This creamy, comforting tomato basil soup is bursting with robust tomato flavor and only requires 15 minutes of prep! Featuring ripe fresh or canned tomatoes, along with basil, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and plenty of aromatic seasonings, there’s nothing boring or bland about this classic homemade Italian soup recipe with tomatoes and basil!
Featured comment: Wow, yummy! I drizzled the soup with balsamic as suggested and made a grilled cheese sandwich with brie to go along with it. Just smelling the soup made my stomach growl something fierce. And I wasn’t disappointed. I’ll be making this again for sure. Thank you!” – Danielle
Update: This recipe for tomato soup homemade was originally published in December 2014. I made updates to the post below to include more information about making the best tomato basil soup at home!
Say hello to your new favorite tomato soup, friends! Trust and believe, you’ll be making this cozy, creamy dream of a soup for lunch and dinner all.the.time – it’s just that good.
Garnish your bowl of tomato basil soup with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, a dollop of pesto, and serve with your favorite grilled cheese or crunchy croutons for the ultimate tomato soup – homemade style!
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About this creamy tomato basil soup
The homemade tomato soup itself is creamy, comforting, savory and absolutely bursting with robust tomato flavor! It gets finished with fresh basil for a hint of peppery sweetness, balsamic for sweet-tart flavor, and a drizzle of cream for luscious richness. Finish your soup with homemade croutons or tiny grilled cheese and you’ve got a meal that is everything and more! Creamy, rich, savory, umami, and ever-so-slightly tart with the perfect amount of natural sweetness – YUM! I mean, you really should make this soup right about now.
Bonus points, you don’t have to wait until a specific season, or be under the weather to enjoy this comforting classic tomato soup! You can make this delectable red beauty in the summer with fresh tomatoes and during the other seasons (fall, winter and spring) with canned or tinned tomatoes. It’s an all-around tomato soup win!
Why you will love this simple recipe
- Complex flavors. I used three different types of tomatoes to create a rich and robust flavor that stands out from canned soup varieties.
- Minimal prep. You just mix up the ingredients and let them simmer. It’s one of the easiest recipes you’ll make.
- Simple ingredients. Everything is fresh and whole (and it tastes like it!).
- Feeds a crowd. Just double the recipe and you’ll have enough for a large family dinner.
- Naturally sweet. The addition of sugar is completely optional. I think the carrots and tomatoes are sweet enough by themselves and the soup doesn’t need any extra sugar.
Ingredients in homemade tomato soup
The best versions of tomato soup will include more than just pureed tomatoes. For the fullest and freshest flavors, use whole ingredients as close to fresh as you can get! Here’s what you’ll need:
- Olive Oil: This is my favorite type of fat for cooking because it has a light flavor.
- Substitution: You can use avocado oil instead of olive oil.
- Butter: I recommend using unsalted butter in order to control how salty the tomato soup is.
- Substitution: To keep this dairy-free, you can use ghee or coconut oil instead.
- Onion: A yellow onion has the perfect amount of flavor and aroma for this soup.
- Substitution: While you can use white onion, I don’t recommend using red onion for this recipe.
- Carrots: These add natural sweetness to the soup, along with extra fiber and nutrients.
- Salt and Pepper: Use kosher salt and fresh-ground pepper for the most robust flavors.
- Garlic: Use fresh garlic cloves for the fullest aroma. Dried garlic powder is lackluster in flavor.
- Dried Herbs: I use a combination of dried oregano, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes.
- Tomato Paste: For deeply concentrated, borderline umami flavor.
- Pro Tip: Get the kind in a tube – it lasts for several weeks!
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes: These add a richer and saltier flavor to the soup.
- Vegetable Bouillon Cube: Bouillon cubes lend more flavor. To keep the sodium lower, use low-sodium bouillon.
- Substitution: Chicken stock, vegetable stock, or chicken broth all work well.
- Fresh Tomatoes: Fresh tomatoes will give you the sweetest and fullest flavored tomato basil soup.
- Substitution: You can use a 28-ounce can of San Marzano tomatoes, however, don’t drain them.
- Sugar: This is optional, but sometimes tomatoes can be super acidic. You can use granulated or light brown sugar to sweeten the soup.
- Basil Leaves: You’ll need a bunch of fresh basil leaves. I typically use 15 large leaves in this soup!
- Heavy Cream: Cream gives the tomato soup a richer texture, which enhances the overall mouth-feel of the soup.
- Substitution: Use half and half for a lighter option, or cashew milk (or even oat milk) to keep it dairy-free.
Garnish and serving ideas for tomato soup homemade
- Crostini: This is a simple way to add some crunchy croutons on top. It looks and tastes delicious.
- Parmesan: Grate some fresh parmesan cheese on top of your soup.
- Sour Cream: A dollop of sour cream is a tangy contrasting flavor to the sweet soup. Greek yogurt also works well!
- Pesto: Since this soup already has basil in it, some fresh pesto is a natural addition as a garnish.
- Cherry Tomatoes: Slice some cherry tomatoes in half and add them on top of the soup to give it some three-dimensional textures.
- Herbs: I already added some fresh basil leaves on top, but you could also add some fresh parsley as a garnish too.
- Croutons: Sprinkle some of your favorite croutons on top.
- Grilled Cheese: Make your favorite homemade grilled cheese sandwich and serve it on the side for dipping.
More delicious tomato recipes!
If you’re in the middle of the summer season, celebrate juicy, sweet tomatoes by pairing your homemade soup with your favorite tomato recipe. Here’s mine to get your creative juices flowing:
- Pesto with Sundried Tomatoes
- Marinated Tomatoes Recipe (10 minutes!)
- San Marzano Marinara Tomato Sauce
- Chicken & SunDried Tomatoes (30 minute recipe!)
FAQ: Italian tomato soup
What are the best canned tomatoes for soup?
The best canned tomatoes to use for soup varies depending upon your personal preference, taste buds and the flavors in the soup recipe. However, the best brands of tomatoes in a can use fresh, excellent-quality, D.O.P certified San Marzano tomatoes from the San Marzano region in Italy. Below are a few of the best canned tomatoes for tomato soup:
- Bianco DiNapoli organic whole peeled tomatoes
- San Merican (SMT) whole peeled tomatoes
- Cento San Marzano organic peeled tomatoes
- Rega San Marzano whole peeled plum tomatoes
What is the difference between tomato bisque and tomato soup with basil?
You could honestly call my recipe a bisque if you were being technical. This is because a bisque describes any kind of soup that is thickened with heavy cream; and my soup definitely is! Soup usually has a broth made with chicken or vegetable stock.
How do you thicken tomato soup basil?
I thickened my soup with heavy cream and tomato paste. If you want your soup to be even thicker, I suggest adding more tomato paste.
What goes best with creamy tomato basil soup?
Grilled cheese is a classic addition to tomato soup. You can also add some garlic crostini to the side, some roasted garlic toast, 1 hour dinner rolls, parker style house rolls, or your favorite Italian pasta salad.
How to store creamy tomato soup
This soup is really easy to make ahead and store in your refrigerator. Store your soup in an airtight and leakproof container. Keep it in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Can you freeze tomato basil soup?
Yes, you can freeze this soup!
To do so:
- Let it cool completely first.
- Once it reaches room temperature, pour it into a resealable freezer-safe food storage bag.
- Make sure it is completely sealed and then lay the bag of soup flat on a baking sheet and put the baking sheet in the freezer.
- Once your soup is completely frozen, write the recipe name and date on the bag.
This soup will stay fresh in the freezer for up to six months.
This homemade tomato soup is perfect for any season! Not to mention, it is easy to make and perfect for meal prep as you can double the batch and store some for later.
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More homemade creamy soups!
- Soup with Apple
- Roasted Butternut Soup
- Easy Sweet Potatoes Soup
- Creamy Cauliflower Soup
- Leek Soup with Parsnips
- Carrot Ginger Soup
How to make Tomato Soup Homemade👇
Homemade Tomato Soup with Basil
- 1 1 Dutch Oven or Large Heavy-Bottom Pot with Lid
- 1 Immersion or Stand Blender
- 2 TBS EACH Olive Oil + Unsalted Butter (substitution: 4 TBS Oil)
- 1 medium Yellow Onion – peeled & finely diced (about 1 ¾ cups)
- 2 medium Carrots – peeled & small diced (about 1 cup)
- Kosher Salt & Ground Black Pepper
- 2-4 cloves Garlic – peeled & chopped, to taste
- ¾ tsp EACH: Dried Oregano + Italian Seasoning
- ¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (substitution: Cayenne, to taste)
- 1 TBS Tomato Paste
- ½ Cup Sun-Dried Tomatoes in Oil – drained & chopped, oil reserved (2.7 ounces / 75 grams for tomatoes only) (SEE NOTES)
- 1 ½ Vegetable Bouillon Cubes (substitution: 1 ½ cups stock, chicken or veggie)
- 1 ½ Cup Water (250 ml) (omit if using stock)
- 2 pounds Fresh Tomatoes – de-stemmed & quartered (substitution: 28-ounce can San Marzano Tomatoes – don’t drain) (SEE NOTES)
- 10-15 Fresh Basil Leaves – Half left whole for soup; Half chopped (for garnish)
- ¼ - ½ Cup Heavy Cream or Half-and-Half substitute: vegan alternative, like cashew milk
- Optional Splash White Balsamic or Balsamic Vinegar – or more to taste (SEE NOTES)
- Optional To Taste Sugar (granulated or light brown) (SEE NOTES)
- Optional Garnish: Croutons Grated Parmesan, Sour Cream, Pesto, Halved Cherry Tomatoes,
- Optional Serving: Roasted Garlic Bread Grilled Cheese
- Sweat veggies: Melt the butter with the oil in a large heavy-bottom pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until just translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just soft, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add aromatics: Add the garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning; along with 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Stir to coat. Continue to cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add paste: Add the tomato paste to the pot and cook, stirring constantly, until caramelized, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add sun-dried tomatoes, bouillon + water: Add the sliced sun-dried tomatoes and crumble the bouillon cubes over the veggies in the pot. Stir in the water and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes, or until sun-dried tomatoes are rehydrated.
- Add tomatoes: Add the fresh tomatoes (or canned with juices) to the pot. Stir to combine.
- Bring to simmer: Increase heat to medium-high and return the tomato soup to a simmer. Decrease heat to maintain a gentle simmer (low to medium-low heat) and cover the pot.
- Cook: Let the soup simmer, covered, for 25-30 minutes, or until the tomatoes are broken down and the veggies are ultra-soft.
- Add the whole Basil leaves: Turn off the heat under the pot (gas stove) or remove the pot from the heating element (electric stove-top). Stir the whole basil leaves into the soup.
- Blend: Use an immersion blender to puree the soup to a creamy consistency. Alternatively, you can carefully transfer the soup in batches, to a high powdered blender and blend until smooth. Return the soup to the pot.
- Add cream: Return the pot to low heat and add in the cream. Stir well. Taste the soup and adjust for seasoning/umami/sweetness/heat, by adding more salt or stir in vinegar, sugar, and/or red pepper flakes as desired.
- Serve: Ladle the creamy tomato basil soup into bowls. Garnish with chopped basil or your favorite fresh herbs, along with freshly grated parmesan cheese, halved cherry tomatoes, and/or pesto if using. Enjoy!
- Fresh Tomatoes: The best fresh tomatoes for soup are the ones that look best at the store. That said, I typically reach for Plum tomatoes or Roma tomatoes).
- Chopping Tomatoes: If your tomatoes are small, halve them; medium, quarter; large, rough chop. Don’t forget to reserve all the tomato juices and add those to the soup pot!
- Sun-dried Tomatoes: If you can only find whole sun-dried tomatoes, just slice, or chop them yourself. A pair of sharp kitchen shears makes easy work of this!
- Vinegar: While entirely optional, finishing this soup with a splash – or more! – of white balsamic or regular balsamic vinegar is AMAZING! I always feel like the soup is missing that special something until I add touch of this ingredient. (Tip: Use balsamic sparingly and to taste and it can be over-powering.)
- Sugar: The sugar is completely optional. If my tomatoes are on the abnormally tart side, I will typically add a pinch of brown sugar, just to balance it out. However, with the carrots and sweet sun-dried tomatoes, you shouldn’t need to add any – UNLESS you prefer your tomato soup on the sweet side. Tip: Before you add sugar, try adding white or regular balsamic vinegar for sweetness!
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