This Homemade Tomato Basil Soup Recipe is made with roasted tomatoes, garlic, lightly caramelized onions, and fresh basil. Enjoy all year-round using your favorite tomatoes and serve a bowl of this delicious tomato basil soup with your favorite crunchy bread, a grilled cheese sandwich, croutons, or a splash of cream or coconut milk. Vegetarian and gluten-free.
Roasted Tomato Basil Soup
Everyone has their own favorite version of tomato soup. For some, it’s rich and creamy, while others may prefer a fresher, lighter soup made with roasted tomatoes. Some people prefer homemade, while others will forever swear by their favorite brand of canned tomato soup.
If you ask me, this is probably my favorite. Light and fresh, but certainly not lacking in flavor, it’s smooth, delicious, and perfectly simple.
It’s also homemade.
Made with yummy garden-fresh tomatoes, olive oil, flavorful garlic, onions, and fresh basil, you know exactly what you’re eating when you enjoy a bowl of this fresh tomato soup.
How to Make Homemade Tomato Basil Soup
Roast the tomatoes and garlic cloves
Cook the onions for at least 10 minutes – 30 minutes would be even better
Add the canned tomatoes, fresh basil, broth, sugar, and red chili flakes to the onions
Simmer until the tomatoes in the oven have finished roasting.
Add the oven-roasted tomatoes to the pot
Continue to simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes
Return the pureed soup to your pot and season with additional salt and pepper, to taste
Garnish with fresh basil leaves, crunchy croutons, or a splash of fresh cream, if desired
Recipe Tips and Frequently Asked Questions
Why roast tomatoes?
Roasting tomatoes in the oven help sweeten and caramelize already sweet tomatoes, making them even sweeter! 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.
How long should I cook the onions?
For best results, cook the onions for at least 15 minutes. For even better flavor, however, allow your onions to cook at least 25 minutes or so.
Why the added sugar?
Sugar helps cut back on the acidity of this soup. You’ll notice that nearly all store-bought soups or sauces contain (much more than 1 teaspoon of) sugar. The point of sugar, in this case, isn’t to sweeten the soup, so no need to add more than a teaspoon.
Can I swap the canned tomatoes for only fresh ones?
I recommend doubling the total amount of fresh tomatoes. Check out the notes section in the recipe card below to learn how to easily peel the skin from fresh tomatoes.
Can cream be added?
If you prefer a creamy tomato soup, add a splash (or two) of heavy cream or half-and-half. Sometimes I’ll mix a tablespoon or two of tomato paste with the cream first, before adding to the soup, to help blend things blend better.
How to Serve Tomato Basil Soup?
Thinking back to my childhood, my parents 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 this soup with a loaf of fresh bread and butter, curled up on the couch…with Netflix…alone.
But, I’m happy enough with just the soup and bread.
And if going low-carb is more your thing, a simple salad is always a great addition.
More delicious soup recipes to try,
Leek and Potato Soup (dairy-free)
Did you try making this Homemade Tomato Basil Soup Recipe?
Tell me about it in the comments below! I always love to hear your thoughts.
Homemade Tomato Basil Soup Recipe
- 4 pounds plum tomatoes ((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, chicken broth, or chicken stock, plus more, as needed)
- 1 tsp granulated sugar (optional)
- 1 tsp red chili flakes (plus more, if desired or less if you're sensitive to spicy food)
- heavy cream or coconut milk (for serving, optional)
- croutons or crackers (for serving, optional)
- 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 place on 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. 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 begin to burst.
- 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 onions and cook for approximately 15 minutes or until starting to brown and caramelize. Reduce to medium heat if onions start to burn. 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 sauté 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 handheld food processor (immersion blender).
- 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!
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)
Originally posted January 2016