Tomato Basil Soup

Not many foods appeal equally to people from 12 to 97 years old. Our granddaughters want this Tomato Basil Soup as part of our Christmas Eve dinner; it is a favorite of their paternal grandfather; our son's girlfriend ranks it at the top of her list; and, my mother-in-law usually asks for more. It is a versatile soup that can be the beginning of a special dinner or a part of a casual soup-and-sandwich meal.
By / Photography By Christina Richey | November 15, 2011


*Or, substitute canned, drained, petite diced tomatoes (if using, add 1/4 teaspoon sugar)

1. Heat olive oil in soup pot over moderate heat.

2. Add ginger, onion and brown sugar and cook about 10 minutes or until caramelized. Stir constantly, and be careful not to burn the onions.

3. Add the diced tomatoes and bring to a simmer–do not boil.

4. Add the chicken broth and simmer on low until tomatoes are very soft, 20–25 minutes.

5. Remove from heat and add the torn fresh basil.

6. Purée using an immersion blender or food processor (process in batches).

7. Add the cream and purée until smooth.

8. Add salt and pepper to taste.

9. Return to low heat until it reaches your desired temperature.



When entertaining casually, let guests create their own grilled cheese sandwiches to go with the soup. Provide an assortment of fresh loaves and sliced cheeses, and keep the soup simmering on the stove or warming in a slow cooker set on low. Croutons and basil leaves make nice garnish.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon ginger root, minced
  • 1 large red onion, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 4 cups diced Roma tomatoes*
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn (do not cut)
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
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