This rich and flavorful tomato basil soup, filled with bright basil, roasted Roma tomatoes, roasted garlic, and a hint of spice from red pepper flakes, is unlike any other tomato soup that you've tasted. And it may just become your new favorite.
Tomato Basil Soup, a Fresh Take on a Classic
I love classic tomato soup with its rich, velvety texture and exquisite dip-ability.
It's always been the perfect accompaniment to another classic that I love so very much, the grilled cheese sandwich. The two make for a delicious pairing that soothes and comforts in the best way.
Tomato soup is one of those fairly basic recipes; and on its own, doesn't necessarily have a lot of “oomph” and complex flavor in its traditional preparation. But boy, oh boy, does it have the potential to be over-the-top, ridiculously good when you know the right bells and whistles to add into it.
Enter this delicious tomato basil soup recipe, a fresh take on the classic.
Extra Love and a Few Simple Ingredients for the Best Tomato Basil Soup
Tomatoes pair wonderfully with many ingredients, among those being fresh basil and garlic—especially roasted garlic.
They also benefit from a bit of fiery spice as well, and mingle deliciously with red pepper flakes, which offer just enough heat to give a bit of tingle to the tongue and awaken the tastebuds.
This is the reason that I personally prefer to use fresh tomatoes rather than canned when preparing my tomato basil soup—so much more flavor and depth!
When fresh tomatoes are roasted, their natural sweetness comes out as well as their juiciness.
So using fresh Roma tomatoes roasted with a hint of balsamic, brown sugar and dried herbs as the base for this tomato basil soup, creates an extra level of flavor that is deeply comforting and soothing, and slightly more complex.
Sure, roasting off the tomatoes and the garlic takes a little extra time and effort, but it absolutely makes a world of difference.
I have no doubt that the combination of flavors in this particular tomato basil soup recipe will make it one of your new all-time favorites!
You and your loved ones will most certainly be able to taste the love in every hot spoonful, which is where all of that delectable coziness truly comes from, doesn't it?
Tips & Tidbits for Tomato Basil Soup:
- Fresh Roma tomatoes: Using fresh tomatoes for this soup is key, and Roma tomatoes hold their shape and have a wonderful flavor that really comes out when roasted.
- Roast the garlic heads along side the tomatoes: To roast the garlic, simply prepare it and then place it next to your tomatoes on the baking sheet and roast them together.
- Croutons for added body: Croutons go great with tomato basil soup, and I like to add some in and blend them up to create a bit more body and texture. If you are gluten-free, simply substitute gluten-free croutons, or feel free to leave them out altogether.
Feast your eyes on these, or just jump to the recipe:
Tomato Basil Soup Recipe
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: serves 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 10 minutes
• 15 whole Roma Tomatoes
• Olive Oil (7 tablespoons, divided use)
• 1 ½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 3 tablespoons brown sugar
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
• 1-2 teaspoons red chili pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you like it!)
• 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
• 3 whole heads of garlic (peels left on), plus 2 cloves chopped, divided use
• 1 whole onion, chopped
• 3 tablespoons tomato paste
• 2 (2 ounces each) bunches basil, stems removed, and chopped
• ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
• 3 ½ cups chicken stock, or vegetable stock if making vegetarian
• 1 cup croutons
• ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line 2 baking sheets with foil.
-Cut the Roma tomatoes in half and place them in a large bowl; add 2 tablespoons of olive oil as well as the balsamic vinegar and other ingredients up to and including the Italian seasoning to the tomatoes, and toss to coat; add to the baking sheet.
-Cut the tops off of the 3 heads of garlic and drizzle 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over top of them; wrap the oiled heads tightly in foil, and place them next to the tomatoes on the baking sheet, and roast them together for 45 minutes.
-Once the tomatoes and garlic are roasted, set them aside to cool slightly until they can be handled; then, squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their papers, discard papers and set aside the roasted garlic cloves.
-In a medium soup pot set over medium-high heat, add the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the chopped onion and the two remaining fresh, chopped garlic cloves; saute them for a couple of minutes, and allow them to become aromatic and translucent; then, add in the tomato paste and the roasted tomatoes (and all of their juice from the baking sheet), along with the roasted garlic cloves, and stir those together; next, add the basil and parsley, along with the chicken stock and the croutons, and allow the soup to gently simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes.
-To finish the soup, add the grated Parmesan cheese, and using a hand immersion blender (or a regular blender), puree the soup until smooth and completely pureed (if using a blender, work in small batches to puree- be careful to not overfill the blender, as hot soup can splatter); check the salt/pepper, and adjust, if necessary.
-Ladle soup into serving bowls, and enjoy!
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published February 2012 and has been updated with even more love! And new photos!