With fresh roasted tomatoes, garlic, caramelized onions, and basil, this delicious Homemade Tomato Basil Soup Recipe is easily enjoyed year-round. Gluten-free and vegetarian, enjoy a bowl of this Tomato Basil Soup with your favorite crunchy bread, a grilled cheese sandwich, croutons, or a splash of cream or coconut milk.
Tomato Basil Soup
Everyone has their own favorite tomato soup. For some, it’s rich and creamy, while others may prefer a fresher, lighter soup with roasted tomatoes and somewhat complexly flavored caramelized onions. Some people prefer homemade, while others will forever swear by their favorite brand of canned tomato soup.
As long as it’s homemade, I don’t have a favorite. Rich, light, chunky, or smooth, I love any and all tomato soup recipes.
This Homemade Tomato Basil Soup, however, tops my list. Made with simple ingredients like tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, onions, and basil, you know exactly what you’re eating when you enjoy a big bowl of this delicious garden-fresh tomato soup. And unlike canned soup, there are no sneaky hidden ingredients or preservatives, just good old-fashioned soup begging for some hearty buttered bread.
Tomato Basil Soup Ingredients
- Roma tomatoes
- Olive oil
- Salt + Pepper
- Butter (or more olive oil)
- Yellow onions
- Canned tomatoes
- Fresh basil
- Vegetable Broth
- Sugar (optional)
- Crushed Red Chili Flakes (optional)
How to Roast Tomatoes
Making your very own roasted tomatoes is a quick and easy way to add extra flavor to your favorite soup and sauce recipes. All you need are a few simple ingredients like tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper.
If I am going to be turning the roasted tomatoes into a sauce or soup I will almost always use Roma tomatoes. They’re easier to buy in bulk and much more affordable.
If, however, I plan to snack on them plain or enjoy them in other flavorful dishes like breakfast frittatas, linguini, or Mac and Cheese, I will use cherry tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes are naturally sweeter and taste like candy after they have been roasted.
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet (with sides) with parchment paper. If you are roasting tomatoes in bulk, you will need to use two baking sheets.
- Slice each tomato in half lengthwise and transfer to the prepared baking sheet, cut-side-up, in a single layer.
- Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a generous amount of salt and pepper.
- Transfer your tomatoes to the preheated oven and roast for approximately 45 minutes (Roma tomatoes) or 20 minutes (cherry tomatoes). Tomatoes are ready when the skin is tender and begins to burst.
How to make the best Tomato Basil Soup
Anytime you prepare a recipe with only a handful of ingredients, it is super important that each one count. In other words, how can we extract as much flavor from each ingredient to make this the best ever Tomato Basil Soup?
- Roasted Tomatoes. Roasting tomatoes in the oven help sweeten and caramelize already sweet tomatoes, making them even sweeter! As I talked about above, cherry tomatoes are the sweetest, but also the smallest and most expensive, so unless you are growing your own and have a ton to spare, I recommend using Roma or plum tomatoes.
- Roasted Garlic. Just like roasting tomatoes, roasting garlic is a simple step that adds tons of yummy flavor to any recipe. The best part about this recipe is that you can roast the garlic right alongside the tomatoes.
- Caramelize your onions. Ideally, if you have the time, you’ll let your onions cook low and slow all on their own for a good 30 minutes or so until they are fragrant, mushy and golden brown. If you don’t have that kind of time, at least give your onions a solid 10 minutes to bring out their sweetness.
- Fresh Herbs. Adding fresh herbs such as basil or thyme is an easy way to add an extra layer of flavor to an already flavorful soup. In this case, it’s best to add the basil closer to the end of cooking.
- Sugar. Completely optional, sugar helps cut back on the acidity in this soup. You’ll notice that nearly all store-bought soups or sauces contain (much more than 1 teaspoon of) sugar, but the point of the sugar, at least in this case, isn’t to sweeten the soup.
To make this recipe follow these easy steps–
- Roast the tomatoes.
- Cook the onions. 10 minutes minimum, but 30 minutes would be best. Stir often as you do not want to burn the onions.
- Add the tomatoes. Add the canned tomatoes, fresh basil, broth, sugar, and red chili flakes to the pot with the caramelized onions. Bring to a low simmer, reduce heat to low, and cook until the tomatoes in the oven have finished roasting. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes to the pot with their juices, and return to a simmer.
- Simmer. Simmer the soup for approximately 20 minutes.
- Season and serve. Return the soup to your pot and season with additional salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with fresh basil, crunchy croutons, or a splash of fresh cream.
What to serve with Homemade Tomato Basil Soup?
Thinking back to my childhood, my mom would always serve tomato soup with a buttery grilled cheese sandwich. While this is still my favorite way to enjoy any tomato soup recipe, I equally enjoy cuddling up with a loaf of fresh bread, butter, and a big bowl of this soup…on the couch…with Netflix…alone.
But, I’m happy enough with just the soup and bread.
If all those carbs aren’t your thing, soup always loves a simple salad.
If you try making this Homemade Tomato Basil Soup Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to read your thoughts and feedback and would love to hear all about your favorite tomato soup toppings!
For more soup recipes check out,
- Bone Broth Recipe (How to Make Bone Broth)
- Leek and Potato Soup
- Vegetarian Butternut Squash Black Bean Soup
- Healthy Thai Veggie Soup with Spicy Thai Meatballs
- Easy Six Onion Soup with Baked Parmesan Crisps
- Garden Vegetable Soup
- Minestrone Soup
- Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe
- Split Pea Soup with Ham (Snert)
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Homemade Tomato Basil Soup Recipe
- 4 pounds Roma tomatoes - halved lengthwise
- 6 cloves garlic - peeled
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp salt - divided
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp butter - (or dairy-free alternative)
- 2 onions - sliced
- 56 oz whole peeled tomatoes - 2 (28 oz cans) juices reserved
- 1 cup fresh basil - plus more for serving
- 3.5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth - or water, plus more, as needed
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp red chili flakes - plus more, if desired
- fresh cream - to serve, optional
- croutons or crackers
- Roast the tomatoes. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice each tomato in half lengthwise and spread out across the prepared baking sheets in a single layer. Add the whole cloves of garlic to each baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Roast for approximately 45 minutes.
- Cook the onions. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for approximately 10 minutes or until starting to brown and caramelize. Stir often.
- Add the tomatoes. Add the canned tomatoes, fresh basil, broth, sugar, and red chili flakes to the pot. Bring to a low simmer, reduce heat to low, and cook until the tomatoes in the oven have finished roasting. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes to the pot with their juices, and return to a simmer.
- Simmer. Simmer the soup uncovered and over low heat for approximately 20 minutes.
- Puree. Work in batches and carefully blend your homemade tomato soup in a high-speed blender. Avoid over-blending (especially if you have a Vitamix or Blendtec which will turn your soup into a watery liquid rather than a luxurious soup). You may also use a hand food processor.
- Season and serve. Return soup to your pot and season with additional salt and pepper, to taste. Garnish with fresh basil, crunchy croutons, or a splash of fresh cream, if desired. Enjoy!
Originally posted January 2016