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Comforting and packed with flavor, this Creamy Tomato Basil Soup is your new favorite homemade soup recipe! It’s bursting with fresh herbal flavors and topped with parmesan, making it the perfect partner to a grilled cheese sandwich.
Not much can warm you up after a long day quite like a big bowl of soup. Like my potato barley soup and vegan tomato soup, this Creamy Tomato Basil Soup recipe is always warming thanks to its incredibly rich and comforting flavors. It’s easy to make with simple ingredients, too!
There’s a little bit of everything in this creamy tomato and basil soup: refined herbal flavors from dried herbs and fresh basil, lots of umami goodness from all of those tomatoes, and a luxurious creamy element thanks to a combo of milk and half-and-half. And the grated parmesan on top? It’s the pièce de résistance!
Enjoy this creamy and satisfying soup for easy weeknight dinners, cozy weekday lunches, or any time you’re craving something cozy.
- This creamy tomato soup is flavor-forward and always comforting. Curl up with a bowl during cold winter nights or to celebrate summer turning into fall.
- A combination of fresh ingredients and canned tomatoes yields an easy soup that’s loaded with garden-fresh flavor.
- Customize it to your taste by switching the toppings, using non-dairy substitutes, or adding extra cheese.
Soup vegetables - The classic mirepoix, AKA diced onion, carrots, and celery, infuses this soup with lots of fresh and savory veggie flavors.
Seasonings - I kept it simple and seasoned this soup with salt, black pepper, oregano, and dried basil. You can use an Italian seasoning blend to upgrade those herbaceous flavors if you want.
Fire-roasted tomatoes - Canned crushed tomatoes keep this recipe as easy as possible but are still a delicious base. Fire-roasted tomatoes are my go-to for that extra layer of flavor but you can use regular tomatoes if you want. To learn how to make tomato soup with fresh tomatoes, head to the FAQs section.
Vegetable stock - Use any store-bought or homemade vegetable broth if you like. Alternatively, use chicken broth for an extra savory flavor.
Milk and half-and-half - This combo gives the soup a super creamy and satisfying consistency. You could use heavy cream instead of these two but the soup will be very rich.
Fresh basil - Because tomatoes and fresh basil are a dream team! Try not to skip this.
Parmesan cheese - The best topping for tomato soup! Shred a block of parmesan yourself so it melts perfectly into the soup.
Step 1: Cook the veggies. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat, then add the onion, carrots, and celery. Cook until softened, then add the garlic.
Step 2: Season. Stir the salt, pepper, oregano, and dried basil into the veggie mixture. Pour in the tomato paste next.
Step 3: Add the tomatoes. Pour the crushed tomatoes, their juices, and the vegetable stock into the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer.
Step 4: Blend. Use an immersion blender to purée the soup until smooth.
Step 5: Finish the soup. To finish, stir the milk, half-and-half, parmesan, and fresh basil into the soup. Serve in bowls with extra grated parmesan cheese on top, then enjoy!
Tips and FAQs
- If you don’t have an immersion blender, carefully pour the soup into a regular blender and blend until smooth. You may need to do this in batches.
Want a thicker consistency? Remove about 1 cup of pureed soup from the pot, whisk in 1 to 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, then stir the slurry back into the batch and heat until thickened to your liking.
- Omit the cream - Use only milk and omit the half-and-half for a lighter tomato soup. It won’t be as creamy, but will still be tasty!
- Dairy free - Use a can of full-fat coconut milk instead of the milk/half-and-half and stir in your favorite shredded vegan mozzarella cheese.
- Try a different kind of cheese - If you don’t have parmesan, use shredded mozzarella, Gruyère, Pecorino, ricotta, or cheddar cheese instead.
There’s nothing quite like dunking a Caprese grilled cheese or avocado grilled cheese into a bowl of tomato bisque. It’s the best way to make every bite of the sandwich decadently cheesy and comforting!
If you want something a bit lighter, top every bowl of soup with seasoned croutons, freshly ground black pepper, and fresh basil leaves. Serve with pieces of crusty bread, crackers, or garlic bread on the side for dunking, then enjoy.
Can this creamy tomato and basil soup be made in the slow cooker?
Absolutely! Saute the aromatics and veggies as normal, then dump them and the seasonings, tomato paste, canned tomatoes, and vegetable stock in a slow cooker. Cook for 5 to 6 hours on low or 3 to 4 hours on high. Purée as normal, stir in the milk/cream, fresh basil, and cheese, and serve.
Can I use fresh tomatoes for tomato soup?
Yes, you can use fresh tomatoes instead of canned. Dice them up by hand or roast them in the oven for an added dimension of subtle, smoky flavor.
What are the best tomatoes for tomato soup?
I recommend using Roma, plum, cherry, grape, or San Marzano tomatoes if you’re using fresh tomatoes for the tomato basil soup.
Is tomato soup the same as tomato bisque?
Both of these dishes are tomato-based soups but bisque is much thicker since it’s made with cream. Regular tomato soup is typically dairy free and made with a broth base instead. My creamy tomato basil soup recipe is technically a tomato bisque since it includes cream.
Refrigerator: Once cool, keep the soup in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
Freezer: If you plan on freezing this soup, I recommend waiting to add the dairy until after it’s been reheated since dairy doesn’t thaw well. Store it in the freezer for about 3 months. Before it’s time to eat, thaw the leftovers in the fridge overnight.
Reheating: You can reheat the leftovers quickly in the microwave or in a pot on the stovetop.
More cozy soup recipes
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Creamy Tomato Basil Soup
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 red onion chopped
- 1 cup carrots finely diced
- ¾ cup celery finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 28 oz fire roasted crushed tomatoes with their juices
- 32 oz vegetable stock
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup half & half
- ½ cup fresh basil chopped, plus more for garnish
- ½ cup parmesan freshly grated, plus more for garnish
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a dutch oven. Add onions, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and slightly browned, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Add the salt, oregano, basil, and pepper and stir for 30 seconds before adding in the tomato paste and sauteing continuously for 2 minutes.
- Stir in the tomatoes and vegetable stock. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Purée mixture using an immersion blender. Or, transfer soup to a blender, blend on low until smooth and then return to the dutch oven.
- Stir in the milk, half & half, parmesan, and basil. Ladle into bowls, then serve with additional parmesan, salt and pepper. Enjoy!