The Best Tomato Basil Soup You’ll Ever Eat!

There’s this guessing game that happens when you order produce on an online grocery order. When you are choosing the quantity, and let’s say you are ordering bananas, you have to wonder if you are going to get five bananas or five pounds of bananas! This happened to me this week when I was planning to dice up a couple of tomatoes for toppings for tacos. I ordered “three”, crossing my fingers that it would just be 3 tomatoes, but alas, I got three pounds of tomatoes. That’s a lot of tomatoes if you are the only one that really eats them in your family! :)

I already had a pound of a variety of small heirloom tomatoes and then the next day a neighbor dropped off another two pounds of tomatoes because they were going out of town for a wedding over the weekend! What’s one woman to do with six pounds of tomatoes?! First, you start by having lots of tuna salad with tomatoes every day, and then concerned about your mercury levels, so you realize it’s time to go another route. You cut them up in salads, but it’s still not enough. You start having crazy dreams about giant yellow heirloom tomatoes doing dueling TikTok dances and realize it’s time to get these tomatoes out of your life! When the tomato TikTok videos hit, you know things have gone too far.

I had worked my way through a good portion, but still had about 4 pounds of tomatoes that were reaching the end of their shelfable life quickly. Thanks to the beloved internet, I found the most divine tomato soup recipe that I knew my daughter, husband and I would {hopefully} love. I was right! We absolutely love grilled cheese and tomato soup and were always fine with just a simple can of Campbell’s tomato soup. Then we discovered the roasted red pepper tomato soup from Trader Joe’s and haven’t looked back. I never felt the need to make an excellent tomato soup from scratch because this Trader Joe’s one is so flavorful and tastes fresh and homemade. But I’ll tell ya--not surprisingly, this homemade roasted tomato soup with caramelized onions and loads of fresh basil takes the top spot on the best tomato soup I have ever had!

It was a titch time-consuming, albeit very easy--so I foresee that I will likely only make this if I ever run into this debacle again of pounds and pounds of tomatoes I need to work my way through quickly. But if you love a good meal of grilled cheese and tomato soup, I highly recommend you give this recipe a go.

You simply half all of your tomatoes and peel eight cloves of garlic and place them on a parchment paper covered baking sheet, sprinkle generously with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast them at 400 degrees F for 40-50 minutes. 

Do you see that shiny new baking sheet? I had to show her off in all her bright, shiny new aluminum glory before she took her maiden voyage roasting these tomatoes :) 

While the tomatoes and garlic are roasting, I added 3-4 tablespoons of butter into my cast iron pan, added two sliced yellow onions and let them slowly cook down into a gorgeous caramel color, which takes about 20 minutes. After your tomatoes are cooked, let them cool off for about 10 minutes, then blend your tomatoes, onions, ½ cup of fresh basil, and a bit of water or vegetable broth to your desired consistency. I blended mine pretty smooth to be aligned with all the other kinds of tomato soup we previously had. 

The cool thing about this recipe is that it is very adaptable from this point. You can keep this recipe completely vegan if you use olive oil to cook down your onions and use just vegetable broth to get it to the thickness of soup you prefer. For a non-vegan version, you can add heavy cream or whole milk, a dab of butter, and even Parmesan cheese for a rich, tangy punch. I thinned mine down with some whole milk, added about a third cup of Parmesan and let it simmer for about 10 minutes while I whipped up some grilled cheese with sharp white cheddar, medium Tillamook cheddar on sourdough. This meal was divine. My husband, daughter and I would give this recipe rave reviews.

What’s your favorite meal to eat with tomato soup? Have you ever made it from scratch? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. 

Homemade Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

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. Recipe Type: American

Serving size: 4
Calories per serving: 217

3 pounds tomatoes roma or plum tomatoes cut in half
8 cloves garlic garlic peeled
3 tablespoons olive oil olive oil
pepper Freshly ground salt and pepper
1/2 tablespoon olive oil olive oil
2 yellow onions yellow onions thinly sliced
1/2 cup basil packed basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon oregano dried oregano
1 cup water water or vegetarian broth depending on how thick you want the soup
pepper Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
coconut milk Light/Regular coconut milk for a creamy vegan soup
whole cream dairy milk/heavy cream for a creamy texture
Parmesan cheese Parmesan cheese for a tangy flavor enhancing flavor
tablespoon butter A 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.

Recipe Notes:
*I do not usually strain the seeds, but you can with a fine mesh strainer if you prefer.


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    Mary Richardson
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
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