Finding a substitute for tomato soup is not as difficult as you may think. At its core, tomato soup consists of a few basic ingredients. There are also plenty of tomato soup substitute options that are completely tomato-free.
The best substitute for tomato soup depends on your goals, and what ingredients you have on hand. If you have tomato products on hand then you can make homemade tomato sauce from scratch, and build your soup recipe from there. Otherwise, for a tomato-free option consider the carrot marinara recipe below or a squash-based vegetable puree.
Core Ingredients for a Tomato Soup Substitute:
- Any form of tomatoes (fresh tomato, tomato juice, tomato paste)
- Corn Starch
If you have these core ingredients on hand, you can make a substitute for tomato soup at home that will work in a pinch. Using any form of tomatoes, you’ll need to first create the tomato sauce.
What if you don’t have any tomato Sauce?
If you have just run out of tomato sauce, but you have some other tomato products on hand, don’t lose heart!
While the flavor you end up with may be a little different than store-bought tomato sauce, it’s relatively simple to make your own tomato sauce from scratch. If nothing else, making tomato sauce from scratch can save you a trip to the store by using ingredients that you have on hand.
You can substitute fresh tomatoes, tomato paste, or even tomato juice as described below.
You can easily substitute diced fresh tomato to create a homemade tomato puree. Sautee your diced tomatoes on low heat until they begin to break down in the pan.
Use a potato masher, spoon, or fork to puree the tomatoes they break down during cooking. Add your favorite seasonings to improve taste and overall quality.
In a pinch, you can even boil tomato juice down to form a thicker sauce. Then add a few common seasonings as mentioned below.
Finally, if you happen to have tomato paste on hand, just add some water, stir, and simmer until the consistency becomes similar to that of store-bought tomato paste. Season lightly to taste, and set your homemade tomato sauce aside to use later in your tomato soup recipe.
Ingredients for Homemade Tomato Soup:
- 8 oz Tomato Sauce (or a similar tomato-based product)
- 1 Tablespoon Corn Starch
- 1-2 Tablespoons Sugar (white or brown)
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ½ cup heavy cream (optional)
- ½ cup water (optional)
Simply combine all ingredients in a bowl, and whisk thoroughly. For a creamier soup, you may also add 1 cup of liquid such as milk, water, or a combination of both. Warm the thoroughly mixed ingredients in an appropriately sized pot on the stove and season to taste.
Season to Taste:
Apart from salt, you may wish to add a variety of different seasonings to improve the taste and quality of your homemade tomato soup substitute. Whether or not you wish to add more seasoning largely depends on how your tomato soup substitute will be used.
If tomato soup is simply a subset of a more complex recipe, then you probably don’t need to add any additional seasoning.
On the other hand, if you plan to serve your tomato soup substitute by itself, then you may wish to add more ingredients to improve the taste and quality.
Common Seasonings for Tomato Soup:
- Olive Oil
- Black pepper
If you would like to achieve a more creamy consistency then consider adding a mixture of heavy cream and water as well.
While preparing your homemade tomato soup substitute, it’s important to keep in mind how the tomato soup is to be served and prepared. In general the more ingredients you add the more delicious your recipe will become.
Tomato-Free Substitutes for Tomato Soup:
Although rare, some people experience an allergy to tomatoes and may therefore need to substitute a non-tomato-based product in their soup.
Tomatoes are part of the nightshade family, which also includes goji berries, peppers, paprika, eggplant, and potatoes.
If you prefer to avoid the use of tomatoes altogether then pureed carrots and beets make a great substitute.
Carrot Marinara Sauce as a Tomato Soup Alternative:
This delicious recipe is so similar to tomato soup that your friends may not even notice the difference! Just blend carrots, onions, garlic, lemon, and add a beet for color.
This sauce is easy, super healthy, and satisfying. This recipe makes 5 cups.
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
- 2 chopped yellow onions
- 4 minced garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 pound chopped carrots
- 1 medium beet, chopped
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt (use sea salt if available)
Start with a large pot over medium heat, and add the coconut oil first. Once the coconut oil is melted, saute the onions until they begin to brown (about 3 minutes). Next, add the minced garlic and saute until they begin to soften (about 2 minutes). Next, add the water and bring the mixture to a boil. Then add the carrots and beets. Cover and simmer until the carrots and beets are tender (about 30 to 40 minutes).
Other Vegetable Soups as a Substitute
If you’re looking for other tomato-free substitutes for tomato soup, consider butternut squash soup. In reality, you can substitute any form of squash to make an excellent tomato soup substitute. However, butternut squash is one of the most popular options.
You’ll want to make a puree of whichever squash you choose using a food processor. Then add your favorite spices from the list above.
You can also add some eggplant puree to your vegetable puree. Eggplant has a neutral flavor when used in combination with your other favorite veggies.
Reviewing Your Options:
- Tomato-based substitutes (fresh tomato, tomato paste, tomato juice)
- Carrot-Beet Marinara (Paleo friendly, and healthy!)
- Vegetable Puree (Eggplant, Zucchini, Garlic, Onion)
Once you have finalized your recipe you may wish to store it in the refrigerator for later consumption. Check out this article on how to reheat your soup to preserve freshness and integrity.
Initially, it may seem like there are not a lot of great options for substituting tomato soup. But in reality, there are a lot of different options available. What you choose will depend on what ingredients you have on hand, and whether your goal is to replace tomatoes as an ingredient or not. In either case, it’s possible to create a tomato soup substitute that is both healthy and delicious without sacrificing the integrity of your recipe.
Tiffany McCauley is a celebrated food and travel journalist and cookbook author known for her engaging stories on culinary adventures and cultural insights. With a background featuring collaborations with notable brands and publications, Tiffany brings a wealth of experience and a fresh perspective to Fanatically Food, where she champions taste, sustainability, and the art of cooking. Read More Here