I am so pleased to share this delicious spicy tomato soup recipe with you, friends! Based on the Cajun trinity of onions, celery, and bell pepper for the flavor base as well as plenty of spices plus a roux for body, this is a comforting soup recipe perfect for cold weather.
And if it’s comfort that you’re seeking, you may also really enjoy my brown butter cauliflower soup recipe. It is also warming on a chilly day.
For ease of browsing, here are all my soup recipes in one place. Thanks for visiting!
Watch my best tomato soup recipe web story here.
Why This Recipe is Worth Making
There are countless variations of tomato soup on the Internet, so I want you to know what sets this particular spicy tomato soup apart.
First, it is roux-based, which gives the dish a lovely body. It’s not thick like a cream soup, but it’s definitely more substantial than a traditional brothy soup.
The spicing is really lovely here.
Not only does the flavor start with slowly cooking the trinity (onions, celery, bell pepper) in the roux, but the rest of the spicing really enhances the flavor.
The recipe also makes a LOT of soup. Perfect for feeding a large family or for ensuring there are leftovers to enjoy over rice the next day.
If this sounds like your bowl of soup, you can jump straight to the recipe.
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How To Make Spicy Tomato Soup
Like most soup recipes, this one is forgiving and easy to make.
I do want you to know what you’re getting into by providing an ingredient list and substitutions, a play-by-play of the procedure, as well as equipment recommendations and some variations.
The full recipe for this Cajun-inspired soup is down at the bottom of the post.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- oil: I used neutral vegetable oil. You can also use olive oil or even butter
- flour: all-purpose flour is fine here. If you are gluten-free, substitute cornstarch
- onions: I like sweet onions here. Yellow onions will work as well
- celery: One of the three components of trinity. Don’t leave them out.
- bell pepper: Green bell pepper is traditional, but ripe yellow, red, or orange bell peppers work as well and will yield a sweeter soup
- Cajun seasoning: I use Tony Chachere’s with salt. Use your favorite
- smoked paprika: use hot or sweet Spanish paprika for the best flavor, but “plain” paprika is fine. If you like things extra hot, use cayenne instead
- (salt, pepper): The Tony Chachere’s I use contains salt, and I didn’t need to add additional. If your Cajun seasoning is salt-free, salt to taste, probably about 1/2-3/4 teaspoons. Add black pepper to taste if you like it
- canned tomatoes: 2-28 oz cans. I use whole tomatoes, but feel free to go with diced or even crushed if that’s what you have. If you want to use fresh tomatoes, make sure they are super ripe. Take the peels off by plunging them in boiling water for about 60 seconds. Let them cool a few minutes, and the skins should peel off easily. You will most likely need an additional cup of liquid if you use fresh tomatoes.
- chicken broth: You can also use vegetable stock or plain water. For a cream soup, substitute heavy cream
- vinegar: You can also use lemon juice instead
- sugar: Any sweetener will do here. I used coconut sugar, but a squirt of honey or agave will work just as well. You shouldn’t need much, and you might not need it at all
Not sure which Cajun seasoning to use? You can grab one of each of two popular brands here and do your own taste test!
New to Cajun seasoning? Try two of the most popular brands, side by side, and then choose your favorite.
Tony Chachere's contains chili powder while Slap Ya Mama Doesn't. Both are excellent and versatile seasonings.
Soup is an easy thing to make, friends. Here’s the rundown for this spicy tomato version:
- Make the roux. Add oil to a hot pan, and then add the flour.
Cook and stir over medium heat until it has taken on just a bit of color, about 5 minutes.
- Saute aromatics. Aromatics are the flavor base of any soup. In the world of Cajun cuisine, we’re talking onion, celery, and green pepper, or “the trinity.”
Add the trinity and let soften for 5 minutes. Then add the spices and seasonings, and saute, saute, saute until softened, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the rest of the ingredients. Canned tomatoes and chicken broth (or vegetable broth to keep it vegetarian). Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Smash up the tomatoes (if using fresh or whole) with the back of your spoon as they cook.
- Simmer. This step is really easy because the stove does all the work. Let it gently simmer to help the flavors get to know one another and reduce the liquids to intensify the flavor.
- Blend. You can either use an immersion blender or a countertop model. If using a counter top blender, blend in batches so you don’t overfill the container and make a mess and possibly burn yourself.
Use your blender or an immersion blender. Your soup will be smoother if using a blender, but you always have to be careful when blending hot liquids.
- Adjust seasonings. Taste, and add vinegar and/or sugar to brighten the flavors.
- Serve. Serve in soup mugs or bowls.
This recipe makes a fair bit, so I use a 4-quart saucepan to make it.
I like to stir the roux with an angled wooden spatula. It’s great for scraping along the bottom of the pan so nothing sticks.
And an immersion blender makes pretty quick work of blending up your soup into a nice creamy texture.
Know that if you like super-smooth texture, a high-speed blender will give you the smoothest result, but for most jobs, an immersion blender works just fine.
Please feel free to switch up the flavorings in this soup.
If you prefer Mexican flavors, by all means, add some cumin and or minced chipotles in adobo rather than the Cajun seasonings.
You can also skip the roux and just saute your aromatics in oil (or bacon fat if you like) and then continue with the recipe. It may have a touch less body, but it will still be delicious.
Use fully ripe bell peppers (red, yellow, or orange) in the trinity for a sweeter taste.
Make a tomato and red pepper soup by substituting 3 roasted and peeled red peppers for one of the cans of tomatoes.
Tips and Tricks
If you don’t have Cajun seasoning, use some cayenne, garlic powder, thyme, and oregano
For a quick garnish, whip together a little heavy cream with a pinch or two of Cajun seasoning just until thickened. The thickened cream will float on top of the soup.
Garnish it with crispy bacon, croutons, crackers (homemade crackers like my homemade Ritz crackers or store-bought), or be super fancy and make a grilled cheese, then cut it up into small squares and float your grilled cheese croutons on top of your soup!
You could also add cooked rice or pasta for a little more bulk and chew.
Since it’s Cajun-inspired, serve with a side of red beans and rice or maybe my Great Northern beans and rice.
However you decide to serve it, I do hope you make it. It is really tasty!
Spicy Tomato Soup Q & A
As written, it is not. Keep it vegan by using vegetable stock or water in place of the chicken broth.
No. To keep it gluten-free, either make it without the roux or substitute cornstarch for the wheat flour in the roux.
Store the soup, tightly covered, in the fridge for up to 7 days. For food safety, be sure to reheat it to at least 165F for at least 15 seconds.
Yes, soup freezes really well. For easy storage, freeze portions in quart-sized zip-top bags. Carefully press out as much of the air as you can, freeze on a sheet pan, and then stack in the freezer for 3-4 months.
If you have any questions about this post or recipe, I am happy to help.
Simply leave a comment here and I will get back to you soon. I also invite you to ask question in my Facebook group, Fearless Kitchen Fun.
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Spicy Tomato Soup Recipe
- 4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 Tablespoons flour
- 1 medium-to-large yellow or sweet onion chopped
- 2 ribs celery chopped
- I large bell pepper chopped
- 3-4 ½ teaspoons Cajun seasoning
- 1 teaspoon hot smoked paprika or use cayenne
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper you may not need salt if your Cajun seasoning has salt in it
- 2 28 oz cans whole tomatoes , juice and all
- 1 ½ cups low sodium chicken broth or stock vegetable broth or stock or water
- 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven.
- Add the flour and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it colors a bit, about 5 minutes.
- Add the chopped vegetables and spices (cajun seasoning, hot paprika, pepper) and cook over medium heat until the vegetables are softened but not browned, another 5-7 minutes.
- Add both cans of tomatoes and the liquid (stock or water). Bring to a boil, chopping up the tomatoes as the soup heats.
- Blend with an immersion blender until smooth.
- Simmer the soup for about 20 minutes.
- Taste and adjust the spicing if necessary. Stir in the red wine vinegar and the sugar if needed.
- Serve piping hot in mugs or bowls. Garnish as desired.
Did You Make Any Changes?
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And there you have it. I hope you enjoy the spicy tomato soup friends!
Thanks for spending some time with me. Take care, and have a lovely day.