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Homemade Tomato Florentine Soup

I always love whipping up a batch of fresh homemade tomato Florentine soup. There’s something utterly comforting about the velvety texture of tomato soup infused with the earthy essence of spinach, isn’t there?

Whether served as a soul-warming starter or alongside a crusty Italian bread loaf, this soup never fails to impress. And let’s not forget the timeless allure of pairing it with a perfectly grilled cheese sandwich (made with this amazing milk bread)—each bite is like a warm hug!

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Ingredients

The main ingredients for this soup are pretty straightforward, no fancy ingredients: just tomatoes (fresh and/or canned), onions, garlic, spinach, and spices. Milk or cream are completely optional.

Ingredients for tomato florentine soup.

Instructions

This soup comes together in about an hour or less, and most of the time is cooking time so I think it’s pretty easy. It’s also easy to “make ahead” and you can also freeze it provided you leave out the milk/cream (you can add it later when serving).

I like to make this on the stovetop if I’m going to be doing other things in the kitchen, OR you can easily make this in the Instant Pot for a more hands-off approach where you don’t need to tend to the stove.

Sauteing onions and garlic in pan.
Pouring water into pan with aromatics and tomatoes.

Heat olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté onions and garlic until translucent, about 5-10 minutes. Add tomatoes, water, sugar, salt, oregano, and red pepper. Stir well. Cover and simmer for 1 hour with lid ajar.

Pouring soup into blender.
Adding spinach and cream to soup.

Remove from heat and blend until smooth using a blender or immersion blender. Stir in cream and spinach, cook until spinach is wilted and heated through. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

Instant Pot

  • Set Instant Pot to sauté mode and heat olive oil.
  • Sauté onions and garlic until translucent, about 5-10 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, water, sugar, salt, oregano, and red pepper. Stir well.
  • Close lid, set to sealing, and cook on manual high pressure for 5 minutes.
  • Allow natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure.
  • Blend until smooth using a blender or immersion blender.
  • Stir in cream and spinach, use sauté mode to cook until spinach is wilted and heated through.
  • Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

To Substitute Fresh Tomatoes

Prepare the Fresh Tomatoes:

  • Start by blanching the fresh tomatoes in boiling water for about 1 minute.
  • Remove them from the boiling water and immediately transfer them to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
  • Once cooled, peel off the skins and remove the cores.

Dice or Crush the Tomatoes:

  • Cut the peeled tomatoes into small chunks or crush them with your hands or a fork, depending on your desired consistency.

Adjust the Quantity:

  • Typically, one 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes equals about 3 to 4 fresh tomatoes. Adjust the quantity accordingly based on the size and juiciness of your fresh tomatoes.

Cooking Process:

  • Follow the recipe instructions as usual, adding the diced or crushed fresh tomatoes in place of the canned crushed tomatoes.
  • Keep in mind that fresh tomatoes might release more liquid during cooking, so you may need to adjust the cooking time slightly or simmer the sauce for a bit longer to achieve the desired consistency.

Seasoning:

  • Since fresh tomatoes might have a slightly different flavor profile compared to canned crushed tomatoes, you might need to adjust the seasoning accordingly. Taste the sauce as it cooks and add more salt, sugar, or other seasonings as needed to balance the flavors.

Serving Suggestions

Tomato soup can be served alone as a small meal or snack but also goes great with the following:

Variations

Another reason I love this soup recipe is its really so versatile. In other words, it’s a very easy soup to customize. Here are some ideas to change it up a bit:

  • Tomato rice soup – leave out the spinach and add some cooked brown or white rice to make it heartier
  • Vegan – omit the milk and butter altogether or add unflavored almond or oat milk and use vegan butter or only olive oil
  • Spicy – add a pinch more of red pepper flakes
  • Toppings – Seasoned croutons, fresh herbs, grated cheese

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📖 Recipe

Top view of green bowl of tomato florentine soup on wooden board.

Tomato Florentine Soup

In this Tomato Florentine soup, the vibrant acidity of tomatoes meets the comforting creaminess of spinach, creating a bowlful of warmth and flavor that's both soul-soothing and utterly irresistible!
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Author: Marie
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 4 cups
Calories 152 kcal

Equipment

  • Blender or immersion blender

Ingredients
 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion one small, diced
  • 1 clove garlic slilced
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes Or 4 fresh medium-sized tomatoes (see Notes below)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 6 ounces fresh baby spinach washed and dried
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream optional

Instructions
 

  • Add olive oil in a medium to large saute pan and begin to heat over medium heat.
  • Add onions and garlic and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 to 10 minutes, just until the onions have become translucent.
  • After onions have become translucent, add tomatoes, water, sugar, salt, oregano, and red pepper and stir well.
  • Cover, bring to slow boil and then reduce heat to simmer for 1 hour on stovetop with lid ajar.
  • Remove from heat, pour into blender and blend until smooth. Instead of blender, I like to use an immersion blender (ie, a stick blender)
  • Stir in cream and spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted and heated through. Taste and add more salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

Use a high-quality brand of tomato (RedPack is one of my favorites but it’s sometimes hard to find. Imported tomatoes or San Marzanos are very good)
Storage: refrigerate leftovers for 2 to 3 days; freeze soup for up to 6 months (omit dairy if freezing).
For InstantPot: 
1. Set Instant Pot to sauté mode and heat olive oil.
2. Sauté onions and garlic until translucent, about 5-10 minutes.
3. Add tomatoes, water, sugar, salt, oregano, and red pepper. Stir well.
4. Close the lid, set it to sealing, and cook on manual high pressure for 5 minutes.
5. Allow natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure.
6. Blend until smooth using a blender or immersion blender.
7. Stir in cream and spinach. Use sauté mode to cook until spinach is wilted and heated through.
8. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
To Use Fresh Tomatoes: To substitute fresh tomatoes for canned crushed tomatoes, blanch, peel, and dice the tomatoes, aiming for about 3 to 4 medium-sized tomatoes to equal 28 ounces of crushed tomatoes. Adjust the quantity to match the recipe, and cook as usual, adjusting seasoning and cooking time for consistency and flavor.

Nutrition

Calories: 152kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 2gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 482mgPotassium: 337mgFiber: 2gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 518IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 48mgIron: 1mg
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14 Comments

  1. Wow..I just made this and it tastes EXACTLY like Panera’s creamy tomato soup. Thank you! Will never have to go to panera again just to get this soup

  2. 5 stars
    This soup was fantastic! I was looking for a copycat Panera tomato soup and this is it! and it is much healthier. I have tried two other copycat recipes and this one is much better. I used 10% cream for the cream as it was all I had and it worked well. Thank you!

  3. Looks yummy!! I got to panera for lunch almost everyday and get it with the grilled cheese! I always get 2 bowls to go! If i keep doing that i think they might cut me off! Lol!

    1. I love Panera! I go really often too but haven’t had the tomato soup in a while. If you try this version make sure to use good tomatoes (Muir Glen or San Marzano) as that’s the secret to a good tomato soup:)

  4. YES! I have been spending crazy amounts of money getting quarts of this soup to go from Panera and this tastes just like it! I roasted my garlic first and used about 4 roasted cloves. Then I used 1 28oz can whole marzano tomatoes, 1 pint fresh tomatoes, and 2 cups of frozen diced romas. Thanks for sharing!!

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