Easy Tomato Basil Soup

This tomato basil soup is so easy to make! In under 30 minutes, you have a classic plant based soup with a rich basil flavor.

Tomato basil soup

What’s more classic than tomato basil soup? It’s cozy and bright, the perfect accompaniment to a grilled cheese or crusty bread. Alex and I created this recipe to use up an overabundance of basil from our bushy basil plant. It’s straightforward and easy to make, but tastes like much more than the sum of its parts: tangy and garlicky, with an herby basil finish. It’s also a dairy free and vegan soup, so it fits many diets. Of course, you can add a splash of milk or cream to make it a creamy soup too! Here’s how to make it — and a few more tomato soup variations!

Tomato basil soup

Ingredients for tomato basil soup

This easy tomato basil soup is the definition of a classic soup: the main steps are chop, saute, simmer, blend. Alex and I created it as a way to use some of our garden basil. (See this post on How to Grow Basil if you’re looking to grow your own.) Like most tomato soups, it uses canned tomatoes. And it takes under 30 minutes to make! Here’s what you’ll need for this soup:

  • Canned fire roasted tomatoes (see below)
  • Onion
  • Red bell pepper
  • Garlic
  • Fresh basil
  • White wine vinegar
  • Veggie broth
  • Olive oil

Tips for how to make tomato basil soup

There’s not much to making this tomato basil soup! But here are a few pointers to keep in mind:

  • Use fire roasted tomatoes OR best quality tomatoes and simmer longer. Fire roasted tomatoes are the key to big flavor in less time! This variety tastes sweeter out of the can than the typical tomato, so you can get away with simmering it less. If you can’t find it, use the best quality tomatoes you can find. Taste and if the flavors need more developing, you can simmer a little longer.
  • Use an immersion blender to simmer in the pan, but be careful! An immersion blender or stick blender let you leave the soup in the pan and blend it. But watch out: you can end up with red spatters everywhere! Be careful because the soup can spit. You can also simply transfer the soup to a standard blender: just take care when pouring hot soup into the blender.
Grilled cheese dippers
Pesto grilled cheese dippers + tomato basil soup are a match made in heaven

How to serve tomato basil soup

Tomato basil soup needs a great pairing to make a filling meal! It’s full of vegetables and nutrients, but it’s not filling enough on its own to function as a meal (there’s not enough protein to keep you full with this alone). Here are a few ideas on what we’d serve with it to make it into a meal:

Easy tomato basil soup

5 great tomato soup variations

This tomato basil soup is the most classic of our tomato soup recipes. But if you want to try something a little fancier, here are a few other tomato soup variations we love:

  1. Tomato Artichoke Soup: Our “famous” tomato artichoke soup is modeled after the famous soup at our local neighborhood restaurant, Cafe Patachou.
  2. Tomato Basil Gnocchi Soup: Imagine the best tomato basil soup. Then imagine it with doughy gnocchi inside! This easy soup takes just 30 minutes and features delightful pasta dough balls.
  3. Creamy Vegan Tomato Soup: Here’s our favorite creamy vegan tomato soup: the creaminess comes from blending it with cashews into a tangy puree.
  4. Tomato Lime Indian Soup: This tomato soup has a unique twist: it’s a tangy and creamy soup flavored with yogurt, onion, garlic, cardamom and cumin.
  5. Tomato Dumpling Soup: This one’s similar to our tomato basil gnocchi soup, but stars homemade Parmesan ricotta dumplings.
Basil

Need an immersion blender?

An immersion blender is also called a “stick blender” or hand blender. It’s useful for making pureed soups like this tomato basil soup because you can place it right into the pot instead of transferring hot soup to a blender and then back.

It’s also nice for small batch blending like for salad dressings like our raspberry vinaigrette. Because the quantity of ingredients is fairly small, it can be hard to get it to blend in a standard-size blender. So, it’s nice to have an immersion blender for this type of job! (We don’t own a small blender, so this is what we do.) Here’s one we recommend: Immersion blender | Amazon

This tomato basil soup recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, refined sugar free, and naturally sweet.

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Tomato basil soup

Tomato Basil Soup


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (9 votes, average: 4.78 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

This tomato basil soup is so easy to make! In under 30 minutes, you have a classic plant based soup with a rich basil flavor.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup basil leaves, loosely packed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 28-ounce can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes (with basil, if available)
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Garnish ideas: Thinly sliced basil, a drizzle of olive oil, Homemade Croutons

Instructions

  1. Dice the onion and the bell pepper. Mince the garlic. Tear the basil leaves into large pieces.
  2. In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and red pepper and sauté for about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the white wine vinegar and cook until evaporated.
  3. Add tomatoes, vegetable broth and salt and bring to a steady simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add the basil and use an immersion blender to puree the soup until creamy (or, transfer it to a standard blender and blend). Serve immediately, refrigerate for up to 5 days, or freeze for several months.*

Notes

*As a creamy variation, you could stir in a bit of heavy cream or milk.

  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Blended
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Tomato Basil Soup, Easy Tomato Basil Soup

Last updated: August 2020

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

2 Comments

  • Reply
    Claire
    February 23, 2020 at 7:57 am

    I prepped a batch of this soup to have on hand for lunches this week and OH MY WORD it’s so good! I added plain Greek yogurt to make it creamy (I eyeballed it — maybe 1/2 cup?) and subsequently needed to add extra salt to make up for the addition. I’m so impressed with how easy this recipe was to make, yet how delish it is!
    -Claire

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      February 24, 2020 at 11:16 am

      :)

      Glad you loved it!

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