Tomato Basil Soup is one of those soup recipes that everyone should have in their recipe collection. It's easy to make, costs next to nothing, and is absolutely delicious. Plus, it's perfect for a cold winter day, with a grilled cheese sandwich, or when you're feeling under the weather. In this blog post, I'll teach you how to make Creamy Tomato Basil Soup from scratch. Even if it's not soup season, this soup is great with a sandwich! So gather your ingredients and let's get started!
Creamy Tomato Basil Soup Recipe Ingredients:
For this recipe, you will need a large pot and the following ingredients. This recipe does not call for certain types of tomatoes, but actually uses canned. So if you have any type of canned tomatoes in the pantry, you can make this creamy tomato soup!
Additional ingredients include:
- Olive oil
- Red onion
- Minced garlic or fresh garlic cloves
- 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes, or two 12 oz cans.
- 2 15 oz cans of Chicken broth or vegetable broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heavy cream (vegan alternatives are almond milk or coconut milk)
- 1 fresh bunch basil leaves, washed and torn into small pieces
- 4 bread bowls
- Optional, Bay leaf (will be removed after cooking)
- Optional, a drizzle of olive oil
- Optional, red or white pepper for a little kick
What is the difference between tomato basil and tomato bisque?
If you know the answer to this, you probably have already realized this recipe is actually more of a bisque. While both tomato bisque and a homemade tomato soup are both puree soup types, they differ with their ingredients.
Tomato soup typically has a vegetable or chicken stock base. While bisques have a heavy cream or whole milk base. With a bisque you will get a fuller flavor, and of course the end result is a hearty and filling bowl of tomato soup!
If you are looking for a lighter, thinner homemade Easy Tomato Basil Soup recipe, go ahead and make this one– ommitting just the heavy cream! You can also opt to just half of the heavy cream, or just use a non-dairy version. This will keep all of the great flavor but with a lighter texture. For a full, creamy tomato basil bisque, be sure not to skip or substitute the heavy cream ingredient in this recipe!
How do I thicken tomato basil soup?
One of the reasons tomato soup (and bisque) are great for cold winter days is that it's a thicker, hearty soup. While you do need to blend this soup using a regular blender or immersion blender, the overall soup should have a lot of thickness. It should not be watery. If your soup is not as hearty as you would like, here are a few ways to thicken up your soup a little bit!
- Add a little parmesan cheese – just a half cup of shredded or canned parmesan can thicken up soups nicely.
- Add tomato paste- do this only if you have noticed the soup is extremely thin and does need more flavor. Cook after tomato paste has been added.
- Simmer on medium low heat for longer- chances are if your soup is too thin it just isn't quite ready.
How can I make tomato soup taste better?
If you're thinking this homemade soup is just as tasteless as the canned versions- think again! Trying a homemade soup recipe next time you're craving a cheese sandwich and bowl of soup is a much better option than the instant soups sold in grocery stores. However, if you still feel like tomato soup is too bland, try adding more flavor. For instance, you can add red pepper flakes or fresh basil leaves to your bowl of cooked soup. Instead of canned, you can also try using roasted tomatoes (these come in a jar, however some brands may carry a canned version). If using fresh ingredients, don't be afraid to salt your food to taste! We usually don't include additional salt in recipes that call for canned items, only because the end result will have too much of a salty flavor. If you are using fresh tomatoes, absolutely add some Kosher Salt and taste as you go!
Tomato Basil Soup:
For our recipe card below, this cream based soup may have a few more calories than an average broth based version, and the bread bowl is certainly not fooling anyone into believing this is a diet food. But let's be real here, there are days when I have absolutely have no desire for anything low calorie! If we're honest, I think we all have those days. This Creamy Tomato Basil Soup recipe is a soup you can really devour.
If you're scrolling down to the recipe and planning on making this zesty soup right away, be aware that the recipe does call for an immersion blender.
An immersion blender is basically what it sounds like– if you haven't heard of one before. It's made to lower or immerse into foods for the purpose of puréeing. If you don't have one and still want to make this recipe, you can alternately use a food processor to blend it up. Be very careful if you are pouring hot soup into a food processor, however. The soup will be close to boiling temperature! The blended soup will have this nice puréed texture and light orange coloring coming from the tomatoes.
Classic Comfort Food!
There's no need to entirely discount this recipe if you're eating healthy. To lighten up this reicpe, ditch the bread bowl to cut out the majority of the carbs and look at the ingredients. All healthy stuff!
Heavy cream is where additional calories come in, but let's take a second look. Heavy Cream is listed on EatThis.com (Eat This Not That) citing, “Heavy cream is a healthy fat that helps keep your blood sugar stable between meals and snacks, which means consistent energy and brain power.” I don't know about you, but that definitely sounds like something I need more of!
Print Your Creamy Tomato Basil Soup Recipe Below!
Grab your recipe below to save or make now! And, if you're wondering if this can go in the slow cooker– yes it can. Slow Cooker instructions are included in the notes section of the printable recipe. Be sure to add that heavy cream last. In my experience, sometimes dairy products can change flavor or texture if left in the slow cooker too long. I add heavy cream in the last hour of cooking time to prevent that from happening. Enjoy!!
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 1 ½ tsp minced garlic
- 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
- 2 15 oz cans of chicken broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 C heavy cream
- 1 fresh bunch basil, washed and torn into small pieces
- 4 bread bowls
Pour olive oil into a large pot heating until hot on medium heat.
Add your onions and cook until soft about 5 minutes.
Add minced garlic and continue to cook while seasoning with salt and pepper stirring occasionally.
Add can of crushed tomatoes and chicken broth, stir gently.
Bring it to a boil, then turn heat down to medium-low and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Blend with and immersion blender to blend soup. Consistency should be mostly smooth; a few small lumps of tomato is fine.
Return soup to medium heat. Allow to simmer while adding the heavy cream stirring to incorporate the two together.
Add about ½ of the chopped basil. Reduce heat to low and let this sit and simmer for another 15 minutes or longer if you prefer a thicker soup
Using a sharp knife, cut a circle into the top of each loaf, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Remove the bread top, then hollow out the middle with a fork or your fingers, leaving a thick bread shell.
Scoop the soup into each bread bowl and garnish each with remaining basil.
Slow Cooker Version:
You can also make this in the slow cooker! Add ingredients, except heavy cream to slow cooker and set to low for 6-8 hours; or high 4-6 hours.
About half way through cooking time, after all ingredients area heated throughout, blend ingredients with an immersion blender until smooth. Add heavy cream within 30 minutes- 1 hour of serving; cream can create a "curdled" appearance if heated too long. Serve in bread bowls.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 439Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 1272mgCarbohydrates: 63gFiber: 4gSugar: 11gProtein: 15g
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