When I was younger, I despised tomato soup. The flavors never seemed to call for me, nor did I ever crave grilled cheese.
My favorite was Mom’s chunky beef stew that simmered and bubbled on the stovetop for hours in our small yellow duplex kitchen back in Minneapolis. It wasn’t until high school that I began to crave the comfort of creamy tomato soup after Mom started buying Progresso’s hearty tomato.
In fact, I remember us making cheesy pepper jack quesadillas and canned tomato soup on a frequent basis. Mom worked a lot to support our family and during my teenage years, the two of us didn’t have much time to enjoy meals together. Quick and easy was exactly what we needed.
Today, Tony and I still buy canned or boxed soup. We have nights where we’re depleted of energy (especially with our two boys – soon to be three!) and need something quick and easy to nourish ourselves. Even though I have a food blog, it doesn’t mean I’m making dinner every single night.
Sometimes my days are focused on baking, snacks or breakfast, and by the end of the day, the last thing I’m thinking about is what to eat for dinner.
However, when I do have time to make a good tomato soup, I get a little giddy inside.
And since it’s finally tomato season, I couldn’t help but present this beautiful bowl of tomato basil soup to you. It’s homemade, made with fresh tomatoes that are roasted to perfection in the oven. Mmmm.
Ingredients homemade tomato basil soup
The best part about this tomato basil soup recipe is how simple the ingredients are. We’re using all fresh ingredients that still create an incredible flavor and texture. This tomato basil soup is wonderfully creamy without any cream or dairy (making it vegan and dairy free too)! Here’s what you’ll need:
- Fresh tomatoes: roasting the tomatoes helps them to sweeten and slightly caramelize leading to a sweet, rich tomato soup flavor.
- Garlic: let’s not forget about how delicious roasted garlic is. The sweet, lick-your-finger good flavor is essential to this recipe — and it’s easy to roast right alongside the tomatoes.
- Fresh basil leaves: basil has a slightly sweet flavor and should be added to the recipe before serving, as too much heat can remove its flavor and sometimes turn it slightly bitter. This herb also helps to cut the acidity of the tomatoes.
- Onions: this was one thing I did that was a little different was the addition of caramelized onions! Once they’re caramelized, they’re blended right into the soup. AMAZING!
- Additional soup add-ins: I like to use vegetable broth, but feel free to use chicken broth or even water if you’d like. You’ll also want some dried oregano and plenty of salt & pepper.
- Optional add-ins: I’ve included optional ingredients that you can add to the soup to make it your own in the ingredients below! If you’d like, this is your chance to get a little creative.
Personally, I like to top it off with shaved or grated parmesan cheese and a little extra basil. Sometimes we’ll also stir in a can of light coconut milk for a creamy sweetness. SO GOOD!
What tomatoes are best for homemade tomato soup?
I like to use plum or roma tomatoes for homemade tomato soup because they have the best flavor when roasted. I recommend using garden fresh or organic to keep the soup as flavorful as possible!
Should you peel the tomatoes?
I typically leave the skin on the tomatoes and keep the seeds in as well, but feel free to remove both if you’d like. It’s really about your preference.
Customize your tomato basil soup recipe
While this fresh tomato basil soup recipe is vegan and dairy free, there are tons of delicious ways to make it even creamier and richer.
- Add some whole milk or heavy cream for a super creamy texture.
- Keep this tomato basil soup vegan & dairy free by adding creamy regular or light coconut milk.
- Add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese for tangy, cheesy goodness.
- Add a tablespoon or two of butter or vegan butter for an even richer flavor.
Homemade tomato basil soup in 4 simple steps
- Roast your tomatoes. Halve your tomatoes and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet along with the garlic cloves. Drizzle it all with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast them up.
- Caramelize your onions. While the tomatoes are roasting, you can make your caramelized onions. This takes some patience! Add your sliced onions to a large pot with some olive oil, then cook them over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes. Check them every 5-10 minutes until they have completely caramelized and turned golden in color.
- Blend it all up. Once tomatoes and garlic are done roasting, allow them to cool for 10 minutes, then add them to a food processor or high powered blender and blend until smooth. Add basil and caramelized onions and blend again. Alternatively, you can add the tomatoes to the large pot and use an immersion blender. It’s really just about what you have available to you.
- Heat & enjoy! After blending, transfer the soup back to the pot, turn to medium low heat and add in vegetable broth, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. From there you can mix in any additional add-ins you want (as listed in the ingredients). Let the tomato soup simmer for about 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with parmesan cheese and serve with grilled cheese for the perfect meal!
How to store homemade tomato basil soup
- In the refrigerator: store any leftover tomato basil soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Reheat it back on the stovetop or in the microwave.
- In the freezer: add the leftover soup to a freezer-friendly, airtight container and place it in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, let the sauce thaw in the fridge before heating it through on the stovetop or in the microwave.
What to serve with this tomato basil soup
Of course, you’re more than welcome to make a grilled cheese sandwich to go with it. My favorite lately has been sprouted bread, pepper jack, turkey, spinach, sliced tomato, dijon mustard and a drizzle of honey. SO GOOD. Here are some more sides to serve with:
If you make this easy tomato basil soup recipe, be sure to leave a comment below and rate the recipe! You can also snap and picture and post it on Instagram using the hashtag #ambitiouskitchen. And of course be sure to follow Ambitious Kitchen on Instagram. xo!
Homemade Roasted Tomato Basil Soup
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
The best homemade roasted tomato basil soup made with fresh tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, caramelized onions and optional add-ins for extra creaminess. This easy tomato basil soup recipe is full of flavor and the best way to use up garden tomatoes! You’ll never want to go back to the canned stuff after you try this.
- For the roasted tomatoes
- 3 pounds roma or plum tomatoes, cut in half
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Freshly ground salt and pepper
- For the caramelized onions:
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
- Additions to the soup:
- ½ cup packed basil leaves
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1-2 cups water or vegetarian broth, depending on how thick you want the soup
- Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
- Optional add ins:
- Light/Regular coconut milk for a creamy vegan soup
- Whole dairy milk/heavy cream for a creamy texture
- Parmesan cheese, for a tangy, flavor enhancing flavor
- A tablespoon or two of butter, for richer flavor
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place halved tomatoes and garlic cloves on the baking sheet and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Generously season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 40-45 minutes.
While the tomatoes are roasting, you can make the caramelized onions: Add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to a large pot and place over medium heat. Add the onion slices and stir to coat the onions with olive oil. Cook, stirring occasionally. Check onions every 5-10 minutes until they have completely caramelized and turned golden in color. This ususally takes 20 minutes.
Once tomatoes and garlic are done roasting, allow them to cool for 10 minutes, then add them to a food processor or high powered blender and blend until smooth. Next add basil and caramelized onions and blend again. Alternatively you can add the tomatoes to the large pot and use an immersion blender. It’s really just about what you have available to you.
After blending, transfer back to pot, turn to medium low heat and add in oregano, vegetarian broth and salt and pepper to taste. From there you can add in any additional add-ons you want (as listed in the ingredients). Allow tomato soup to simmer 10 minutes before serving. To serve, garnish with parmesan cheese and serve with grilled cheese, if desired. Serves 4.
I do not usually strain the seeds, but you can with a fine mesh strainer if that’s what you prefer.
Store it: store any leftover tomato basil soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Reheat it back on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Freeze it: add the leftover soup to a freezer-friendly, airtight container and place it in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, let the sauce thaw in the fridge before heating it through on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Servings: 4 servings
Serving size: 1 serving (based on 4)
Saturated fat: 1.8g
This post was originally published on August 28th, 2017, republished on August 10th, 2021, and republished on September 10th, 2022.