This tomato basil soup is so easy to make! In under 30 minutes, you have a classic plant based soup with a rich basil flavor.

Tomato basil soup

What’s more classic than tomato basil soup? It’s cozy and bright, the perfect accompaniment to a grilled cheese or crusty bread. Alex and I created this recipe to use up an overabundance of basil from our bushy basil plant. It’s straightforward and easy to make, but tastes like much more than the sum of its parts: tangy and garlicky, with an herby basil finish. It’s also a dairy free and vegan soup, so it fits many diets. Of course, you can add a splash of milk or cream to make it a creamy soup too! Here’s how to make it — and a few more tomato soup variations!

Tomato basil soup

Ingredients for tomato basil soup

This easy tomato basil soup is the definition of a classic soup: the main steps are chop, saute, simmer, blend. Alex and I created it as a way to use some of our garden basil. (See this post on How to Grow Basil if you’re looking to grow your own.) Like most tomato soups, it uses canned tomatoes. And it takes under 30 minutes to make! Here’s what you’ll need for this soup:

  • Canned fire roasted tomatoes (see below)
  • Onion
  • Red bell pepper
  • Garlic
  • Fresh basil
  • White wine vinegar
  • Veggie broth
  • Olive oil

Tips for how to make tomato basil soup

There’s not much to making this tomato basil soup! But here are a few pointers to keep in mind:

  • Use fire roasted tomatoes OR best quality tomatoes and simmer longer. Fire roasted tomatoes are the key to big flavor in less time! This variety tastes sweeter out of the can than the typical tomato, so you can get away with simmering it less. If you can’t find it, use the best quality tomatoes you can find. Taste and if the flavors need more developing, you can simmer a little longer.
  • Use an immersion blender to simmer in the pan, but be careful! An immersion blender or stick blender let you leave the soup in the pan and blend it. But watch out: you can end up with red spatters everywhere! Be careful because the soup can spit. You can also simply transfer the soup to a standard blender: just take care when pouring hot soup into the blender.
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How to serve tomato basil soup

Tomato basil soup needs a great pairing to make a filling meal! It’s full of vegetables and nutrients, but it’s not filling enough on its own to function as a meal (there’s not enough protein to keep you full with this alone). Here are a few ideas on what we’d serve with it to make it into a meal:

Easy tomato basil soup

5 great tomato soup variations

This tomato basil soup is the most classic of our tomato soup recipes. But if you want to try something a little fancier, here are a few other tomato soup variations we love:

  1. Tomato Artichoke Soup: Our “famous” tomato artichoke soup is modeled after the famous soup at our local neighborhood restaurant, Cafe Patachou.
  2. Tomato Basil Gnocchi Soup: Imagine the best tomato basil soup. Then imagine it with doughy gnocchi inside! This easy soup takes just 30 minutes and features delightful pasta dough balls.
  3. Creamy Vegan Tomato Soup: Here’s our favorite creamy vegan tomato soup: the creaminess comes from blending it with cashews into a tangy puree.
  4. Tomato Lime Indian Soup: This tomato soup has a unique twist: it’s a tangy and creamy soup flavored with yogurt, onion, garlic, cardamom and cumin.
  5. Tomato Dumpling Soup: This one’s similar to our tomato basil gnocchi soup, but stars homemade Parmesan ricotta dumplings.

Need an immersion blender?

An immersion blender is also called a “stick blender” or hand blender. It’s useful for making pureed soups like this tomato basil soup because you can place it right into the pot instead of transferring hot soup to a blender and then back.

It’s also nice for small batch blending like for salad dressings like our raspberry vinaigrette. Because the quantity of ingredients is fairly small, it can be hard to get it to blend in a standard-size blender. So, it’s nice to have an immersion blender for this type of job! (We don’t own a small blender, so this is what we do.) Here’s one we recommend: Immersion blender | Amazon

This tomato basil soup recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, refined sugar free, and naturally sweet.

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Tomato basil soup

Tomato Basil Soup

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


This tomato basil soup is so easy to make! In under 30 minutes, you have a classic plant based soup with a rich basil flavor.


  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup basil leaves, loosely packed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 28-ounce can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes (with basil, if available)
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Garnish ideas: Thinly sliced basil, a drizzle of olive oil, Homemade Croutons


  1. Dice the onion and the bell pepper. Mince the garlic. Tear the basil leaves into large pieces.
  2. In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and red pepper and sauté for about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the white wine vinegar and cook until evaporated.
  3. Add tomatoes, vegetable broth and salt and bring to a steady simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add the basil and use an immersion blender to puree the soup until creamy (or, transfer it to a standard blender and blend). Serve immediately, refrigerate for up to 5 days, or freeze for several months.*


*As a creamy variation, you could stir in a bit of heavy cream or milk.

  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Blended
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Tomato Basil Soup, Easy Tomato Basil Soup

Last updated: August 2020

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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  1. I prepped a batch of this soup to have on hand for lunches this week and OH MY WORD it’s so good! I added plain Greek yogurt to make it creamy (I eyeballed it — maybe 1/2 cup?) and subsequently needed to add extra salt to make up for the addition. I’m so impressed with how easy this recipe was to make, yet how delish it is!

  2. This turned out amazing! I didn’t have fire roasted tomatoes so I added flame roasted red peppers and some of its liquid. Will definitely be making this again. I also followed your homemade veggie stock recipe and made that ahead of time. 5 stars for both!

  3. Your Tomato Basil Soup is easy and awesome. The resident culinary supervisor (wife) approves. You should witness her boiling water.
    I am going to couple this with your Smoked Gouda/cheddar Mayo apricot jam grilled cheese.
    Thank you!
    Banjo Bob

  4. What does the 1X,2X,3X mean. I thought it meant servings but this recipe says 1X but calls for a 28oz can tomatoes and a quart of broth so that can’t be just one serving.

    1. You can click those buttons to multiply the ingredients in case you want to make a larger batch. 1x is the default.

  5. One of the nicest soups ever! Sometimes tomato soup can be quite boring but this was so yummy, had it for lunch and dinner for 2 days in a row haha!