Creamy Tomato Basil Soup | The Rising Spoon

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

An easy recipe for Creamy Tomato Basil Soup that's healthy, homemade, and only takes about 40 minutes to fix on the stove with just 10 minutes of prep. It's made with simple ingredients like canned tomatoes, fresh basil, and carrots, which results in a light, yet cozy tomato soup that you'll want to make on repeat all year long. {gluten-free & grain-free with dairy-free options}

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

One of my favorite meals to eat all year long is soup. Even in 100-degree Texas weather. Yes, I'm that person sweating it out with a hot bowl of soup in a tank top. Don't judge.

Creamy chicken noodle soup, beef stroganoff soup, smoked sausage & vegetable soup, French onion soup, white chicken chili, Zuppa Toscana soup, Vietnamese Beef Phở, fresh Japanese ramen (my absolute favorite)...the list goes on. If made with a bit of love & attention, homemade soups are packed with so much flavor and super nourishing.

Today I'm excited to share my take on a classic creamy tomato soup. I've been tweaking and experimenting with this recipe for the past two years and I finally have a version nailed down that I love.

I actually grew up eating condensed tomato soup out of a can with plenty of milk or cheese to make it creamy, so when I had tomato soup from scratch for the first time at a restaurant several years back I was blown away at the difference in taste.

But replicating it at home wasn't so simple.

I ran into two problems the first time I attempted homemade tomato soup:

  1. the texture was grainy and
  2. it tasted like marinara sauce.

That's a big nope.

After some tweaking, I figured out what I did wrong & how to fix it.

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup Ingredients

Two Things You Need For The Best Tomato Soup


There are two essential things you need for a smooth, well-balanced bowl of tomato soup. Unless, of course, you enjoy a grainy soup that tastes more like pasta sauce. Not me!

1) Peeled & De-Seeded Tomatoes

If you want a smooth, creamy texture it's essential that you peel and de-seed the tomatoes before blending them. When I used fresh roasted tomatoes the first time, I ended up with a grainy texture because I just cut, roasted, and blended them. It was still edible, but not what you typically want in a pureed soup.

However, instead of diving into extra prep work (not what you want on a busy weeknight), I came up with a much easier solution that works equally well (in my opinion): using canned tomatoes. They're already cooked, peeled, de-seeded, and canned at peak ripeness so all you have to do is dump 'em in the soup.

So stinkin' convenient. And they taste just as good in a pureed soup - I promise! I love fresh, in-season tomatoes as much as the next person & eat tons of heirloom cherry tomatoes in the summertime, but canned tomatoes are the secret to a good bowl of homemade tomato soup all year long.

If you grow your own tomatoes, have a bumper crop, and don't mind the extra prep, by all means, make it from scratch, but for the rest of us...canned tomatoes are a lifesaver.

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup (Healthy & Easy Dinner Recipe)

2) Sweetener and/or Sweet Vegetables

This is the secret sauce for a good tomato soup. In fact, I think it's absolutely essential, although I'm sure there are folks who will disagree with me.

A sweetener like honey, maple syrup, or cane sugar helps to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes. It's what transforms your pureed tomatoes from a savory pasta sauce into a tomato soup. The difference is like night & day.

If you're not excited about adding a sweetener to your soup, another good way to balance out that acidity is by adding a sweet vegetable like a carrot or even parsnip (that'd be a bit spicier). Now that I think about it, an apple might even do the trick, but I haven't tried that (let me know if you do).

I prefer to use both carrot & honey to balance out my tomato soup and love the resulting taste.

Other Ingredients For a Good Creamy Tomato Basil Soup


Beyond those two things, I always include aromatics (onion & garlic), herbs (fresh basil or occasionally a bit of oregano), and chicken stock (rather than water) to flavor the soup.

If you don't have those on hand and want tomato soup in a hurry, a big dollop of jarred basil pesto into each bowl of soup would probably do the trick.

Ways to Make Your Tomato Soup Creamy


Many creamy tomato soup recipes call for pouring heavy cream into the whole batch of soup to finish it. I prefer to add the creamy element directly to the portioned bowls of soup. This lets each person control the amount of creaminess and gives you the freedom to experiment with different toppings or add-ins without affecting the whole pot.

Some of my favorite creamy toppings are:
  • crème fraîche
  • sour cream
  • heavy cream
  • plain yogurt
  • canned full-fat coconut milk
  • mozzarella cheese
  • parmesan cheese

My preferred toppings are either sour cream or crème fraîche (a French-style cultured cream similar to sour cream) because they add a silky smooth texture without watering down the soup with more liquid, as heavy cream or coconut milk would. So, if you like your tomato soup a bit thicker, definitely try this option.

I also love to finish it with a drizzle or two of good-quality extra virgin olive oil because tomatoes pair so well with it. And, of course, some crusty cheesy toast for dunking. Pure comfort food!

How to Make Creamy Tomato Basil Soup


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Yield: 12 cups (6 servings)

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

prep time: 10 MINScook time: 30 MINStotal time: 40 mins
An easy recipe for Creamy Tomato Basil Soup that's healthy, homemade, and only takes about 40 minutes to fix on the stove. It's made with simple ingredients like canned tomatoes, fresh basil, and carrots, which results in a light, yet cozy tomato soup that you'll want to make on repeat all year long.

ingredients:


  • 4 tablespoons of butter (sub ghee, avocado oil, or olive oil for dairy-free)
  • 1 large onion (about 2 1/2 cups chopped)
  • 6 carrots (about 2 cups chopped)
  • 8 cloves of garlic (about 4 tablespoons minced)
  • 2 (28 oz) can of fire-roasted tomatoes (diced or whole & peeled, undrained)
  • 2 teaspoons of sea salt + more (to taste) at the end
  • 2 teaspoons of cracked black pepper + more (to taste) at the end
  • 1+ teaspoon of crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 4 cups of  broth (vegetable or chicken)
  • 2 handfuls of fresh basil leaves (I just eyeball it)
  • 2 tablespoons of honey (or your favorite sweetener)
  • Garnishes for serving (optional - added to each bowl):
  • 1 tablespoon of crème fraîche, sour cream, heavy cream, or canned coconut milk
  • 1-2 drizzles of extra virgin olive oil
  • finely chopped fresh basil leaves

instructions:


  1. Peel and dice the onion and carrots, then peel and mince the garlic cloves. (Frugal Tip: Save the scraps from all three for homemade broth by storing them in a jar or ziplock bag in the freezer.)
  2. Melt the butter in a stock-pot set on medium heat. Add the onions and carrots. Cook the veggies, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. (This helps them release moisture & soften a bit.) 
  3. Stir in the minced garlic, sea salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper (add more if you like it spicy) and cook for 1-2 minutes, keeping an eye on the garlic so it doesn't burn. Pour in the canned tomatoes (liquid included) and broth. 
  4. Bring the mixture to a simmer, cover with a lid, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for another 15-20 minutes, or until the carrot & onion are soft (yours might be done faster so you can check it earlier to save time). Remove the soup from the heat and let it cool for about 3-5 minutes, then stir in the fresh basil leaves.
  5. From here you're going to blend the soup in batches. Transfer a few cups of the mixture to a stand-up blender, cover with a lid but keep it cracked to let any steam escape, and puree until smooth. Pour the blended soup into a large bowl and continue processing the rest of the soup in batches until it's all smooth.  Alternately, you can blend the soup directly in the stock-pot with an immersion blender (make sure it's a pot with high sides, otherwise the soup will splatter everywhere). 
  6. Transfer the blended soup back into the stock-pot and turn the stove onto low heat for 3-5 minutes so the soup can warm back up. Stir in the honey or your favorite sweetener (this is important as it helps to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes), then taste for seasoning. Add more salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, or honey, as needed.
  7. When you're ready to serve, ladle the soup into bowls, top with garnishes with make it creamy + add extra flavor, and serve crusty cheese toast on the side for dunking. 

notes

My favorite garnishes are a tablespoon of crème fraîche, sour cream, heavy cream, or full-fat coconut milk (stirring it into each bowl rather than the whole pot makes the soup creamy, yet allows each person to control the amount of creaminess), followed by a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a bit more chopped basil (if I have extra) and a sprinkle or two of black pepper and crushed red pepper. Another good option is shredded or grated parmesan or mozzarella cheese.
Created using The Recipes Generator
Adapted from Chowhound's Classic Tomato Soup



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An easy recipe for Creamy Tomato Basil Soup that's healthy, homemade, and only takes about 40 minutes to fix on the stove with just 10 minutes of prep. It's made with simple ingredients like canned tomatoes, fresh basil, and carrots, which results in a light, yet cozy tomato soup that you'll want to make on repeat all year long. {gluten-free & grain-free with dairy-free options}

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P.S. Keep Reading! More Soups From The Rising Spoon:









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