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Is there anything that tastes better than grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch on a chilly day?

tomato soup in bowl with spoon and sprig of basil; blue cloth under bowl and cherry tomatoes in background

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Sometimes if I am in a hurry I will pull out a can of Tomato Basil Soup and jazz it up a bit, but fresh homemade tomato soup can be simple to make.

Using a base of canned or home stewed tomatoes, you can whip up this Creamy Tomato Basil Soup in (almost) no time.

Lunch can be ready in 30 minutes, but the longer everything simmers together the more the flavors combine.

Tip: I like to use an immersion blender to blend hot soups to avoid the risk of too much pressure building up in the blender and hot soup going everywhere either because the lid blew off or the blender pitcher breaks.

tomato soup in green cast iron enamel dutch oven

How to Freeze

Once your soup has simmered for 15-20 minutes, before adding the dairy, remove it from the burner, blend, and allow it to fully cool.

Package into a freezer bag or freezer-safe container. Label the package, including instructions on how much dairy to add, and freeze.

Tip: If you find filling plastic bags with food to be as awkward as I do, a bag holder such as this really comes in handy.

Freezing Tomato Soup With Dairy

It is not recommended to add dairy to your tomato soup (or any soup) before freezing. This is because the dairy can separate and become grainy, which leaves an unappealing texture when you use it.

It’s best to leave the dairy out and add it when you heat your soup to eat.

How to Reheat After Freezing

When you are ready to use your tomato soup, thaw in the refrigerator. Be sure to put it in a bowl to thaw if you froze it in a bag.

You can also cook from frozen, but note that it will take a little longer to cook. If you do so, as it thaws on the stove, break up into smaller pieces.

Once the soup is starting to warm, add the dairy and cook until heated through, being careful not to bring it to a boil as the dairy may curdle.


Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

  • Author: Heather McCurdy
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 10 leaves fresh basil
  • 1 small jalapeño, chopped (optional)
  • 228 oz. cans whole tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar (approximate; optional)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or 1 cup half and half


  1. Heat oil in a stockpot over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, approximately 5 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes, jalapeño, basil, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper to pan.
  4. Stir and heat until bubbling then continue to cook  for approximately 15 minutes, allowing some of the excess liquid to cook off. Stir often.
  5. After 25 minutes has passed, puree mixture. Continue to heat over medium heat if you would like to thicken it more. Otherwise, move on to next step.
  6. If serving immediately: stir in dairy and heat a few minutes longer.*
  7. Before serving, taste and add additional salt and pepper to taste.
  8. If freezing: Do not add dairy. Remove from burner and allow to cool completely.
  9. If serving after freezing: Thaw completely in refrigerator or in pan over medium heat. Add cream and heat through.*


Once cream has been added, be careful not to boil as the cream can curdle.

Keywords: tomatoes, soup, tomato soup

creamy tomato soup in green cast iron enamel dutch oven; cherry tomatoes and basil in background

Originally published on: July 9, 2012 with this image. 

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

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