I wish I could say Creamy Tomato Soup was a childhood favorite of mine, but it wasn’t. I wish I could because according to pretty much every commercial and sitcom that aired in the early 90s there was nothing better on a bad day or a cold day than your mom making you a grilled cheese and a bowl of tomato soup. I really felt like I was missing out on the ultimate comfort food!
What is parenting if not righting the perceived wrongs of your own childhood, so of course I made sure my kids tried it. My youngest isn’t big on tomatoes so it was no surprise she wasn’t a fan, but my oldest took to it immediately – but sans grilled cheese (she’s more of a Fried Breadsticks kinda individual). This recipe is her favorite version.
Creamy Tomato Soup Ingredients
Feel free to jump to the full recipe, but here are useful notes about the ingredients you will need to make this Creamy Tomato Soup recipe:
- Grape Tomatoes: Or cherry tomatoes, whatever you see them they’re labeled as. On the vine, if you can find them. It’s possibly all in my head but I prefer the ones on the vine when I’m going to cook them (not for snacking or salads) because they turn out juicier and more flavorful. If you can’t find them, the regular containers of them are fine. Use all red tomatoes – the multi-colored ones will give the soup a weird hue. I know from experience.
- Peeled tomatoes, tomato sauce: If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere that you can find great tomatoes in different parts of the year, feel free to use all fresh ones! Me? I do not live somewhere I can find great tomatoes year-round so I’m a big fan of using canned tomatoes. Authentic San Marzano tomatoes, specifically.
- Yellow onion, garlic, basil, red pepper flakes: These aromatics add dimension to this soup. We’re not using so much it tastes like a bowl of pasta sauce, but enough so that a batch of Creamy Tomato Soup from Panera Bread will taste very classic and simple after this.
- Vegetable stock: To make it soup, after all.
- Almond milk: We toss this in at the end to add a smooth, silky finish to this soup.
- Flour: We’ll build a roux to thicken things up a bit.
- Olive oil: For roasting the vegetables, and building the roux. I use regular olive oil but extra virgin would work fine here, too.
- Equipment: Here’s a carousel of all the tools I used to make this recipe come to life:
How to Make Creamy Tomato Soup
Full instructions are included in the recipe below, but here is a basic overview of what you’ll need to do, along with some important tidbits to help you make the most of this Creamy Tomato Soup recipe:
- Roast the tomatoes. Preheat the oven to 250°F and grab a roasting dish. It doesn’t need to be a big one. Arrange the tomatoes, garlic bulbs, and chopped onion in the pan and add a pinch of salt and few drizzles of olive oil. You can toss things around to combine if you like, but I usually don’t. Put it in the bottom half of the oven and forget it for about 3 hours. You want the garlic to be brown and the tomatoes to be wrinkly and bursting. The onion might be charred around the edges, and that’s good too.
- Make a roux. Place a dutch oven over medium heat. Strain all of the aromatics from the roasting pan, then pour the olive oil from the bottom of the pan into the dutch oven. Remove the garlic cloves from the bulb and their casings. If there isn’t enough to coat the bottom of the dutch oven add the olive oil you didn’t pour into the roasting pan. If you used it all but it still feels light, just add more. Once the oil is sizzling, sprinkle the flour over the surface. Stir together and let cook for 2-3 minutes, until lightly brown. This is your roux, and it’s important to cook out the flour taste before you proceed.
- Add the roasted ingredients. Once the roux has turned golden, pour in the roasted vegetables. Stir them around and let the roux coat them – this will help make sure there are no lumps or anything – then pour in the canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, and vegetable broth. Stir in the fresh basil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes if you’re using those. Bring the soup to a low boil.
- Simmer the soup. After the soup has come to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. Let simmer for 5-10 minutes.
- Make it smooth. Next, stick your immersion blender in the pot and pulverize everything until it’s completely smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, turn off the heat at this point. Let the soup cool for 45 minutes, then carefully transfer it in small batches to your blender or food processor and blend it that way. Pour it back into the pot after blending and bring it back up to a low simmer.
- FINISH HIM. Taste the Creamy Tomato Soup. Does it have too much bite? You can add some or all of the sugar to cut some of the acidity if needed. Adjust for salt if necessary, then stir in the almond milk. Dassit. Serve it hot!
Omnivore’s Creamy Tomato Soup
I developed this recipe as plant-based. In case you’re interested in a traditional method:
- Cream. Swap out the almond milk for heavy cream, or half-and-half.
- Broth. Chicken broth brings an extra element that vegetable broth doesn’t. Kind of how you can totally make a decent French Onion soup with vegetable broth but when it’s made with beef broth it’s just *chef’s kiss*.
Let me know what you think if you try it! As always, here’s a Pinterest pin:Print