Resharing this recipe from Nov. 2014… still a fave even 8 years later!
I’m pretty sure most people would agree, there’s nothing quite like a tasty tomato soup. Best of all, to make a good one, you really don’t need to get complicated. It’s best, I find, when kept nice and simple. I’ve been playing around for years with variations… this is by far my favorite yet. I’m actually enjoying some right now as I write this post. 😉
I’ve made this same recipe three times this week. Crazy, I know. I never make the same thing back to back, but we really liked this one. It seemed liked each time I’d make a new batch, it’d get gobbled up within minutes and then we’d just be left staring at each other, an empty pot, wishing we had more. The mister said it was his fave soup I’ve made in a while… and was in total disbelief that there was no cream in this bad boy. It’s so creamy tasting, without any dairy whatsoever. Bonus for y’all who don’t eat dairy but love yo’self a good creamy soup!
Beyond simply wanting more, there was actually a method to my tomato-making madness. I was determined to make sure that this recipe was spot-on before posting it. With something like a tomato soup, where the main ingredient- the tomato- comes in so many varieties, I felt like I had to test it with different tomatoes to make sure it’d work consistently regardless of the type of tomatoes used. I worried that if I made it with cherry tomatoes and then you bought Romas, it might not work the same. So I tested it three different times, each with a different type of tomato. I like playing kitchen chemist. 😉
My friend Caroline has a plethora of amazing cherry tomatoes growing in her garden… still, in November. Lucky gal. Thing is, she doesn’t like tomatoes. Crazy, I know. So when I’d popped by her house the house day for a quick hello, I unexpectedly got to leave with pounds and pounds of perfectly ripe cherry tomatoes. It felt like Christmas had come early.
I snacked on a bunch, made salads galore, and then made this… so we can all thank Caroline for this recipe I suppose, for it was her little tomatoes that started this whole craze. I made the first batch and was thrilled. It was my fave tomato soup recipe yet. Then I got my hands on some large classic cluster tomatoes and decided to try again, jus to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. Again, it was a hit. It occurred to me though- what about those folks who just want to get what’s least expensive, or maybe don’t have any other options at the store besides Romas, what about them? So I bought a couple of pounds of Romas and tried again. It made no difference; time and time again, this recipe was on point.
I’m convinced it’s the roasting. Roasting the tomatoes first allows their flavors to be enhanced, creating a delicious tart sweetness. That flavor doesn’t exist raw, but once roasted, it shines. Adding the balsamic vinegar was key, I’m convinced… often, people add sugar to tomatoes when roasting them. It helps them to caramelize. I didn’t want to add sugar though, so I opted for vinegar. I knew it would have the same effect, while adding a little zing to it too. I love when I make good decisions. 😉
So we’ve been eating tomato soup all week. We had a soup and salad night, we had it with some crispy herbed- chicken, we had it with some crab, and of course, we had it with a grilled cheese, too. I couldn’t resist; that marriage is unavoidable, undeniably delicious. I’m been trying to minimize my intake of grains and dairy lately, so I made a grilled cheese for the man only- this his lunch yesterday. But then, it stared at me. It stared me down fierce. Look at that cheese… I just had to have a bite. There’s a reason that partnership is so classic- grilled cheese and tomato soup is an unbeatable pairing, there’s just no denying it. (For those who follow my Instagram, you’ve likely seen the tomato soup marathon lately… been going crazy HERE.)
The soup itself is made totally dairy-free… but just for fun, I made some little parmesan crisps for the top. They add little crunch and fun. I’m a fan. 🙂
makes four servings
to roast tomatoes…
2 lbs fresh tomatoes (any variety)
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp balsamic vinegarfor the soup…
2 carrots, approx 1/2 cup chopped
2 celery stalks, approx 1/2 cup chopped
1 yellow onion, approx 2 cups chopped
3 garlic cloves, approx 1 tbsp minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1 bay leaf
1 cup chicken broth (homemade or good quality store-bought, use veggie if preferred)
1/2 tsp herbs de Provence
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp ghee, butter or olive oil
Garnish: fresh basil and parmesan crisps (see below)
Note: I use an immersion blender for this soup- makes life soo much easier! I have THIS one.
My many tomato experimentations…
Caroline’s glorious little guys above, some clusters and Romas below.
Use whatever you have, or mix and match- it simply won’t matter 🙂
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Slice tomatoes in half or quarters (small guys in half, larger ones in quarters)
Lay tomatoes on a large baking sheet- add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper
Toss to coat
Flip tomatoes face down, skin side up
Roast in the oven for 15 minutes
Meanwhile, begin preparing the remaining ingredients…
Chop carrots, onion, celery, garlic, and basil
Add the ghee/butter/oil to a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat
Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaf, herbs de Provence, salt, and pepper
Saute for about 5 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally
When tomatoes are done, remove them from the oven…
they should look a little wrinkly and be sitting in lots of juice
Add the tomatoes along with all of the juice from the baking sheet into the pot with the veggies
(That juice is full of flavor!)
Add the basil and chicken broth
Cover, lower heat and simmer for at least 30-40 minutes, until everything is cooked and soft
Once done, remove the bay leaf
If using a hand-mixer, blend right in the pot until smooth and creamy
If using a blender, pour the soup into the blender and blend away
(You may need to do this in batches)
I love immersion blenders… makes everything so much easier 🙂
Taste and adjust seasonings as desired 🙂
If you’d like to make parmesan crisps, it’s super easy…
Just grate some cheese (any hard cheese will do if you don’t have parm)
Use the smallest grater you have- a fine shred is best for this
On a baking sheet, make small piles of grated cheese
Bake on a high heat for just a few minutes, until melted and golden brown
(I do 450 for 3-4 mins or so)
Ladle soup into bowls…
Top with fresh basil and a few parmesan crisps…
I am dying to try this. I can’t believe I haven’t made it yet!
like to try it.
I hope you enjoy it when you do!
Amazing recipe!!! I just went dairy free and I didn’t miss the cream in the “creamy” soup. Thanks!!!
So glad you liked it!!
Natalie, I am making recipe right now and it is delicious! I am certain this will be my new favorite tomato soup. I would love it if your printer friendly version was formatted for one piece of paper. Thanks for this awesome and healthy recipe!
Thank you for the feedback! I’ve been on the hunt for a better print feature… in the meantime, you can select what you’d like this one to print by Xing out any pictures or text you don’t want to make it shorter. Hoping to find a more efficient one soon! As for the soup- thank you, I’m so happy you like!! 🙂
I’ve made this four times now and it is soon delicious. You don’t even miss the cream which is great for a dairy free diet! I added tortellini for a twist. Thanks for the great recipe that my husband and I love!
Love that! 🙂
I just made this soup and it is delicious! The first time I tried it was last year when I was pregnant and had a tomato soup craving but I knew I needed something healty 🙂
This time I made more than enough and I was wondering if it can be frozen so I can eat it next week or so.
I don’t often freeze my food, but I actually have this one! And it worked great!! So happy to hear you enjoyed it so much! 🙂
Just wanted to let you know that I found this recipe last year and made it numerous times last summer with fresh tomatoes. I froze some, but we used it up too fast, so this summer, I’ve been trying to freeze more so that it lasts us longer through the winter. I’m not a huge tomato soup fan, but I love this one, and everybody I’ve served it to also really likes it, and I’ve directed several people here to the recipe. I just made a quadruple batch with 8 lbs of assorted tomatoes my neighbor gave me 🙂 Thanks for such a great recipe!
How wonderful to hear, I’m so glad you like it!!
I love this recipe and have made it several times. Just wondering if it freezes well?