Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom Tomatoes

By Cat, July 2009 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

Tomatoes are ripening in our gardens and I’m always interested in a new way to use them. An old friend from where I used to live shared this recipe with me, and it’s mmm, especially when the tomatoes and basil are picked fresh from the garden, or bought fresh-picked at a local farmers market. Her recipe uses chicken stock, but a veggie broth could be used for a vegetarian version.

See also: 1. Soups Menu

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

My friend Kevynne in Portland sent me this recipe, which I have adapted for my own ingredients (homemade chicken stock, etc.).

Kev recommends that if tomatoes are not at their peak of sweetness add ½ tsp sugar to the soup. Alternately, use good quality canned tomatoes, such as Muir Glen organic brand.

She doesn’t indicate how many this recipe serves, but my guess is that it makes at least 6 cups soup, so probably serves 4 – 6.


Ingredients & Equipment:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 sprigs fresh basil
  • 4 pounds ripe red tomatoes, diced
  • ½ tsp sugar (optional; see above)
  • 4 cups homemade chicken stock, veggie or potato peel broth
  • 1½ tsp unrefined sea salt plus more to taste
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup raw heavy cream, or whipping cream
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves (garnish)
  • Equipment
  • stock pot or saucier
  • kitchen string
  • blender


  1. Chop onions and tomatoes separately. Tie basil sprigs together with kitchen string
  2. Heat olive oil in pot over medium high heat; saute onions, stirring occasionally, until softened.
  3. Add tied basil, tomatoes, stock, salt and pepper to the onions.  Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce to medium low and simmer uncovered, until reduced by one-quarter, about 20 minutes.  Let cool.
  4. Remove basil.  Puree soup in batches in blender until very smooth, at least 3 minutes.
  5. Clean the pot.
  6. Strain soup into cleaned pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  7. Remove from heat, stir in cream and balsamic vinegar.  Adjust seasoning as needed.
  8. Just before serving, cut basil leaves into strips and garnish each bowl.

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