There is a ton of flavor packed in this Creamy Tomato Basil Soup. From fresh garlic and basil to cream and parmesan cheese, it’s rich and turns velvety smooth after blending it. I find that I end up having most of the ingredients on hand often too. This is also one of my favorite ways to use up leftover parmesan rinds that have been collected in the cheese drawer in the fridge.
I love soup and could eat it any time of the year, just like my Dad. A creamy tomato soup has always been one of his (many) favorites and this one does not disappoint. It’s simple and quick to throw together but tastes like it’s been simmering on the stove all day. And if you like to eat soup year-round like my Dad and me, this recipe is perfect because I use canned tomatoes. No need to wait around for tomato season or pick through all of the tomatoes at the store in the offseason just to find a few ripe ones that end up tasting flavorless. Canned tomatoes are the way to go for that tomato soup craving that hits and you don’t have to worry about compromising the taste either.
Ingredients for Creamy Tomato Basil Soup
- Butter + Flour: These 2 ingredients will create a roux to thicken the soup just a bit.
- Veggies: We’ll be using onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. These don’t need to be chopped perfectly or super small because you’ll be blending the soup at the end. You can do a rough chop if you plan on blending the soup to a fairly smooth consistency.
- Water + Chicken Base: You can substitute broth or stock instead of using the chicken base. If you’re going this route, use the water measurement for the broth/stock and leave out the chicken base. Vegetable broth/stock/base will work too if you’d like to make this soup vegetarian.
- Tomatoes: This recipe uses canned tomatoes – no fresh ones needed! I like to buy the variety with garlic, basil, and oregano, just for the additional flavor. Any canned, diced tomatoes will work though.
- Tomato Paste: Adding this will enhance the flavors of the soup and add more richness. Look for the tube of tomato paste, instead of the can since you don’t need much. You can pop the tube in the fridge for the next time you need it, instead of wasting a whole can.
- Fresh Basil: The best method for chopping the Basil is called a “chiffonade”. Sounds fancy but it’s simple. Just stack your basil leaves, roll them up tightly lengthwise, then chop thin slices. This creates perfect little ribbons. The basil adds so much freshness to the soup.
- Salt + Pepper: Your soup will need seasoning. Feel free to add this to taste.
- Parmesan Cheese: I highly recommend getting a block of the good stuff and grating it yourself. It’s one small extra step that adds another layer of flavor and it is absolutely worth it. Plus then you can make some mouth-watering parm crackers to serve with the soup!
- Parmesan Cheese Rinds: The parmesan cheese rinds are not necessary but these add more flavor and are a great way to use up any leftover rinds you have in your fridge.
What to Serve with Tomato Soup
- Homemade Croutons
- Parmesan Crackers
- Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
- Sourdough Bread Bowls
- Crusty Baguette
Creamy Tomato Basil Soup
- 4 tablespoons (57g) butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups (32oz) water
- 1 tablespoon chicken base
- 3 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
- 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 2/3 cup cream or whole milk
- 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, freshly shredded
- parmesan cheese rinds, optional
- In a dutch oven or large pot melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add carrots and celery and cook until tender, about another 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
- Add the flour to create a roux and cook for about 1 minute. Slowly mix in the water, then add the chicken base, tomatoes (juice and all), salt, pepper, fresh basil, and parmesan rinds (if using). Simmer on low for about 20 minutes.
- If you’ve added parmesan rinds, use a slotted spoon to strain out what is left and discard.
- Use an immersion blender or high-powered blender to blend the soup, as creamy or as thick as you would like.
- Stir in the cream (or milk) and parmesan cheese. Serve hot and finish with an extra drizzle of cream and a sprig of basil. Enjoy!