Easy Creamy Tomato Basil and Garlic Soup Recipe

Nothing says comfort food better than creamy tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches! As a long time fan of this popular pairing I would be lying if I said I didn’t eat this at least several times a month. And after having a delicious bowl of tomato basil soup at Macaroni Grill, I decided I wanted to try and make my own at home. To my surprise, homemade tomato soup was quite simple to make and the flavor was so much better than my go to canned version. Using simple pantry items, you can make this easy and creamy tomato basil soup recipe too! Let me show you how. Full recipe card below.

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What is tomato soup?

Tomato soup is an American family favorite classic frequently served with a grilled cheese sandwich. As the name suggests, the primary ingredient in tomato soup is tomatoes. They are commonly combined with milk, heavy cream, vegetable stock, or vegetable broth and blended into a thinned out soup. Some versions may contain vegetables, noodles, herbs, chunks of roasted tomatoes, and garlic.

This delicious recipe uses basic ingredients and tastes just like the tomato basil soup at Macaroni Grill!

Why I love this recipe

In this recipe I have simplified the components to create an easy tomato basil soup without a ton of ingredients to make it easy for anyone to make. Even if this is your first time! It’s the perfect recipe for lunch or dinner and only takes about 25 minutes to make. This easy recipe will become your go to bowl of tomato soup full of flavor!

Easy Creamy Tomato Basil and Garlic Soup Recipe Ingredients

This simple tomato soup uses common ingredients you probably already have stocked in your pantry and only requires a few simple steps to make it.

Tomato sauce – In this recipe I used unsalted canned tomato sauce for convenience. I regularly stock tomato sauce for pizza and chili so I usually have some on hand. If you are feeling ambitious, you can also make your own sauce, but I don’t think it’s necessary. The canned stuff works just as good.

Diced Tomatoes – To make this recipe easy I chose to use canned tomatoes rather than whole tomatoes. Fresh tomatoes are not in season right now and I wanted the convenience of making this on a moments notice rather than having to plan ahead. If you would like a fresh tomato basil soup recipe you can definitely chop your own tomatoes. There are many kinds of tomatoes and many people regard San Marzano tomatoes as the best but I will definitely be trying this recipe in the fall with fresh Roma tomatoes from my garden.

Fresh Basil  Basil is a key ingredient to developing the flavor in this soup and fresh basil will have a much greater impact and deeper flavor than dried basil. While you can use dried basil, I highly recommend using fresh basil here. It adds an element of freshness and you will get the best flavor with real basil.

Onion – I chose to use a yellow onion here since it gets cooked down. Yellow onions are best for cooked dishes since they stand up to heat better and they become sweeter the longer they cook which is perfect for soups. You can also use a white onion or a sweet Vidalia onion. The white onion will have a sharper flavor than the yellow and a Vidalia will be sweeter. I do not recommend using a red onion because they are really best used in raw dishes or for pickling. They have a much spicier and sharp flavor.

Garlic – When I cook I almost always use jarred garlic because it’s easy and keeps a long time in the fridge. In this recipe I used jarred garlic but you can definitely use fresh if you prefer. The conversion is a 1:1 ratio of tsp to garlic cloves. This recipe calls for 3 tsp minced garlic so you would use 3 cloves of garlic. If you want to use garlic powder instead, you will only need 3/4 tsp for this recipe.

Milk – For this recipe I used 2% milk. With all the acidity from the tomatoes, this soup really needs a creamy ingredient to balance and thin it out. Some recipes call for vegetable or chicken broth, but I think milk balances it out better. For a thicker and extra creamy texture and rich flavor use whole milk, half and half, or heavy cream. I don’t recommend skim milk because it is just to thin and not creamy enough. I have not tested non-dairy milk substitutes like coconut milk and almond milk.

Butter – Because everything is better with butter, am I right? In this case butter is going to coat the pan and add flavor to the onion and garlic while you sauté it. You can use real butter or margarine here or even olive oil.

Sugar – I know this might seem a little strange but sugar adds a little bit of extra sweetness to counterbalance the acidity in the soup.

Salt & Pepper – Like all dishes a little salt and pepper goes a long way with the flavor.

Mixing Options for Tomato Soup

I recommend using an immersion blender for this recipe because you can stick it directly into the pot. You can also use a food processor or a regular blender but be aware if you have a high powered blender your soup may come out much thinner. While I love my Ninja Foodi blender, I think it would blend this soup a little too much.

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Easy Creamy Tomato Basil and Garlic Soup Recipe


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  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Ditch the condensed can and make your own creamy tomato and basil garlic soup! With only a few simple ingredients you can have a bowl of homemade tomato basil soup. The perfect lunch or dinner dish for a chilly winter day or anytime you are craving a warm cup of soup. Pair with a grilled cheese sandwich for the ultimate comfort food!


Ingredients

Units Scale

2 tbsp Unsalted Butter

3 tsp Minced Garlic

1/2 Yellow Onion Diced

​1 1/2 tsp Salt

1 tsp Pepper

14.5 oz Canned Diced Tomatoes

2 tbsp Fresh Basil Chopped

1 cup Milk

29 oz Unsalted Tomato Sauce (1 large can)

1 tbsp Sugar

Croutons for Garnish


Instructions

  1. In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat.
  2. Reduce to medium low heat and add diced onion, garlic, salt, and pepper to the pot. Sauté until the onions are cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Be careful not to burn the garlic or it will taste bitter.
  3. Add the tomatoes and basil and cook them down for 5-10 minutes until the tomatoes start to release all their juices and become soft.
  4. Remove from heat and blend all the ingredients in the pot using an immersion blender. This can splatter so I recommend wearing an apron or shielding yourself with a towel.
  5. Return the soup pot to the burner and add in the milk, tomato sauce, and sugar. Cook for another 5 minutes or until you have hot soup. Do not boil.
  6. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.
  7. Garnish with additional basil and croutons. I like the large garlic ones the best! You can also sprinkle with parmesan cheese if you want.
  8. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

How to reheat Tomato Soup

If you have leftover tomato soup you have a few options for reheating. I personally think reheating in the microwave works just fine. It is the quickest and easiest method. Microwave in 40 second intervals in a microwave safe bowl stirring in between until soup is hot all the way through. I recommend covering with a paper towel so the soup doesn’t splatter in the microwave.

You can also reheat leftovers the next day on the stove top. Add soup to a pot and heat over medium heat until the soup is hot. Do not boil.

If you are looking to multi task your leftover dinner prep work, transfer soup to the slow cooker and heat it up on low while you make grilled cheese sandwiches.

When to make Tomato Basil and Garlic Soup

This homemade creamy tomato basil soup is the perfect comfort food for cold winter days, an easy lunch or dinner, or the perfect pair with a classic grilled cheese for adults or kids. No matter when you decide to make it, it will definitely become one of your favorite soup recipes!

Looking for more soup recipes? Try my easy taco soup, potato soup, or butternut squash soup recipe.

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