This tomato soup with basil and thyme is rich, filling, and amazingly creamy, without relying on so much as a drop of cream in the actual recipe. Perfect comfort food for a chilly night.
Guys, this tomato soup is where it’s at. I can hardly say enough good things about it. In fact, the only bad thing about it is that it has effectively ruined tomato soup for me from other sources. I am a major creature of habit, and therefore often fall back on tomato soup for an appetizer or simple lunch option, but since I started making this soup a couple of years ago, I have found nearly every other tomato soup experience very disappointing. So sorry not sorry, if you make this and go down the same path!
The most impressive thing about this recipe, in my opinion, is that the finished product is extremely rich, filling, and creamy, which is incredible considering there is not a drop of actual cream in the soup, nor even milk. I suspect this has to do with both the combination roasted and canned tomatoes, which adds depth to the flavor, and the reasonably long simmering time, which allows everything to reduce and intensify. For whatever reason, it works. Of course, this is just slightly adapted from an Ina Garten recipe via the always reliable Annie, so with that lineage, the fact of its awesomeness is no surprise whatsoever.
With this soup in your kitchen arsenal, and maybe a grilled cheese or homemade cheese crackers on the side, you might even start to feel ready for winter-like weather. As ready as you’ll ever be, right!?
Roasted Tomato Basil Soup
Yields 10-12 servings
3 lbs. ripe tomatoes, halved with seeds removed
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes
2-3 cups fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a large bowl, combine the tomato halves, 1/4 cup of olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper; toss to combine. Spread out the tomato halves on a rimmed baking sheet, and roast for about 45 minutes. Set aside. (This step can be done at least several hours in advance.)
In a Dutch oven or large stockpot over medium heat, combine the remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil with the butter. When the butter is melted, add the onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to soften, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in the canned tomatoes, roasted tomatoes, basil, thyme, and chicken broth. Bring the entire mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and allow to simmer, uncovered, for 40-50 minutes.
Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth, and serve. (If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can puree soup in the blender or food processor, but be very careful when pouring and be sure to vent the steam, otherwise you could end up with a big, dangerous mess! I truly believe an immersion blender is worth investing in for this recipe alone; they are not very expensive, and save you a lot of hassle and clean up time!)