Creamy Roasted Tomato Basil Soup (No Cream)
A simple recipe for creamy roasted tomato basil soup, full of flavor and naturally thickened without heavy cream or cream cheese. When you’re really craving the perfect tomato soup, this is the one!
Looking for something with all the flavor using only canned tomatoes? Try this fire roasted Instant Pot tomato soup next!
This post was originally published July 19, 2019, and has been updated with new photos and more helpful answers to questions throughout the post text.
Even during my pickiest childhood years, I always enjoyed 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 the bargain section of Tesco — four or five times a week.
Living in London was fantastic, but man, I was poor! At first, I worked in a local pub. That was fun, but after a few months I “upgraded” to working in a small bakery cafe. I earned just enough spending money to scrape by, but the real benefit was that I always got to take home a few extra slices of the incredible bread the owners, Italian brothers, baked from scratch daily.
So, with a steady supply of bread, I did the only logical thing: stocked up on Tesco tomato soup and settled in for a reasonably tasty, extremely economical, meal on constant repeat.
Fast forward to present, and I could still happily eat tomato soup any or every day, but fortunately I’ve upgraded more than a little to this incredible homemade version. A creamy roasted tomato basil soup that boasts incredible flavor and texture, and comes by it all naturally. Not a drop of heavy cream or processed ingredients in sight.
Ingredients and tips
This is an outstanding recipe for using garden fresh tomatoes. That said, I also make it year-round using Roma or on-the-vine tomatoes from the grocery store and have not once been disappointed. Roasting brings out the best in any tomato!
Here are the ingredients you will need:
- Tomatoes: about 3 pounds.
- Canned whole peeled tomatoes: Yes, I know it might seem weird to use both fresh and canned tomatoes. But I swear you get the best of both worlds.
- Basil and thyme: I do my best to make this with fresh basil, because t’s a large amount and you can really tell the difference, but often used dried thyme.
- Yellow onion.
- Chicken or vegetable broth.
- Olive oil, kosher salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes.
How to make creamy roasted tomato basil soup
This is not the fastest tomato soup recipe in the world, but I promise it’s worth it, and a huge percentage of the time is hands-off.
- First, roast the tomatoes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and set out a large rimmed baking sheet. Halve the tomatoes. I usually scoop out the seeds, as well, which is not strictly necessary but makes for a smoother and more creamy consistency in the end. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast for about 35 minutes.
- Next, add remaining ingredients and simmer. Combine the roasted tomatoes and all other ingredients in a large stockpot or Dutch oven. Bring to a simmer and let it go, uncovered, for about 45 minutes. You may be tempted to shave off some of this time. Just keep in mind that the longer the soup simmers, the thicker, creamier, and more luscious it gets.
- Finally, blend the soup. I definitely prefer doing this with an immersion blender, so there’s no need to dirty the blender or worry about splashes or spills while pouring the soup. Plus, hot liquids can cause the lid of a blender to pop off — my stepdaughter has a scar on her shoulder from that happening when she was a baby! — and using an immersion blender eliminates that risk, as well.
Storage and freezing tips
This recipe makes a large amount, about 8 servings for my family, and keeps well in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. And hurrah — the flavors become even more melded and developed as the soup sits.
Another bonus of not using heavy cream is that this soup freezes beautifully! (Cream-based soups and sauces tend to separate in the freezing/defrosting process.) Let soup cool completely and store in a freezer-safe container for 3-4 months. Be sure to leave a little room in the container for the soup to expand as it freezes solid! Defrost in the fridge overnight, then warm on the stove and serve.
Lastly, do yourself a favor and buy a pack of these perfect containers for storing soups, stews, and chilis! They are so convenient!
Complete the meal
Tomato soup goes so well with all the best sides! Garlic bread, grilled cheese, rosemary cheddar buttermilk biscuits, or miracle one-hour breadsticks pair with this beautifully. We also love it with simple oyster crackers or even Goldfish. 🙂
More savory soup recipes
- Creamy Carrot Red Pepper Soup
- Instant Pot Wild Rice Soup
- Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
- Creamy Crockpot Chicken Gnocchi Soup
- White Bean Tortellini Soup (a lifesaver on busy nights — ready in 20 minutes, tops!)
If you try this creamy roasted tomato basil soup, don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. I love hearing how recipes turn out in your kitchen, and it helps other readers, too.
Creamy Roasted Tomato Basil Soup
- 3 pounds (about 1.5 kgs) ripe tomatoes halved with seeds removed
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 12-14 cranks freshly-ground black pepper
- 1 large yellow onion coarsely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 28 ounces (800 grams) canned 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 or veggie 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 35 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.
- Storage and freezing: This soup keeps extremely well. Store in the fridge for 4-5 days, or freeze for 3-4 months and defrost overnight in the fridge.
- Recipe: Adapted, as so very many good things are, from Ina Garten.
This post was originally published October 22, 2017 and has been updated with new photos and more helpful recipes tips and tricks.