When I was younger, I despised tomato soup. The flavors never seemed to call for me, nor did I ever crave grilled cheese.
My favorite was Mom’s chunky beef stew that simmered and bubbled on the stovetop for hours in our small yellow duplex kitchen back in Minneapolis. It wasn’t until high school that I began to crave the comfort of creamy tomato soup after Mom started buying Progresso’s hearty tomato.
In fact, I remember us making cheesy pepper jack quesadillas and canned tomato soup on a frequent basis. Mom worked a lot to support our family and during my teenage years, the two of us didn’t have much time to enjoy meals together.
Quick and easy was exactly what we needed.
Today Tony and I still buy canned or boxed soup. We have nights where we’re depleted of energy and need something quick and easy to nourish ourselves. Even though I have a food blog, it doesn’t mean I’m making dinner every single night.
Sometimes my days are focused around baking, snacks or breakfast, and by the end of the day the last thing I’m thinking about is what to eat for dinner.
However, when I do have time to make a good tomato soup, I get a little giddy inside.
And since it’s finally tomato season, I couldn’t help but present this beautiful bowl of homemade roasted tomato basil soup to you.
Now, let’s talk about ingredients in this homemade tomato basil soup soup and what I used to make it incredibly flavorful.
Roasted tomatoes: Roasted the tomatoes helps them to sweetened and slightly caramelize leading to a sweet, rich tomato soup flavor. You can use either roma or plum tomatoes. I recommend using garden fresh or organic to keep the soup as flavorful as possible!
Roasted garlic: Let’s not forget about how delicious roasted garlic is. The sweet, lick your finger good flavor is essential to this recipe — and it’s easy to roast right alongside the tomatoes.
Fresh basil: Basil has a slightly sweet flavor and should be added to the recipe before serving, as too much heat can remove the flavor of it and sometimes turn it slightly bitter. This herb also helps to cut the acidity of the tomatoes.
Caramelized onions: This was one thing I did that was a little different was addition of caramelized onions! The sweet onions are caramelized, then blended into the soup. AMAZING!
Optional add-ins: I’ve included optional ingredients that you can add to the soup to make it your own in the ingredients below! If you’d like, this is your chance to get a little creative.
Just look at the color. Simply gorgeous.
I like to top it off with shaved or grated parmesan cheese and a little extra basil.
Of course, you’re more than welcome to make a grilled cheese sandwich to go with it. My favorite lately has been sprouted bread, pepper jack, turkey, spinach, sliced tomato, dijon mustard and a drizzle of honey. SO GOOD.
See how to make the tomato basil soup:
If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a comment below and rate the recipe! You can also snap and picture and post it on Instagram using the hashtag #ambitiouskitchen. And of course be sure to follow Ambitious Kitchen on Instagram. xo!
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Homemade Roasted Tomato Basil Soup
- For the roasted tomatoes
- 3 pounds roma or plum tomatoes, cut in half
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Freshly ground salt and pepper
- For the caramelized onions:
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
- Additions to the soup:
- ½ cup packed basil leaves
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1-2 cups water or vegetarian broth, depending on how thick you want the soup
- Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
- Optional add ins:
- Light/Regular coconut milk for a creamy vegan soup
- Whole dairy milk/heavy cream for a creamy texture
- Parmesan cheese, for a tangy, flavor enhancing flavor
- A tablespoon or two of butter, for richer flavor
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place halved tomatoes and garlic cloves on the baking sheet and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Generously season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 40-45 minutes.
While the tomatoes are roasting, you can make the caramelized onions: Add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to a large pot and place over medium heat. Add the onion slices and stir to coat the onions with olive oil. Cook, stirring occasionally. Check onions every 5-10 minutes until they have completely caramelized and turned golden in color. This ususally takes 20 minutes.
Once tomatoes and garlic are done roasting, allow them to cool for 10 minutes, then add them to a food processor or high powered blender and blend until smooth. Next add basil and caramelized onions and blend again. Alternatively you can add the tomatoes to the large pot and use an immersion blender. It's really just about what you have available to you.
After blending, transfer back to pot, turn to medium low heat and add in oregano, vegetarian broth and salt and pepper to taste. From there you can add in any additional add-ons you want (as listed in the ingredients). Allow tomato soup to simmer 10 minutes before serving. To serve, garnish with parmesan cheese and serve with grilled cheese, if desired. Serves 4.
I do not ususally strain the seeds, but you can with a fine mesh strainer if that's what you prefer.