Full of flavor homemade tomato basil soup recipe made with roasted fresh tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil, and onions. It uses no canned stuff, and is perfect for a vegan, gluten free meal.
I have shared the recipe for this tomato basil soup before on the blog as a part of my roasted tomato pasta sauce. That recipe is a a great base for so many different dishes. Its great as a tomato sauce for pizzas. Add a little pasta water/ veg or chicken stock and it makes a great base for pasta. You can also use the base recipe like I do to make this roasted tomato basil soup.
Every time I make this soup (and I have made it plenty times) and post pictures on social media, I just direct people to the sauce blog post and thought its high time that I have a dedicated post for the soup. With August here, soon its going to be daily soup weather, and this tomato and basil soup should definitely feature in the must-know soup list.
SLOW ROASTING THE TOMATOES
This recipe benefits from the oven doing most of the work here in developing the flavors. Slow roasting the tomatoes releases the sweet juices in them and imparts a lovely flavor. Roasting a red bell pepper along with the tomatoes gives the final sauce that lovely red color you see in store bought sauces, without adding any canned tomatoes to the sauce. And to it, if you add roasted garlic, the sauce becomes absolute perfection in terms of flavor.
You can cook the onions separately in the pan and then add the roasted tomatoes, and occasionally I have done that too for my sauce, but these days I just roast the onions along with the tomatoes and then blitz everything in the blender. So much more convenient, and I do not have to pay attention to the stove in the kitchen heat.
CUSTOMIZING THIS TOMATO BASIL SOUP
I used to make tomato soup by first boiling the tomatoes, then peeling the skin off and then cooking it again. This method of roasting the tomatoes with the skin on is so much more convenient. Also the recipe is easily customizable to your taste and preferences.
This soup is great without any addition of cream, but a little cream/milk never hurt. I generally add a generous shaving of parmesan cheese, but if you are keeping it vegan you can skip that. This soup also goes well with addition of coconut milk for a creamy vegan tomato basil soup.
A point to note is that I do adjust the seasonings and herbs according to taste each time. I would advise you to do the same and adjust the seasonings according to your taste preferences.
I find the soup to be sweet enough, but you could add a little sugar if that’s what your preference is. A trick I use when making it for guests, is to add tomato ketchup instead. It has sugar in it plus is tomato-ey enough.
You can make this tomato basil soup ahead and store it in the refrigerator in air tight containers for 4-5 days.
When I make a lot of the roasted tomato paste, I sometimes end up freezing some and using the rest for the recipe. The paste then can be used whenever you want to make the soup next.
- 8-10 tomatoes, halved (about 1 kg)
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 large onion, quartered
- one entire bulb of garlic
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1tbsp butter
- 1.5 cups fresh basil
- 2-3 cups chicken or veg stock, depending on how thick you want the soup
- 1 tbsp crushed red pepper
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- Cream/whole milk for a creamy texture (sub with coconut milk for a vegan version)
- generous shaving of parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp tobasco
- Preheat oven to 350 F/ 180 C.
- Line a baking tray with foil, and grease it with some olive oil. Add the tomatoes and onions and make sure you coat them well with olive oil. Rub some olive oil on the red bell pepper and put that on the tray too. Drizzle with some olive oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper.
- Chop the top off the garlic bulb, and drizzle some oil and salt on the top. Wrap the garlic bulb in a piece of foil and put on the baking tray with the tomatoes and red bell pepper.
- Roast the tomatoes and bell pepper for about 40 minutes, or till the tomatoes begin to caramelize and bell pepper seems roasted, shaking the tray half way so that the vegetables roast properly.
- Remove from oven.
- Let cool a little. Remove skin of bell pepper. To easily peel off skin after I remove the tray from the oven, I wrap the bell pepper in some foil. Once cool, I remove the foil and find its easier to peel of the skin. You can also remove the peel off the tomatoes in this step. I generally don't.
- Peel removed, put the bell pepper, roasted tomatoes, onions in a blender. Squeeze out the roasted garlic from its skin and add it to the blender. Add in the basil. Blend till you get a smooth paste.
- In a saucepan heat 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp olive oil. Add in the roasted tomato paste, stock, crushed red pepper, and the dried oregano. Let the soup simmer for 10 minutes on medium low flame. You can add some grated parmesan cheese. Check seasoning and adjust.
- Serve the soup warm, with a drizzle of cream, and garnish of fresh basil and parmesan cheese.