Soup’s on! This recipe for classic roasted tomato basil yields a soup so creamy you won’t believe it’s dairy-free.
Even during my pickiest childhood years, I believe I always liked a creamy, smooth tomato soup. This served me well during the year I studied at the London School of Economics, when I probably ate tomato soup – canned, from Tesco – for at least five meals a week.
Living in London was fantastic, but man, I was poor as anything at that point! The first few months, I worked in a local pub, after which I “upgraded” to working in a small bakery cafe. I earned just enough spending money to scrape by, but always got to take home a few slices of extra bread, and wow, was it good stuff! So, I stocked up on Tesco tomato soup and settled in for a reasonably tasty, extremely economical, meal on constant repeat.
Fast forward one or 10 or 13 years (how did that happen!?). I could still happily eat tomato soup any day or every day, but would probably be insufferable if I cracked open another can of that old Tesco special, just because nothing store-bought holds a candle to this.
What I really love about this recipe is that the finished product is extremely rich, flavorful, and creamy, even without a drop of actual, you know, cream. The depth of flavor comes primarily from a healthy helping of oven-roasted tomatoes. Of course this is great in late summer with heirloom or any other fun varieties you may stumble across, but I make it year-round with Roma or on-the-vine tomatoes and have not once been disappointed.
As I mentioned on Instagram, I wish you could walk into my house while these tomatoes were roasting. The aroma would make you pull up a chair and rearrange all your plans to stay for dinner. Until you’re next in the neighborhood, the next best thing I can do is share the recipe, so your home can smell equally intoxicating.
After you roast the tomatoes, assembling the soup is a straightforward affair. Add everything to one big pot and let it simmer for about 45 minutes. You may be tempted to shave off some of this cooking time. Just keep in mind that the longer it simmers, the thicker, creamier, and more luscious it gets.
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Does it get any cozier than a big bowl of classic tomato soup, maybe with a grilled cheese or garlic bread on the side? Not in my book! This recipe also makes a large amount, so it’s ideal for making on the weekend or when you have a few extra minutes, then having the second half ready to simply heat and eat for a super fast meal when you need it.
Creamy Roasted Tomato Basil Soup
- 3 lbs. (about 1.5 kgs) ripe tomatoes halved with seeds removed
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large yellow onion coarsely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 28 ounces (800 grams, 1 can) whole peeled tomatoes
- 2-3 cups fresh basil leaves roughly torn
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 4 cups (950 ml) low-sodium chicken broth
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 C). 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 several hours in advance.)
- In a Dutch oven or large stockpot over medium heat, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onions to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook just until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Stir in the canned tomatoes, roasted tomatoes, basil, thyme, and chicken broth. Bring the entire mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 40-50 minutes.
- Use an immersion blender, standard blender, or food processor to puree the soup until smooth, and serve.
- IMPORTANT: If you puree the soup in a standard blender or food processor, be very careful when pouring and be sure to vent the steam, otherwise you will end up with a dangerously literal hot mess!
- I truly believe an immersion blender, also known as a stick blender, is worth its weight in gold for recipes like this. A good model is not expensive and will allow you to puree the soup effortlessly right in the cooking pot, with zero additional time or hassle. Here's the immersion blender I use and love. This is an affiliate link, meaning that if you click through and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. There is no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting Nourish and Fete!
- This soup keeps extremely well. Store in the fridge for 4-5 days, or freeze for 2-3 months and defrost overnight in the fridge.
- If you know any new parents, people going through a tough time, or anyone else in need of a meal, homemade soup and breadsticks or fixings for a grilled cheese usually go over pretty well. Just a thought. 🙂
- Recipe adapted, as so very many good things are, from Ina Garten.
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