Classic Ketchup Soup Recipe


Ketchup Soup

Ketchup: Soup or Condiment?

Is ketchup a soup or a condiment? Perhaps you have not thought of ketchup as anything other than a condiment, and you are confused why I am asking the question. Of course, ketchup is not a soup, you say. You just might be surprised at how good of soup ketchup can make. Yes, that’s right, you really can make a soup out of ketchup. 

Ketchup (Catsup) Soup – No Money Meal

Ketchup soup, really became popular during the Great Depression. Because money was so hard to come by for many people, it forced folks to become creative in what they could make for very little money, or even for free. 

My Grandma was a little girl during the Great Depression and I grew up having the opportunity to listen to her stories. One specific story that she often told was about her neighbor, Jimmy Bulgarie. He was her neighbor later in life, once she had gotten married. She would always talk about him going to the local diner and ordering a cup of hot water and packets of crackers for ten cents. He would then proceed to make ketchup soup from his cup of hot water, ketchup packets on his table, and crackers. 

Dolly Parton Was So Poor Before Becoming A Big Star, She Often Ate This Odd Concoction

Dolly Parton was not always well off either. She is said to have enjoyed her share of ketchup soup, in her younger years as well. She was not alone, as it was actually a common way to have a meal, without having it cost a lot of money. 

Hobo’s Tomato Soup

The term hobo is also primarily from the time period during the depression era, although the term did come into existence before that. A hobo is someone who travels from town to town working or looking for work. In other words, they are a traveling worker. Because of this, a hobo may not have had much money, or the ability to make a lot of different foods. They are also said to have enjoyed a cup of ketchup soup on a regular basis. 

Short on Time? This Soup Is the World’s Fastest Fancy Appetizer

Making ketchup soup is extremely easy as well as inexpensive. If you are looking for a super-fast meal, then try making ketchup soup. It takes less than ten minutes, from start to finish. The most time-consuming part is heating up your water. Seriously, it’s super simple! 

Tomato Soup Is Really Just Thinned-Out Tomato Sauce

Although ketchup is made slightly differently than tomato paste, it is quite similar. When making tomato soup with ketchup, it comes out tasting very much like canned tomato soup. Tomato soup is a thinned-out version of tomato sauce, which is essentially what you are doing by thinning out ketchup. Then add a bit of milk or cream to give it the delicious creamy flavor! 

Creamy Tomato ‘Ketchup Soup’ & Crackers for Food ‘N Flix October Film Pick: ‘The Terminal’ and Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Ketchup soup is also famous for being featured in the movie, “The Terminal”. Tom Hanks, who is the lead actor in the movie gets stuck in the airport due to a civil war breaking out in his home country. He loses his food vouchers and is left to fend for himself and ends up making ketchup soup. 

FREE Meal Recipe – Ketchup Soup – Hobo Soup – Depression Era – Frugal

I grew up listening to stories about eating tomato soup, made from ketchup packets and always wondered if it could really be any good. I mean, it is ketchup after all. However, I was quite shocked at how good it was when I gave it a try! I would encourage you to check it out for yourself! This is a great, easy meal that is inexpensive too. 

Ketchup Soup Pouring

Ketchup Soup Recipe

Step 1: Step One: Finding Your Ingredients

In order to make this soup, you will need the following ingredients. Keep in mind you can make this at home from things found in your pantry, or you can stop at a fast-food restaurant and ask for a cup of water and then use the condiments available, such as ketchup packets, salt, and pepper packets, sugar packets, parmesan cheese packets if availalbe, to make this soup. 

Making Ketchup Soup You’ll Need:

Hot water 
A bowl

Step 2: Making Soup

Making the soup is quite simple. Begin by heating your water while you assemble your soup. 

Step One: Pour all the ketchup into the bowl 

In a bowl add your ketchup. Be sure that your bowl will be big enough for all your ingredients. For ketchup, you can use what you have lying around the house, or you can use packets from a fast-food restaurant. 

Step Two: Put sugar into it

Once your ketchup has been added to the bowl, add sugar. 

Step Three: Stir them together

When your sugar and ketchup have been added together, mix them until they are well combined. 

Step Four: Add hot water into the mixture

Once your sugar and ketchup are mixed, add your hot water. Mix until combined. If you desire, add your cream or milk and mix that in as well. 

Step Five: Finished

That’s it! You are finished, now it is time for a taste test. You may also want to add salt and pepper until you like the taste of it. If you have parmesan cheese packets or some mozzarella cheese you could also add a little bit on top of the soup. I enjoy adding a little bit of garlic powder and parsley that I have laying around the house. However, this is not necessary if you do not have it. Now, it’s time to dig in and enjoy your inexpensive, yet tasty soup! 


This soup works best when you add the hot water to the ketchup instead of adding the ketchup to the water. Please note if your milk curdles, or does not mix in well once added, try pouring all of your soup into the blender, or food processor for a few seconds. This should help the soup to mix together if you run into any trouble. 

Best Ever Tomato Soup

If you like tomato soup but prefer to not make it out of ketchup, don’t fear! I have an amazing recipe for homemade tomato soup that I would like to share with you. I think it is the best ever. This recipe works well with fresh tomatoes. However, if you don’t have them, you can use canned tomatoes. You will just want to add a little bit of sugar to the canned tomatoes to improve the flavor. 

Kitchen Utensils:

Blender or food processor
Sauté pan


8 oz cream cheese
1 gallon fresh or frozen tomatoes OR
2 cans stewed tomatoes
6 cans tomato soup
1 medium onion
¼ cup butter
1 qt half and half
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp pepper
Sugar, optional to taste
Mozzarella cheese


Step 1

In a pan, sauté your onions and butter until they just begin to get see-through. Pour into the bottom of the crockpot once cooked. (You may also use a soup pot if you want to eat this faster, just keep in mind that the milk products will burn and curdle easily, this is why I prefer using a crockpot.) 

Step 2

Place the cream cheese and tomatoes into the blender and blend until cream cheese is no longer chunky. Pour into the crockpot.

Step 3

Add all the remaining ingredients and cook. If using a crockpot, allow your soup to cook on high for two to four hours. If using a soup pot on your stovetop, cook stirring often over medium-low heat. Once warmed all the way through, serve in a bowl, topped with mozzarella cheese and croutons. Enjoy! 

Whether you are enjoying ketchup soup or homemade tomato soup, if you are looking for a great side to go with the soup, try making grilled cheese. To learn more about this, check out What To Eat With Grilled Cheese: 16 Of The Best Sides.  

Have you ever made ketchup soup? Have you ever heard of ketchup soup? Comment below and tell us about your experience with it. We love to hear from you! 

Ketchup soup is a quick, easy, and extremely low-cost meal that you can enjoy on the spur of the moment. Don’t knock it, until you try making ketchup soup. 

Related Recipes:

Ketchup Bisque
1 can tomato soup
6 plain creamers
6 butter packets

How To Make A Healthy Homemade Heinz Tomato Ketchup

To make ketchup bisque is quite simple. Start by Combining Sauce, Broth, and Cream. Warm it up, and Garnish with Abandon, simple as that! 

Easy Homemade Ketchup

(Makes about 2 cups)
2 (6oz) cans tomato paste
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup water plus more to thin if desired
2-3 Tbsp agave syrup, or to taste
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning 

More Soup Ideas:

Homemade Vegetable Beef Soup of the South
Delicious Homemade Vegetable Soup…easy!
How to Make Homemade Vegetable Beef Soup of the South
Best Ever Hamburger Soup

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Faith Has been cooking and baking for many years! she loves to share her recipes with the world, and hopes you will enjoy them too!

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