In preparing this recipe I discovered there are a million and one recipes for tomato basil soup. I guess that just means it’s that good, but it’s definitely not that complicated. A million and one recipes basically all saying the same thing – until now. You picked a good one by clicking on this post. Just saying.
Tomato soup has such a nostalgic essence about it. From growing up on Campbell’s, to my favorite recipe from a restaurant in Tulsa tomato soup reminds me of my childhood.
I took the classic tomato soup up a notch by roasting the tomatoes, truly bringing out their full flavor. I like to add dried basil before putting them in the oven, but you could also sprinkle garlic powder or Italian seasoning, too. This recipe calls for a lot of garlic – don’t skimp! I promise you it is not overpowering in the end. It adds incredible flavor and aroma that you won’t want to miss. I also highly suggest adding in the red pepper flakes. Even if you don’t like spicy foods this does not add heat, more so it simply adds flavor. If you do want to add heat, sprinkle in a bit of cayenne and let me know how it is!
While the soup is full of flavor but free of gluten, dairy, sugar, and anything that isn’t fresh and delicious, the extra indulgent aspect of this dish comes in Dylan’s grilled cheese. Smoked gouda and smoked cheddar and bacon (Whole30 compliant bacon of course because we have to draw a line for health consciousness somewhere, i.e. no sugar, no nitrates, no preservatives, etc.). Imagine, two pieces of sourdough covered in butter, crisped on the stove in the remains of bacon grease and filled with decadent smoked cheeses and crispy bacon. Dipping this into the rich, tomato soup is perfect on any day but especially these cold, imminent winter times ahead of us. Just kidding, I live in Dallas. This soup is for anywhere, anytime 70 to negative seven.
Now, I like to make sure my recipes have options for any diet. I can’t guarantee that a gluten-free bread, vegan cheese, and tofurky bacon substitute will have the same flavor but based on a quick Pinterest search for dairy-free grilled cheese, it’s safe to say an amazing option is out there.
I can attest from personal experience that this soup gets better with time. Whether that’s letting it sit on the stove and simmer for an hour beyond the finish mark, or keeping it the fridge to let the flavors continue to merge, it’s one of those leftover dishes you’ll love to have.
Heating up soup can be a pain. Reheating it over the stovetop isn’t always time efficient and microwaving it can cause the soup to splatter everywhere. To avoid a messy microwave, simply wet a paper towel, wring it out until just damp and place it over the bowl (a microwave safe bowl!) while it reheats. In my experience, this avoids any mess and allows the soup to heat thoroughly throughout.
Now you can enjoy today, tomorrow and beyond!
- 3 lbs ripe tomatoes (either tomatoes on the vine or plum tomatoes, whatever you can find at the store)
- 1/4 c olive oil
- 2 yellow onions, diced
- 6 cloves of garlic, chopped or minced
- 2 tbsp butter (regular butter, ghee, or vegan butter)
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional, but definitely recommended)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 28 oz can of plum tomatoes (whole tomatoes)
- 2 1/2 c basil, save some to garnish
- 4 c vegetable broth (chicken stock or bone broth also works)
- 2 heaping tbsp tomato past (more to taste if desired)
- preheat the oven to 400 degrees
- quarter tomatoes (remove the core if using tomatoes on the vine, don't worry about losing seeds)
- place tomatoes evenly on a baking sheet, coat with olive oil, season with salt, pepper, dried basil, garlic salt, and/or Italian seasoning
- roast for 30-40 minutes
- in a stock pot, over medium heat, lightly coat the bottom in olive oil, add in 2 tbsp choice butter, then add onions, garlic, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to sautee for 10 minutes
- once the onions are translucent and garlic is lightly browned, add canned tomatoes and juice (either crushing the tomatoes in your band or using a wooden spoon), broth or stock, basil (stems removed), and oven roasted tomatoes
- bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to low heat, cover and simmer for 40 minutes
- using an immersion blender, puree the soup until as smooth or chuncky as you'd like (you can also use a blender or food processor, just be mindful of volume and temperature)
- stir in tomato paste until incorporated
- adjust salt and pepper as needed
- spoon into bowls and top with basil
- serve alongside Dylan's gourmet grilled cheese (see notes below)
- For extra creaminess, you can certainly add in 1/2 can of coconut milk or 1/2 c heavy cream
- If you don't have enough stock/broth, you can replace the remaining amount with water (e.g. if you have 2 cups of broth, use 2 cups of water to meet the required total)
- For the grilled cheese -
- 1. prepare bacon as desired, though preferably in a skillet on the stove
- 2. remove bacon from heat, set aside on a paper towel, safely dispose of excess bacon grease, though keep some in the pan and return to low-medium heat
- 3. coat one side of 2 pieces of sourdough bread in butter of choice
- 4. placing one butter-side down into the pan, place shavings of smoked gouda, smoked cheddar and bacon, then place the remaining piece of sourdough, butter side up on top
- 5. cover the pan with a lid and let cook until cheese has begun to melt and the bottom piece of bread is golden brown
- 6. carefully flip the grilled cheese and continue to cook until that side is golden brown
- shredded mozzarella or parmesan cheese, garlic bread, parsley, a dollop of sour cream (or dairy free sour cream)