Original 4B’s Homemade Tomato Soup

Original 4B’s homemade tomato soup will keep you from preparing anything in a can once you make this recipe just once. I am a born and raised Montana – and this is the original recipe from the Man himself – Mr. Hainline, who my family knew well…Enjoy!

two bowls of creamy tomato soup

After making Original 4-B’s Homemade Tomato Soup just once, you will not want to prepare soup from a can ever again. If you talk about tomato soup in Montana, many people will start reminiscing about 4-B’s legendary tomato soup.

This tomato soup is rich and creamy because it’s made with real butter, heavy cream, chicken broth, and canned tomatoes. I am a born and raised Montanan – and this is the original recipe from The Man himself – Mr. Hainline – who my family knew well. I ate this soup every chance I got.

creamy tomato soup ingredients

About 4-B’s Restaurant

The 4-B diners were established in 1947 in Montana by Bill Hainline. He named the restaurants after his family members whose names all began with “B” – himself, his wife Buddy, his son Bill Jr., and daughter Barbara.

The Hainlines created many memories for many generations of Montanans. The handful of 4-Bs closed in 2007 but they have since reopened under new ownership. The famous tomato soup is still on the menu.

The History of Tomatoes

Today, we eat tomatoes all the time. So, it’s surprising to learn that during early colonial times people wouldn’t put a tomato anywhere near their mouths. It was believed that tomatoes were poisonous and would turn your blood into acid. The colonists did grow tomatoes but purely for decoration.

However, you really can’t keep a good plant down, and over time the taste of the tomato won over the American public. The tomato also received a big boost from Thomas Jefferson who grew tomatoes in his garden at Monticello. To read much more about the origin and history of tomatoes.

Love tomato soup? Be sure to check out these tomato soup recipes

Gluten Free Tomato soup
Make Amazing Tomato Soup with Fresh Tomatoes
Quick and Easy Tomato Soup

two bowls of homemade creamy tomato soup

two bowls of creamy tomato soup

Original 4B’s Homemade Tomato Soup

The Original 4B’s Homemade Tomato Soup is one of the best tomato soups at there, you can make this copycat recipe. 
4.75 from 8 votes
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Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Tomato Soup, Tomatoes
Servings: 4
Calories: 586kcal

Ingredients

  • 29 ounces diced tomatoes canned
  • 10.5 ounces chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups heavy cream

Instructions

  • In a large stockpot mix tomatoes, chicken broth, margarine, onion, and baking soda. Simmer for 1 hour. In a separate pot, heat cream over low heat until hot, watching carefully so that the cream does not scorch. Once heated through add to tomato soup and serve.

Nutrition

Calories: 586kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 54g | Saturated Fat: 32g | Cholesterol: 184mg | Sodium: 706mg | Potassium: 512mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 2300IU | Vitamin C: 19.8mg | Calcium: 151mg | Iron: 2.8mg
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About Stephanie

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Ann

    I enjoyed this soup in Loveland, CO . We were so sad when it closed. My Father-in-law and I especially loved this soup. I was given the recipe many years ago. It’s amazing. I just bought the ingredients and then wondered if there might be a copy cat on line and sure enough.

  2. Kitty

    5 stars
    Do you have the 4B’s Clam Chowder recipe?
    My family would go to the 4B’s in Grant/Milan New Mexico. They closed down. I love the tomato soup, but I’ve never anything close to the 4B’s Clam Chowder.
    I’ve had Clam Chowder in a sour dough bread bowl in San Francisco and it’s amazing. I’ve had lots of amazing Clam Chowder.
    But I miss the 4B’s version. It’s reminds me of my childhood.

  3. Bruce Lancaster

    5 stars
    If you want it to be just a little bit more authentic, do this: “In a large stockpot mix tomatoes, chicken broth, margarine, onion, and baking soda. Simmer for 1 hour” and then freeze that part in a 1 gallon plastic container. – Then, sometime later, take it out of the freezer,let thaw just enough the ice block will come out of the container, plop that tomato/chicken stock etc ice block in to a double boiler, pour in the cream, cover, and raise to eating temperature stirring often. .. I was a 4Bs cook in Helena for several years. The tomato soup stock came to us via truck and we stored about a months worth in the walk in freezer.

  4. Richard Bennett

    I used eat here all the time best tomato soup I have ever had .used to get a bowl three times a week in the cold Montana winters thank you to who posted this blast from the past

  5. Penny Velk

    5 stars
    The golden rule is Always add acid. Too keep the soup from curdling add some of the tomato mixture to your warmed cream with a pinch of soda. Then add it to the rest of the soup. Just like you temper eggs.

  6. Jeffrey Sellegren

    3 stars
    Here’s the one I have
    Ingredients
    1 tablespoon onion, chopped
    1 pinch baking soda
    2 cups cream
    28 ounces tomatoes, canned and diced
    9 ounces chicken broth
    1 ounce butter
    2 tablespoons sugar

    Directions
    1 Mix tomatoes, chicken broth, butter, sugar, onions and soda.
    2 Simmer over low heat for 1 hour.
    3 Heat cream in a double boiler.
    4 Add cream to hot tomato mixture and serve.

  7. JeanneMcLeod

    The recipe card I received from 4B’s in Missoula quite a few years ago calls for 9 ounces chicken broth. I seed and dice 32 ounces of my own homegrown tomatoes. The recipe says to simmer the tomatoes, broth, butter, sugar, onions & soda for one hour. My question is simmering done with or without a lid?

  8. MARY

    5 stars
    Warm memories of this soup, when my mother was alive it was her favorite.she always had to go to 4B’s for soup. 4BS did close in for a few years in Missoula…but it reopen up by the U of M about 2 years ago. This soup is a Missoula MT icon… so happy to have this recipe. It’s easy and comforting to eat on a cold winter nite or afternoon….

  9. Cateland White

    We lived in Hamilton, MT 25 yrs ago, playing music throughout the valley. 4B’s was our late night go- to spot and the tomato soup my rave crave! Lol. My recipe came handwritten from the cook, modified, he said, for cooking at home. I’ve used the creamer and half and half and mixtures of the two, depending on how much I could afford. The real ‘secret’ is the baking soda because it nullifies the acid. Thanks for the memories!

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