fine.

Eydie Desser

As my husband’s 107-year-old grandma would say, “This is deeeelicious!” I was concerned that the soup was going to be too thin, but after adding the orzo, the soup becomes so luscious, thick, and satisfyingly wonderful. The Gruyère croutons were a huge hit and worked beautifully with the soup.

If you use homemade chicken stock, your salt level should be fine, but if you use store-bought, be judicious about adding the amount of salt suggested in the recipe. The soup still tastes great the next day, and I’m sure the day after that.
Make it and enjoy!

M.K. Morgan

MmMm good—that’s what this soup is. The croutons put it over the top!

I like the extra info about the quantity of chopped onions and minced garlic, as my onions and garlic were obviously a different size from the ones they used. I used 2 teaspoons of salt in the soup and the extra 2 teaspoons as directed in the cooking water for the orzo. I also smoothed out the soup with an immersion blender before adding in the orzo. This is a keeper. Not sure how much difference the saffron made, but I had some so I used it.

Caroline Chang

Light-years better than anything you’ll find in a can. This soup recipe yields a hearty, rich, and chunky dish. When I make this again I’ll probably use less cream: a 1/2 cup of cream didn’t seem like that much to begin with, but went a long, long way in the finished product.

I didn’t have a panini press so I made the grilled cheese croutons the old-fashioned way. They still tasted delicious, although some fell apart in the soup (I didn’t mind).

Trudy Ngo-Brown

This recipe definitely lived up to its name for being easy.

I didn’t use the full tablespoon of salt because I had to use canned chicken stock. Because I was using low-sodium stock, I did put in 2 teaspoons, but it was definitely too much. Next time, I may cut back to a teaspoon or leave it out entirely until the end. Otherwise, everything was great about the soup.

Cutting up the grilled cheese sandwiches into “croutons” was so smart—why dirty up the hands with butter from the sandwich? :) I’m going to try fire-roasted tomatoes next time for a different flavor!

Linda M.

This tomato soup is delicious and easy! I followed the recipe exactly except for only adding 1 tablespoon kosher salt to the soup. The soup turned out creamy with a nice tomato flavor and I loved the addition of the orzo.

After adding the orzo, I realized that I could’ve used my handheld blender to reduce the amount of tomato pieces that some members of my family may’ve shied away from. The grilled cheese croutons were a big hit too. They were delicious in the soup and added a nice buttery crunch. Delicious weeknight meal on a chilly night!

Sofia Reino

A very, very simple recipe to follow that’s filled with taste. Absolutely amazing, and the idea of the grilled cheese croutons is indeed brilliant. I think next time I’ll actually make even more of these croutons, as my toddler ate almost half of them prior to having the soup!

Cannot say enough about this soup. The taste of tomato was fabulous—it felt creamy yet it was nice to feel the bits of tomatoes. I added the full tablespoon of salt and that was absolutely perfect. Would certainly not add any less.

Anna Scott

What a fabulous idea this is! We all know that grilled cheese and tomato soup are a cherished pair, and this soup recipe brings them together in a clever (and most delicious) way. The grilled cheese on white bread, slathered with butter and Gruyère cheese, was outstanding. I don’t have a panini maker, but I just used a skillet and another smaller skillet on top of the sandwich to sort of smoosh it down—worked just fine!

As for the rich, soul-warming soup, I love the addition of saffron here. That really gives a depth of flavor that’s quite unique. I only used 2 teaspoons kosher salt and it was plenty salty, especially when you had a crouton on your spoon as well. I’d leave out the orzo. It didn’t taste bad, but with the croutons on top I thought that extra starch wasn’t needed. Also, I’d maybe purée the onions into the soup to make it have a smooth consistency like traditional tomato soup.

Lastly, a sprinkle of parsley or chives on top of the soup looks great, just for a bit of color.

Jackie Gorman

In a very short amount of time, with not much effort at all, you end up with a very nice pot of soup from this recipe. And then there are those croutons. Would genius be too strong a word for creating croutons out of a grilled cheese sandwich? Definitely a bowl (or two) of comfort food, to not only satisfy your hunger, but to make you feel better.

I tend to really like soups that are more or less purées, to have the flavor of the vegetables really shine. I want the vegetable showcased to have an intense flavor profile. Because of this, I usually cut back on the amount of broth that I add to a soup. I added the 4 cups of chicken stock called for in the recipe to test it as written. The soup was delicious however, the next time I make it, I’ll start by adding 2 cups of stock and then see how it tastes before adding any more. That’s what I do with another tomato soup recipe by the same author. The saffron adds an interesting flavor to the soup, although I’m not sure if I’ll add it again.

Personally, I don’t think that the soup needs the orzo, but my husband really liked the texture that it added to the soup. Bottom line: no major adjustments, very good results, well worth making.

Rachel Feferman

While the concept of this recipe sounded pretty amazing (ummm…grilled cheese croutons?), I was also pretty skeptical. Would I really be able to taste the saffron? Isn’t a smooth tomato soup way better than chunky? Turns out, it was delicious. The saffron came through loud and clear and the texture of the well-seasoned orzo and the caramelized onions was fantastic. It was easy and delicious, especially with the decadent little croutons. Like grown-up snow day grub!

I think a teaspoon of brown sugar added with the tomatoes would go a long way. It could use that subtle hint of sweetness. And I like more black pepper than the recipe called for. I ended up using 1 1/2 teaspoons. As always, you need to be really careful with the saffron. I’m not sure a “large” pinch was necessary. I wish I had actually measured the amount I used, because I’d recommend a smidgen less. Toward the end of cooking the onions, just an occasional stir doesn’t cut it.

Joan Osborne

I was delighted to see this as a test recipe since I had already made this one once and my daughter has made it several times. I first learned about putting grilled cheese croutons in tomato soup from a Cat Cora recipe and thought the idea was genius since I love dipping my grilled cheese into tomato soup.

I love the addition of orzo in this version and the saffron brings it to a new level but I must confess it’s really good without the saffron, as I’ve made it that way, too. The grilled Swiss cheese croutons complement the soup to a T. I’ll definitely be making it again.

I did use the tablespoon of salt the first time I made it and it wasn’t overly salty but it’s also good with a little less. Most recipes suggest salting to taste anyway and that makes sense, so use your own judgment as to how much salt you like, as if it’s not enough you can always add more.

Karen Depp

This soup is delicious, easy to make, and pretty handsome in the bowl. The grilled cheese croutons just make it even more delicious. I followed the recipe to the letter, using the 1 tablespoon salt in the soup and the 2 teaspoons in the water for the orzo. I had just heard right before I made the soup that canned San Marzano tomatoes are really sweet and need more than the regular amount of salt that you’d use in a recipe. It was fun to make and even more fun to eat!

Tracey G.

While I wouldn’t call this the easiest tomato soup I’ve ever made, it certainly was flavorful. You can taste a hint of saffron, but I don’t think it’s worth going to the store for it if you don’t already have it in your pantry. The next time I make this, I think I’ll purée the soup before adding the pasta. The grilled cheese croutons were certainly a highlight of the dish.

Sita Krishnaswamy

The soup was easy to do. I didn’t add the 1 tablespoon of salt instead, a teaspoon and a half worked for me. I quite liked the flavor and the texture. The croutons turned out alright, but I prefer plain croutons and prefer to grate the cheese over the soup. Definitely will add this to my repertoire of soups.


If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


First of all, I think Ina could make cardboard taste good. So, I knew this was probably going to be great.

The soup came together easily and quickly. I added a stick of celery and a dash of ancho chili powder. Before adding the cream I gave the soup a quick spin with the stick blender. No orzo for me. My only issue was that because I didn’t add the orzo I should have decreased the broth. It’s a little thin, but fantastic. Definitely making it again.

Ina has a way with recipes, doesn’t she, Jessica? Glad to hear you like this and look forward to hearing which recipe on the site you try next!

I used two cans of tomatoes (was initially planning to double the recipe) but when I added the first 4 cups of broth, it seemed like adding another 4 would be WAY too much liquid so I decided to leave it and it turned out to be a good choice. I gave the soup a buzz with the immersion blender to smooth out the texture, and skipped the orzo. The soup turned out thick and creamy and amazing. I’d probably cut down on the salt a little bit, since the grilled cheese adds some salty flavor. I love garlic, so I might add more next time, or perhaps crisp up some garlic in olive oil and toss that in the soup before serving.

Margaret, I love how you “freelanced” while you were making the soup and as a result turned it into your own. It sounds great. I love the addition of garlic. (I’m a garlic freak, in case you didn’t know.)

This soup was great! One large onion produced 2C worth, so I stuck with that. Also, I was concerned to use a full tbsp of salt, so reduced to 2 tsp. Opted to not use orzo, and blended the whole lot with my stick blender. It’s on the rotation list.

Why You’ll Love this Tomato Soup

Here are four reasons why this tomato soup recipe will become your new favorite:

  • This recipe offers classic homemade tomato soup flavor, and it’s made with basic pantry ingredients. Winning!
  • It’s rich and creamy, yet cream-less. It uses a combination of white beans (I promise you can’t taste them) and butter to achieve this feat.
  • This soup is special diet-friendly. It’s gluten free, since it doesn’t need any flour for thickening. It’s also easily made vegan—see the recipe notes.
  • You can turn this recipe into tomato basil soup, if you have fresh basil on hand. It couldn’t be easier.

Tomato Soup Spice Cake

The earliest versions of this cake date as far back as the 1920s. Condensed tomato soup is an unexpected addition—frugal and shelf-stable, it was used to create a cake that’s both rich and moist, with very little fat. Aromatic spices are the real star, flavor-wise, alongside cream cheese frosting for sweetness.


  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon (11g) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (198g) granulated sugar
  • 1 can (10 1/2 ounces) plain condensed tomato soup
  • 1 1/2 cups (170g) King Arthur Premium 100% Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 3/4 cup (128g) raisins, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup (57g) chopped walnuts, optional
  • one 8-ounce package (227g) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (227g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind (zest)


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour a 9˝ square cake pan, or line with parchment and grease the parchment.

To make the cake: Mix together the egg, oil, and sugar until smooth. Stir in the tomato soup. Stir in the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Beat until smooth. Stir in the raisins and nuts.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the edges just begin to pull away from the pan and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan on a rack.

To make the frosting: Mix the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and orange zest together until smooth. Spread over the cooled cake.

Learn more

Easy recipes for dairy-free baking

Store, loosely covered, at room temperature for two days freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

Don't have any whole wheat flour on hand? Feel free to substitute 1 1/2 cups (181g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour for the whole wheat flour.

Member Ratings For This Recipe

Isnn't fideo angel hair pasta? You can get fideo noodles at any Mexican food store or even grocery stores that has an international section. We perfer the thicker fideo noodles over the angelhair kind but that's just a personal preference. - 1/9/08

I make this for me and my kids and we have it for lunch with fat free sour cream. Oh, they love it. This is a kinda traditional soup in mexico. I made it for some company but added shredded chicked in the soup, they loved it. Thank you, I use to make it different and it's not this good. - 8/13/07

If you make this with a vegetable bullion instead of the chicken, it's a quick and easy delicious vegan soup. This really reminds me of the great food I used to eat when I lived in Texas. It's so delicious, I wish I made this every day. - 7/26/07

Creamy Tomato Soup

This is so much better than the off-the-shelf creamed tomato soup that you'll never want to go back to that old childhood staple again! The complex flavor and creamy yet very slightly grainy texture make this soup particularly enticing. And the combination of baking soda and sugar completely eliminates the tomatoes' acidity, allowing their rich flavor to shine through.


  • 5 tablespoons (71g) butter
  • 1 tablespoon (14g) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (128g) chopped onions (2 small-to-medium onions)
  • 28-ounce can tomato purée or tomatoes in purée
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • a couple of shakes black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons (21g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 cups (397g) chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons (14g to 43g) sugar, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups (340g) evaporated milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


In a large saucepan, heat the butter and vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened and golden, about 10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, basil, thyme, and black pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the flour and broth, whisking until smooth, and add this mixture to the soup, stirring constantly.

Cover and simmer slowly for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Perfect your technique

Creamy tomato soup . made in a bread machine

If you've used diced tomatoes, purée the soup in a blender or food processor, or use a hand blender. If you've used tomato purée, there's no need to blend the onion bits will give the soup a bit of body.

Return the soup to the stove, and set it on a burner over low-to-medium heat.

Stir in the baking soda (the soup will foam up briefly don't worry, but be sure it's in a big enough pot), the sugar, milk, and salt. Heat to a bare simmer, stirring constantly. Serve hot.

Watch the video: EMILIES KØKKEN - TOMATSUPPE (January 2022).