A creamy, super delicious Tomato Basil Soup with no cream! A scoop of Greek yogurt and lots of healthy pureed veggies are the creamy secrets!
It seems that every year around this time I start craving tomato basil soup, and though I’ve got a bunch of renditions of this classic favorite, I’m always excited to come up with something new and unique.
It may be because of the rainy, cloudy weather, we’ve been having, on and off, for the last week or the fact that I’m starting to pull out sweatshirts again, but I wanted something creamy and comforting, yet loaded with great flavor. I’m always trying to keep things decently healthy so we can splurge every now and then, so I didn’t want to use the traditional heavy cream to create the “creaminess”. Hello, Greek yogurt!
I wasn’t sure how Greek yogurt would work in a tomato basil soup but thought it was worth a try. I also added several chopped carrots and one large potato which I knew, when pureed, would add additional creaminess to the soup. I was super pleased with the results. The yogurt definitely adds a nice creaminess and a bit of tang, which pairs nicely with the vegetables and basil.
Fire-roasted tomatoes, a delicious flavor booster!
I always keep my pantry stocked with fire-roasted tomatoes. What are fire-roasted tomatoes? You’ll find them at just about any grocery store these days in the same section that you find the regular diced, crushed, stewed, etc. tomatoes. Fire-roasted tomatoes are exactly what they sound like, tomatoes that are charred over a flame before they’re canned. You can actually see the charred flecks when you open each can.
Charring the tomatoes brings out their sweetness and imparts a mild smokiness. In the words of Bon Appétit Magazine, fire-roasted tomatoes are “a shortcut to more flavor”. I couldn’t agree more! Fire-roasted tomatoes not only add more flavor, but also give dishes a more appealing presentation because of their deep red hue.
A ton of flavor in one little scoop!
Another favorite ingredient of mine that adds lots of flavor with minimal effort is pesto. You can make your own, though I have to admit, I almost always have a container of purchased pesto in my freezer. I really like the bright green pesto you can purchase at Costco or Sam’s Club. It comes in a large jar, is relatively inexpensive and lasts forever in the freezer.
When I want to use a scoop of pesto, I simply remove the container from the freezer, let it thaw for about 10 minutes, scoop out what I need, then pop it back in the freezer. Pesto contains basil, parmesan cheese, garlic, olive oil, pine nuts or almonds (depending on the brand) so you can see why it adds such a nice pop of flavor.
When shopping for pesto, look at the ingredients. Make sure the main ingredient is fresh basil. I like to look for pesto that has a nice vibrant color too.
The remaining cast of characters
In addition to the ingredients listed above, there’s also a pat of butter, a drizzle of olive oil, Italian seasoning (a delicious blend of spices), chicken broth, lots of fresh basil and a pinch of both brown sugar and baking soda. Brown sugar and baking soda? Yes! These two minimal ingredients both help balance out the acidity of the tomatoes in this Fire-Roasted Tomato Basil Soup.
Tomatoes have a high acidity level and soup and sauces made from tomatoes can be a little too pungent tasting or one-dimensional. Just a teaspoon of brown sugar and a half teaspoon of baking soda (a trick I learned from Cook’s Illustrated) work magic in helping to balance and brighten the flavor of this soup.
Back to basics!
I like to pair this Fire-Roasted Tomato Basil Soup with some crusty bread, warm rolls or biscuits, hot from the oven. Add a simple green salad with a universally pleasing dressing and you’ve got a meal everyone will love!
So when you start feeling those cool winds blow, make a pot of this delicious, creamy-with-no-cream, healthy Fire-Roasted Tomato Basil Soup. It’s one of those soups I think you’ll find yourself craving again and again.
Café Tips for making this Fire-Roasted Tomato Basil Soup
- Although fire-roasted tomatoes add a nice depth of flavor to this soup, there are plenty of other delicious ingredients that pair to make a fabulous soup. So if you can’t find fire-roasted tomatoes, regular diced, canned tomatoes will also work. You might have to give the soup a new name though!
- Want to make this a vegetarian soup? Just swap out the chicken broth for veggie stock or broth.
- I like to serve this Fire-Roasted Tomato Basil Soup with bowls of shaved parmesan cheese, pinenuts and additional fresh basil at the table. Everyone can help themselves and customize their soup to their own liking.
- If you want to keep things simple, this soup is also delicious with simply a bit of fresh ground black pepper and a drizzle of good olive oil.
- This is not a sponsored post, but I really like the organic chicken broth from Trader Joes. It’s got great flavor, a pretty yellow hue and it’s reasonably priced.
- This soup can be made several days in advance. Leftovers make great lunches for school or work.
- I like to use baby carrots for this soup as they’re super convenient and don’t have to be peeled or chopped. You can also use whole carrots if desired.
- An immersion blender is a wonderful little kitchen workhorse that makes preparing a pot of creamy soup like this Fire-Roasted Tomato Basil Soup a breeze. There’s no dirty blender container to wash and no worries about building up too much steam pressure as in a regular blender. Immersion blenders can also be used to puree fruits and veggies, whip cream and make both smoothies and baby food. A good immersion blender is relatively inexpensive and would make a great gift for someone who enjoys cooking.
- This soup makes a large batch – 10 cups, but it is great warmed up for leftovers and also freezes well. Think how wonderful it would be to have this stashed away in the freezer for those busy days when dinner time arrives and you haven’t really planned anything.
Thought for the day:
As the deer pants for water,
so I long for you, O God.
I thirst for God, the living God.
What we’re listening to for inspiration:
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear other’s results and ideas for variations.
A creamy, super delicious tomato basil soup with no cream! A scoop of Greek yogurt and lots of healthy pureed veggies are the "creamy" secrets!
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons pesto
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 14½-ounce cans fire-roasted canned tomatoes
- 8 ounces baby carrots or four average size carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 large potato 10-12 ounces
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves packed
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1-1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ cup Greek yogurt I use Fage whole milk yogurt
- 1 tablespoon pesto
- additional fresh basil leaves for garnish, if desired
- shaved parmesan cheese for garnish, if desired
- pine nuts for garnish, if desired
In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, combine the butter and the oil over medium-low heat. When the butter is melted and bubbly add the onion, pesto and Italian seasoning. Cook 4-5 minutes until the onion is soft and the mixture is very fragrant.
Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, carrots, potato, basil, brown sugar, baking soda, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce to a steady simmer. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until the carrots are very tender.
Add the Greek yogurt and the additional tablespoon of pesto. Using an immersion blender or a regular blender, puree the soup until nice and smooth. If using a regular blender wait for the soup to cool a bit. Then blend with the middle cap of the blender top off and several layers of paper towel or a clean kitchen towel over the opening to prevent splash back. You can also use a small funnel over the opening. The idea is to let some of the steam escape so there’s not an explosion from steam build-up in the blender.
Taste and add more seasoning, if needed. Serve with, freshly ground black pepper, shaved Parmesan cheese, toasted pine nuts and fresh basil leaves for garnish, if desired.
See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions, tips and suggestions.
Nutritional information does not include garnishes.
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