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Parmesan Tomato Basil Soup

This wonderfully easy, creamy Tomato Basil Soup with Parmesan is 1000X better than any canned/carton variety, is bursting with flavor and requires no roasting or chopping!  This Tomato Soup continues to be a family favorite and deserved a photo makeover because everyone deserves this deliciousness in their lives!
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 48 minutes
Servings 6 -8

Ingredients

  • 4 stalks celery chopped into thirds to fit processor
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled chopped into thirds to fit processor
  • 1/2 large onion, peeled and quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 14 oz. cans fire roasted diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil or 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped**
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tsp EACH dried parsley, black pepper
  • pinch red pepper flakes optional
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-2 cups milk, half and half OR heavy cream***
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Garnish

  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Instructions

  • Add celery, carrots, onion and garlic to a food processor and pulse until finely minced (or mince by hand).
  • Melt butter in oil in large Dutch oven/soup pot over medium heat. Turn heat to medium high, add minced vegetables and saute for 4 minutes. Sprinkle in flour and continue to cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Gradually whisk in chicken broth followed by tomatoes and all seasonings. Add bay leaf. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until carrots are tender.
  • Add Parmesan cheese and whisk to blend. Stir in milk/half and half/cream/milk and gently simmer an additional 15-20 minutes on low, stirring occasionally. Stir in additional chicken broth or cream to reach desired consistency. Remove bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • You can serve the soup as is if you like the texture or proceed to puree with an immersion blender or working in batches, transfer soup to blender and puree until smooth, being careful to let smoke escape or it will explode. ***Using a blender will give you a MUCH smoother, creamier soup.*** Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional).

Video

Notes

Don't miss the "how to make" recipe video at the top of the post!
*I actually prefer dried basil in this recipe as it delivers a more concentrated flavor.
***The higher the fat content, the creamier the soup.
**** I leave a corner of the blender lid open and cover the opening with a paper towel.

CAN YOU FREEZE TOMATO BASIL SOUP?

YES!  Many soups with dairy do not freeze well but this Tomato Basil Soup freezes great because it is all pureed together.

HOW TO FREEZE

  1. Cool. Cool Tomato Basil Soup completely before freezing.
  2. Package:  Transfer soup to a freezer safe container.  You can use sandwich size plastic bags for individual soup portions, quart size bags or freezer bags.  To easy fill these bags, place them in a container that you can wrap the top around the edge of – for example, place a sandwich size bag in a mug then cuff the edges around the mug.  This keeps the bag open and prevents it from collapsing when you are pouring in your Tomato Basil Soup. Squeeze out any excess air then seal and label.
  3. Freeze. Freeze Tomato Basil Soup for up to three months.
  4. Defrost/Reheat. The easiest way to thaw your soup is in your refrigerator overnight then reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.

NO CREAM TOMATO BASIL SOUP

You can substitute the cream for milk, almond milk, coconut milk or even chicken broth.  The tomato soup won't be quite as creamy but it will still boast all the tantalizing flavors.  If you go this route, then you might want to whisk in 2 tablespoons cornstarch to whatever liquid you substitute the cream with to add more body to the soup.

NO DAIRY TOMATO BASIL SOUP

You can omit the dairy completely in this Tomato Basil Soup and substitute with coconut, almond or cashew milk.  I have heard great things about coconut milk in this recipe although I cannot personally vouch for the variation.  As mentioned above, I would whisk 2 tablespoons cornstarch to whatever liquid you substitute the cream with to add more body to the soup.  Once you omit the Parmesan, you are losing some of the nutty, saltiness, so you may need to add additional salt to taste.

GLUTEN FREE TOMATO BASIL SOUP

This Tomato Basil Soup is very simple to make gluten free!  Simply replace the flour with gluten free flour or whisk 2 tablespoons cornstarch into part of the chicken broth until smooth to create a slurry.  The general rule of thumb is you need half the amount of cornstarch as flour.

VEGAN TOMATO BASIL SOUP

To make Vegan Tomato Basil Soup, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, omit the Parmesan and replace the milk/heavy cream with coconut, almond or cashew milk.  Again, I would whisk 2 tablespoons cornstarch to whatever liquid you substitute the cream with to add more body to the soup.

FRESH TOMATO SOUP

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cut three pounds tomatoes in half.
  3. Toss halved tomatoes with 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil.
  4. Place in middle rack and roast in the oven for 40-45 minutes.
  5. Broil at the end to get a little more char on the tomatoes.
  6. Continue with recipe as outlined, using fresh tomatoes instead of canned.