Anytime is the perfect time for a delicious, nutritious bowl of bright, cheery tomato basil soup. Add tortellini and serve with crusty bread for a perfect, quick, flavorful, 30-minute weeknight meal.
When you think tomato soup, do you picture opening up an aluminum can with that white-and-red label, adding a can of water, and microwaving for a couple minutes? While that’s the soup I grew up on too, let me tell you boy is tomato soup much, much, much tastier when you make it from scratch. The secret? Ironically it’s canned tomatoes! Well, and a few other key ingredients of course. Plus, a lot of love. You have to give what you’re cooking some love for it to taste its best, and after you make this once, you’ll have nothing but love for it I assure you!
Why This Recipe Works
Canned tomatoes — While you can use fresh tomatoes, for simplicity’s sake, I just use a can of tomato sauce and a can of fire-roasted tomatoes as the bulk of the tomatoey goodness. It works great and the more high-quality the tomatoes, the better your soup will be so choose wisely.
Basil — While you certainly can make this tomato basil soup without the basil, it’s just not nearly as good. It’s slightly sweet, kind of peppery, and a bit minty at times, and always pairs so well with tomatoes of any kind.
Pantry staples — Did I mention you use canned tomatoes, store-bought broth, and pre-made tortellini (optional) for this soup? Those plus few other kitchen staples are all you need to whip this up tonight.
Leftovers — This recipe makes enough for 6 average-size bowls of soup and if you don’t eat it all, it totally keeps for up to 5 days in the fridge or for 3 months in the freezer. Just thaw in the fridge and reheat (I prefer to reheat soup on the stovetop, but the microwave works too!)
Here’s How You Make It
- For the optional tortellini, boil according to package directions till just tender, then drain it and set it to the side until the soup is ready.
- Melt the butter in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and let it saute for 1 minute.
- Now add the tomato sauce, the diced tomatoes and the chicken broth and bring it up to a boil. Then, once it’s boiling, reduce the soup to a high simmer and let it cook down for another 10 minutes.
- Transfer the soup to a high-powered blender at this point. You might have to do it in batches if your blender is small. Make sure you cover the hole in the lid with a towel so you don’t get scalded, but so that steam can escape. Or you could use an immersion blender right in the stock pot if you have one
- Put the soup back in the pot from the blender, and stir in the salt, 1 cup of the cream, and some black pepper. Add more of these items if you prefer after you taste it.
- Stir back in the tortellini if you’re using it and let the soup simmer for another 5 minutes to heat the tortellini back up.
- Finally, add in the fresh basil, sir, and serve – preferably with melty grilled cheese on the side.
What Foods Taste Good with Basil?
I love basil and tomatoes together. Below are a few recipes incorporating the two plus some other ways to enjoy basil.
- Another variety of tomato basil soup I love to make is this Tomato Basil Orzo soup.
- In a surprising twist, this Thai Blackberry Basil Chicken was one of the best recipes I ever threw together in 20 minutes flat.
- Add some caprese action to the top of this Grilled Chicken Margherita.
- Blend up a batch of Pesto with a cup of basil and some other ingredients and use on everything.
- Brighten up an ordinary Caprese Salad with basil, salmon, and lentils.
- If you’re going to use an immersion blender to blend up this tomato basil soup recipe, that’s totally fine. However, I have found that using a sand blender makes the soup soup-er smooth (see what I did there?).
- For a cheesier tomato basil soup, you can stir in ½ a cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese in addition to more cream. Make sure you grate the parm yourself, it melts into the soup the best this way!
- I would be remiss if I didn’t leave you with some ideas for what to make with this tomato basil soup. Of course, a grilled cheese is my #1 choice with all things tomato soup, but you could also make some cheesy garlic bread, rolls, or breadsticks on the side as well.
More Tasty Soup Recipes
- Southwest Corn Chowder
- Easy Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
- Slow Cooker Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup
- Sausage and Vegetable Soup
- Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup
Did you make this Tomato Basil Soup recipe? YAY! Please rate the recipe below!
Tomato Basil Soup
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 30-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1-2 teaspoons salt - to taste
- 2 14-ounce cans diced fire roasted tomatoes
- 4 cups vegetable broth - or chicken broth, I used low sodium
- 1-2 cups heavy cream
- 1 handful fresh basil leaves - finely chopped
- cracked black pepper
- 2 cups cheese tortellini - optional
- If using the tortellini, boil til just tender, drain and set aside.
- In a large stock pot melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute.
- Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a high simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
- Transfer to a high powered blender, cover tightly, and pulse until smooth (you may need to do this in batches, don't fill the blender too full). Alternately, you can use an immersion blender (see note!).
- Return to the pot, stir in one teaspoon of salt, one cup of cream, and a few twists of cracked black pepper. Taste, add more salt and/or cream as desired.
- If using tortellini, stir in now and let the soup simmer for 5 minutes or so to heat the tortellini.
- Stir in fresh basil and serve immediately.