Quick and Easy Creamy Tomato – Basil Soup

tomato soup

March is a such a great month.  There are so many things to be happy about.  Asheley’s birthday is almost here.  That means celebrating with lots of good food, surrounded by our family and friends.  We actually also made a reservation for the two of us to celebrate at Eleven Madison Park in NYC.  We are super excited about that.

The sun is beginning to stretch out it’s light ever so slightly.  I wake up and it’s actually not pitch black.  My drive home is spent in warm sunshine.  This month builds up my anticipation for all the good things that comes with spring.

But as much as I can’t wait for nicer weather and long sunny days spent outside at my grill and in the vegetable garden, I will definitely miss the warming, winter comfort food that Asheley and I have been grasping onto these past couple months.

We’ve been on this tomato soup binge recently.  It’s quick.  It’s easy.  It’s no fuss, delicious, homey, make me forget about the frigid weather outside type of food.  This creamy tomato – basil soup hits the spot, especially with a side of extra-gooey grilled cheese.  I make the soup.  Asheley’s totally in charge of the grilled cheese.  I get yelled at for using too much butter (like there is such a thing as too much butter).

tomato soup

It’s incredible how easy this soup is to make and how quick it comes together.   You can whip it up on a busy weeknight, when you have a bunch of other tasks to accomplish as you cook.  It’s definitely a multi-tasking friendly sort of dinner.  You don’t need to constantly stand over it the entire time.  Get it started, do a couple things you have to get done, come back and stir once in awhile.  Bam.  Dinner.



If you’re a weekend cooking fiend like me, you can make this soup ahead of time for extra fast weeknight dinners.  The soup refrigerates and freezes very well.  I have a stash of it in the freezer right now.

immersion blender

Have I mentioned I’m totally in love with my new immersion blender.  Not just like it.  Maybe even not just love.  It’s a gotta have it sort of relationship at this point.  My immersion blender is such a time saver, both in cooking and cleanup.  And I feel rather manly, almost as if I’m at the helm of a big, burly power tool.  Little do you know that’s as big and burly as I get.

If you don’t have an immersion blender, you need one.  You know you do.  They are as much fun as they are extremely practical.  And surprisingly, quite affordable.  Check them out here: Immersion Blenders.

tomato soup

You could also use a blender to purée the soup.  It works just as well.  Or just skip the puréeing step entirely.  It adds a bit of rustic texture to the soup if you’re into the sort of thing.

tomato soup

You have a couple options for serving the soup.  For parties, I like to serve the soup in small micro-bowls.  It makes for a perfect little appetizer.  A couple tiny basil leaves to garnish is a nice touch.

I recently had some leftover pesto in the fridge, so a dollop of that (along with some freshly ground black pepper) became a fun garnish one night.

tomato soup

But my trusty standby, the way I typically serve up this soup, is with a pinch of cracked black pepper and a good sprinkling of freshly grated Parmigiana Reggiano cheese.  Go for the good stuff.  The processed parmesan cheese in those tubular containers just isn’t the same.

If you’re Asheley, you will add about half a block of cheese to your bowl.  She loves her cheese.

tomato soup

And if you’re feeling extra fancy one night, you can always add a chiffonade of basil: just roll up some basil leaves and cut into thin strips.

tomato soup


Quick and Easy Creamy Tomato - Basil Soup
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups good-quality chicken stock
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ - 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 bunch basil, torn into small bite-size pieces
  • Parmesan cheese, for garnish
  1. Heat olive oil over medium-low heat in a dutch oven or large pot. Once hot, add onions and season generously with Kosher salt. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until soft and starting to turn golden brown, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute, stirring to avoid burning the garlic.
  2. Stir in the tomatoes and chicken stock. Season generously with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. I like to use about ½ tablespoon of black pepper, which gives a little kick to the soup. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower heat to maintain a simmer for at least 15 minutes. You can feel free to leave it longer if you forget about it. I have.
  3. Purée mixture using an immersion blender or carefully transfer soup to a blender. If using a blender, return mixture to the pot.
  4. Stir in the cream and basil and let simmer for at least 15 minutes, although I like to leave it for a bit longer so it can reduce down to a thicker consistency.
  5. Serve immediately, topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I highly recommend using Parmigiano-Reggiano for its superior quality), a little sprinkle of black pepper, and a chiffonade of basil.


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  1. says

    This soup looks so creamy, warm and inviting! I too am in love with my immersion blender, and I think anyone who loves soup should definitely invest in one.

    Hey, your little micro bowls of soup are begging for some Basil Micro Greens (which I hear are all the rage now). Where’s that mini garden Chris? Actually the pesto sounds really good to me, never thought to use that in tomato soup…I’m going to have to give that a try.

    • says

      Hi Sandra… I know!!! I totally need some Basil Micro Greens! I really, really want to start the micro-greens garden, especially after reading all about it on your blog! I don’t know why I haven’t started it yet. Probably because it’s still winter here and it just doesn’t seem like “growing season” yet. I’m going to do it though, I promise! You have totally inspired me.

      • Angie says

        Chris: How many does this tomato-basil soup serve? I need to serve about 10 people. I probably need to make 2 recipes. Right?


        • says

          Hi Angie, I would say it definitely serves 4, and probably up to 6 depending how hungry your eaters are. If you serve it up with some grilled cheese or something filling like that on the side, then you’ll definitely be good with just doubling the recipe.

  2. Julia says

    This is my first attempt at soup ever. I came across your recipe quite by accident as it was my first time browsing foodgawker.com. I am usually really into recipes with tons of reviews but your pictures were really compelling! I’m so glad I tried this. It beats out all my favorite tomato soups. It has a really balanced flavor without being too creamy, salty or bland. My husband loved it and got upset when I accidentally spilled some of the leftovers lol. Thanks again for this!

  3. Julia says

    Also, how many servings would you say this yields. I am watching my calories and guessed it would make a good four servings but I didn’t measure to see how many ounces the whole thing yielded.

    • says

      Hi Julia,

      So glad you loved the soup. That really makes my day! I’m honestly not sure how many ounces the entire recipe yields, but I typically get 4-6 servings out of it. If Asheley and I are only having soup for dinner, probably 4 servings, but if we are also having grilled cheese or another little sandwich on the side, 6 servings. Thanks for the kinds words about the soup. You made my day!


  4. Daphne says

    My husband and I are impatiently waiting for the timer to beep. He did most of the work. Smell wonderful and already taste great. Thank you for charing the recipe. We are not good cooks but your instructions were awesome.

  5. Betty says

    Just picked a lot of tomatoes and fresh basil from the garden this morning. After I oven-roast the tomatoes (it concentrates their flavor), I will use them to make this delicious sounding soup for dinner tonight (although we might not be able to wait till then …. how about for lunch?!!), Thanks for sharing.

    • says

      Oven roasting tomatoes fresh from your garden sounds amazing! Man that’s going to taste amazing. Save me leftovers… if there is any :)

  6. Jammie says

    This soup sounds AMAZING! I have buckets of garden tomatoes and Betty commented that she was oven roasting them. Do you leave the skins on when you roast them and after you roast them? Does the immersion blender blend them enough or will I need to strain my soup? I can’t wait to make this soup!

    • says

      Hi Jammie, thanks so much for stopping by! I would definitely leave the skins on when you roast them, and then peel them off after roasting. This will be really easy to do because the skins will pretty much shrivel up and disconnect from the actual tomato after roasting. As far as whether to strain or not, that’s kind of a personal preference. I personally like just using the immersion blender and no straining. It gives the soup a little bit of character and texture. If you want it completely smooth, you could definitely go ahead and strain it. Let me know how it goes :)

  7. says

    i tried your recipe tonight and it was a big hit with my family….I’m sending a link to your site for my readers.

  8. Penny says

    I made this last week (substiuted fat free evaporated milk with a little vanilla extract for the heavy cream) and it was phenomenal! Definetly making this again and putting it into my recipe book. Thanks for sharing! I will have to keep an eye on your site for more great cooking tips and recipes. :-)

  9. Shari says

    I’m in the process of making this right now. I’m adding some cheese tortellini to the soup before adding cream so it can cook the tortellini…then doing the cream to finish. YUMMY! I hope. :)

  10. Loren says

    Hello! This recipe was awesome! I ended up doing 1/2 cup cream cheese and 1/2 cup skim milk because that is what I had on hand. It still came out amazingly yummy! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  11. Anjali says

    Very easy to make and my family loved it.even my one year toddler. The only thing I did was add little sugar because it was tarty. Otherwise amazing Recipe and thank you for sharing.

  12. Lauren says

    This soup is yummy! I made two batches so I can freeze the left overs. I also used organic veggie broth instead of chicken broth, and still came out great. Perfect when serving vegetarians :)