Creamy Tomato Basil Soup – A classic tomato soup, spiced up with the addition of basil and cream. Perfect for dipping your grilled cheese.
Is there anything more comforting than a great bowl of soup? It’s just so soothing and it’s the only food I eat slowly. I’m serious. If I’m hungry, no food is safe. But with soup, I love to sip it slowly, dip some crunchy bread in it, and slurp the last few sips from the bowl.
So when the temperature started to dip here in Atlanta, the first thing I wanted to make was some hearty, comforting soup. I hadn’t made tomato soup and grilled cheese in a loooong time so I knew immediately that’s what I was gonna make.
My favorite soup in the world is the creamy tomato basil soup from Panera Bread. Have you had it before? It’s a game-changer. So when I went searching for a great new tomato soup recipe, it needed to have (1) basil and (2) cream, just like the Panera classic.
And boy did this recipe deliver! So creamy and tomato-y and the best thing to dip a grilled cheese. You’re gonna love this.
And speaking of grilled cheese…you may be asking why I don’t have my recipe for grilled cheese in this post. Well, honestly, I was in so eager to eat this masterpiece that I couldn’t wait to take pictures of the grilled cheese process before chowing down. Food blogger problems, am I right?!
But I have a link to recipe I used for these cute grilled cheese roll-ups in the notes of the soup recipe below. I love these roll-ups because they’re perfect for dunking. Kids and adults alike will love them!
If you’ve never made tomato soup before, there are a few things you should know before getting started:
- Added on 11/29/2016: As you can see in the photos, I cooked this soup in a cast iron dutch oven. This is a major no no that I was not aware of. Cooking acidic foods in the cast iron will eat away at the coating, something I learned first-hand. My cast iron started peeling a few weeks after making this soup. It was not pretty! So make sure you use a stainless steel pot or enameled dutch oven. Or anything else besides cast iron.
- You gotta use great tomatoes! The best tomatoes you’re gonna find are San Marzano tomatoes that come from the San Marzano region of Italy. Fear not, friends! You don’t have to book an expensive trip to Europe to get these babies. You can easily find these tomatoes canned and in your local grocery store.
- This soup is going to be pureed. If you want it to be chunky, jump to tip #3. I absolutely love pureeing soups with my immersion blender because I don’t have to go through the hassle of transferred soup to the blender and then burning my hands when I ultimately spill it in the process. If you don’t have an immersion blender, this is the one I have and I love it. Simple, easy to clean, and most-importantly, affordable. If you rather use you everyday blender, you have to be VERY careful when starting the blender because the steam in the hot soup will want to force the blender’s lid off. So hold the lid on tightly before you turn on the blender.
- If you want a chunkier soup, you won’t have to blend it. But you must make sure to dice the onion much finer so you don’t have big chunks of it floating the soup. It looks odd (Trust me – I say this from experience).
Now go on and make you some yummy soup to enjoy this fall weather even more. What kinds of comfort foods do you love to make when the weather gets cooler? Let me know in the comments below!
Creamy Tomato Basil Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter salted
- 1 large white onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 28 ounces canned San Marzano whole tomatoes with juice
- 1 handful fresh basil leaves roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- In a large pot, heat oil and butter over medium heat until butter melts and begins to bubble. Add diced onions and stir constantly until lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
- While onions are cooking, use this time to crush the tomatoes. Open the 28-ounce can of San Marzano tomatoes and empty the contents into a large bowl. Use your hands to crush the tomatoes into a pulp. This is a fun activity to do with your kids! Set crushed tomatoes to the side.
- After the onions have browned, add minced garlic and saute until lightly browned, about another minute or two.
- Add in tomato paste and stir for another minute.
- Add chicken stock, salt, pepper, and cayenne. I don't like heat so I only added 1/8 teaspoon for flavor. If you want more spice, add 1/4 teaspoon in total. Stir in crushed tomatoes.
- After you've added the tomatoes, place lid on the pot and raise temp to about medium-high so that the soup begins to boil. Once boiling, reduce to medium-low so it begins to simmer. Allow it to simmer for 10-15 minutes to develop the flavors.
- Once the soup has simmered, use an immersion blender to puree the onions and tomatoes until smooth. If you don't have an immersion blender, I recommend a great one above. If you don't want to buy one, you can use a normal blender. But you will probably have to blend in stages so the soup doesn't overflow in the blender pitcher. And you MUST hold your hand on top of the blender to prevent the lid from coming off when the steam wants to escape. If you like your soup chunky, only puree until you get the consistency you desire.
- Add cream and chopped basil and raise temperature to medium. Heat the soup through so it is at the desired serving temperature, about 5-10 minutes.
- Serve with your favorite grilled cheese. We love to make dunkable grilled cheese, which is just a rolled-up grilled cheese. I recommend a quick and easy recipe in the notes below. Enjoy!
Jackie Koslowsky says
Do you think I could freeze this?
Definitely! I froze all my leftovers.
Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine says
This reminds me I have been wanting to post my version of tomato soup! This looks amazing, but I can’t have dairy 🙂 Your photos are beautiful BTW!
Thanks so much!
I have recently started making soups (because my lovely mother-in-law got me a soup maker) so this recipe is just up my alley! Love it! Many thanks for sharing & all the tips 🙂
You’re so very welcome! I hope you enjoy making it (and eating it!)
Jenni Laplow says
I am craving some soup right now…this looks delicious! Thank you for the recipe!
Tomato soup and grilled cheese is a winter staple. I’m picky with tomato soup (I don’t actually like tomatos, but I like all things made with them). But this sounds delicious.
Thank you! I was the same way for the longest time. But one day, I just started like it haha
Yummy! I love tomato soup! I’m going to have to try this recipe.
Woohoo! Tomato soup is so great
Yummm! This looks so good!
I am a soup addict but I am yet to make tomato soup. It looks so yummy I can’t wait to give it a try!
I hope you enjoy it!! It goes great with a grilled cheese sandwich!
As if the soup wasn’t enough, you go and show me Grilled Cheese Roll Ups too….ohhh God help my waistline, girl you are killing me 😛 I looooove all your yummy recipes! Keep em coming!
Thanks so much! It means so much that you like all the recipes! I hope I keep making you drool for recipes to come 🙂
You might’ve just given me my dinner idea tonight! This sounds absolutely delicious. There are few things better than grilled cheese and tomato soup. Basil on top of that? Perfect:)
Thanks so much! You just can’t beat this combo 🙂
That looks so delicious 🙂 making me hungry.. I gotta make this now.
— DT | Here I Scribble
Neely Moldovan says
Soups are one of our go to dinners in the fall. This sounds so great!
Yes, fall is for soup! Love it!
Love this recipe, easy and healthy. Though I’m going to toss in a side of grilled cheese 🙂
Always always with the grilled cheese!
I love tomato soup and grilled cheese all year round. And the San Marzano whole tomatoes make all the difference when making homemade tomato soup. During the fall I love all soups, chilis, and stews. Put it in a bowl and I’m all in.
Yes! I need to figure out what soup to make next…I’m thinking another comforting one like pasta fagioli or broccoli and cheese. Very different soups but I love them the same 🙂
Platter Talk says
That looks like lunch, to me! Love this soup but have never tried to make. Now I can, thanks.
It’s so super simple! I hope you like it!
This soup looks fantastic! Would be perfect on a cold day paired
With some grilled cheeses. Yum
Gotta have the grilled cheeses!
Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy says
This is my favourite soup – such a classic. A great way to use up tomatoes from the garden too.
I should try this recipe with some fresh tomatoes. Do you roast them before adding?
Homemade soups are always better tasting and healthier.
Love love tomato basil soup! It is the best with grilled cheese a
sandwich! I usually would buy it but I will have to give home,add a try. Thanks for sharing!
I know right?! I can’t eat this without grilled cheese. Hope you love the homemade version too!
Tomato basil soup is one of my all time favourite soups! Easy and delicious!
Woohoo! So yummy
Kerrie @travelswithmum.com says
My favourite soup in the
Whole wide world is
Tomato soup! Thanks for
this new recipe idea!
You’re welcome! I hope you enjoy it!
Jovita @ Yummy Addiction says
You can never go wrong with a tomato and basil combo. Perfect soup for chilly fall days. Yum!
I love tomato and basil together! So refeshing
I love my immersion blender also. Makes it so easy to puree stuff. This soup looks delicious. Like the addition of the cayenne for a little kick
Yes! So much easier with an immersion blender! Thanks for the kind words!