Homemade tomato basil soup and grilled cheese is a classic lunch combination that is always satisfying. This easy tomato soup only has a few simple ingredients and takes less than an hour to make. It’s made with a combination of fresh tomatoes and canned tomatoes, fresh basil and you can make it with or without cheese and cream.
TOMATO BASIL SOUP
Why does grilled cheese and tomato soup taste so good together? It might be the smooth, velvety tomato soup combined with the crunchy and gooey grilled cheese. Tomatoes, basil, cheese, and bread is a perfect combination of flavors. No wonder there are food trucks and restaurants that are dedicated just to serving grilled cheese and tomato soup.
Of course, it’s not the only thing that you can pair with a classic tomato soup. Garlic and herb croutons add great flavor pop and crunch to the soup. Try different sandwiches as well, especially in you want to add protein to the meal. And of course, crackers is another classic companion.
This soup is very easy to make at home and will take less than an hour. Make it ahead of time too and store it in the refrigerator so that you have a 5-minute lunch the whole week. It reheats very easily in the microwave.
HOW TO MAKE TOMATO BASIL SOUP
Although it’s not necessary, I like to use a combination of fresh tomatoes and canned tomatoes in this soup. Fresh tomatoes add crisp and light tomato favor while canned tomatoes are more meaty and deep in flavor.
Start by sauteing onion, fresh tomatoes, and garlic in some olive oil until the vegetables are softened. Add canned tomatoes and crush them with a wooden spoon while mixing.
Sprinkle some flour over the vegetables, slowly stir it in while pouring in vegetable broth. Stir in sugar, salt, red pepper flakes, thyme, and oregano. Bring the mixture to a low boil and turn the heat down to low. Cover and let it simmer for about 40 minutes.
Stir in fresh basil and transfer the mixture into the blender. Blend until smooth and pour back into the pot. Be careful because the blended soup will splatter as it simmers. Cook for a couple more minutes and serve.
Make it cheesy:
If you want to make your tomato soup cheesy, add about 1/2 cup of shaved Parmesan cheese to blended soup. Stir and cook until cheese is melted.
Make it creamy:
You can also add cream in addition to cheese or instead of cheese. Add about 1/3 cup of heavy whipping cream to the blended soup and cook for a couple of minutes.
CAN THIS SOUP BE GLUTEN FREE?
Absolutely! To make this tomato basil soup gluten free, you can use gluten free flour or cornstarch to thicken it.
When using gluten free all-purpose flour, do an equal substitution at the same time as you would add the regular flour.
To thicken the soup with cornstarch, mix about 1.5 tablespoons of cornstarch with some cold vegetable broth first. Add it to the soup once it’s blended, at the end of the cooking process. Stir it in a pot and cook the soup for a few minutes, until thickened. Make sure to slowly stir while the soup is thickening to keep it moving.
Store homemade tomato soup in an air-tight container, in the refrigerator. Kept in the refrigerator, the soup will be good for 3-4 days.
You can also freeze all or a portion of the soup. Freeze soup in thick, zip-lock freezer bags. Pour cooled soup into the bag, get all the air out, and close tight. Label and lay it on the cutting board. Freeze soup bags laying down for easier storage. In the freezer, tomato soup will last for about 4 months.
Note: do not add heavy cream or cheese if planning to freeze the soup. You can add cream and cheese when reheating.
Transfer the frozen bags into the refrigerator and thaw it slowly overnight. Place them in a bowl while thawing to protect the refrigerator from possible spills.
SOME MORE SOUP RECIPES TO TRY:
Italian Broccoli Cheese Soup – our favorite broccoli cheese soup with Italian spin on cheeses and seasoning.
Mushroom Soup – great creamy and easy soup loaded with three types of mushrooms and sage.
Chicken Tortilla Soup – comforting soup with chicken, beans, corn, and so many other vegetables.
Tomato Bisque Soup – rich and creamy tomato bisque is heartwarming with grilled cheese, croutons, or slice of bread.
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Tomato Basil Soup
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 Vidalia onion
- 3 tomatoes on a vine diced
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- 28 oz can peeled whole plum tomatoes
- 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 cup vegetable broth or chicken broth
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tbsp fresh minced basil
- Preheat a cooking pot over medium heat and add oil. Add onions and saute until transparent.
- Add fresh tomatoes and cook until softened. Smash and mince garlic and add it to the pot. Stir and saute until fragrant.
- Add canned tomatoes and crush them with a wooden spoon while mixing.
- Sprinkle flour over the vegetables, slowly stir it in while pouring in vegetable broth.
- Stir in sugar, salt, red pepper flakes, thyme, and oregano.
- Bring the mixture to a low boil and turn the heat down to low. Cover and let it simmer for about 40 minutes.
- Stir in fresh basil and transfer the mixture into the blender. Blend until smooth and pour back into the pot. Be careful because the blended soup will splatter as it simmers. Cook for a couple more minutes and serve.
To make the soup cheesy:
- Add about 1/2 cup of shaved Parmesan cheese to blended soup. Stir and cook until cheese is melted.
To make the soup creamy:
- You can also add cream in addition to cheese or instead of cheese. Add about 1/3 cup of heavy whipping cream to the blended soup and cook for a couple of minutes.
Originally published on Will Cook For Smiles on May 10, 2011. Updated August 12, 2019.