August 5, 2010 by Stacy McDonald

Stacy’s Tomato Basil Soup

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When my older children were young, there was a particular restaurant in Houston I loved to visit just for their tomato basil soup. Theirs seemed to be a perfect combination of robust tomato, mellowed by butter and rich cream. It was perfectly topped with fresh parmesan and chopped fresh basil. They even sold jars of it in the restaurant. I dreamed of this soup.

Then I discovered this recipe. Well kind of. I spent a few months tweaking it, trying to get it to match my favorite restaurant’s version. I added extra of all my favorite parts. I loved the pungent fresh basil taste, but noticed when I used the fresh stuff while cooking, it lost some of the kick. So, I used dried basil during preparation. That way the flavor permeated the soup, but then I used chopped fresh basil over the parmesan topping to garnish it. Perfect!

And guess what, several years back, I went to the restaurant and ordered their tomato basil soup…and I was shocked. It wasn’t as good as I had remembered. Our version was so, so much better! Later, we opened a tea room and used this recipe. It was a best seller! Well, the tea room is long gone, but the tomato basil soup remains…

Try it out and let me know what you think:

10-12 Roma Tomatoes, peeled (other types of tomatoes work fine too)
(or, in a pinch, you can use 1 can (28 oz.) whole tomatoes drained.)
3 C. tomato juice
2 C. chicken stock (homemade is best)
salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder
2-3 tsp. dried basil leaves
*1 1/2 C. heavy whipping cream
*3/4 C. (1 1/2 stick) unsalted butter cut into pieces and slightly softened
*freshly grated Parmesan cheese
*15 or more fresh basil leaves

Combine tomatoes, tomato juice, and chicken stock in a large saucepan. Add dried basil. Bring to a boil, turn down heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer tomatoes in batches to a food processor or blender and process on a pulse setting (it’s nice to have a few small chunks remaining). Return the tomato mixture to the liquid in the saucepan and simmer over low heat. Slowly whisk in cream and softened butter. Whisk until butter is melted and soup is thoroughly heated. Top each soup bowl with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil.

In a pinch, canned crushed tomatoes can be used, but it’s not as good. And if I can’t get fresh basil, I don’t even bother making it. :-)

*If you plan to freeze this soup ahead, leave these ingredients out until you plan to serve the soup.

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9 Responses to “Stacy’s Tomato Basil Soup”

  1. Mrs. Teasley says:

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! I am not a big fan of tomato soup (granted I have never had anything but the canned yucko stuff) but my husband loves it! Perhaps we can reach an agreement with this one! And I also have 25 pounds of tomatoes currently at my fingertips! This couldn't have come at a better time! :-)

  2. Ginger says:

    I have my Charlotte Mason book club at that particular restaurant and I get that soup every time in the winter and strawberries romanoff every time in the summer. Mmmmmmmm-yum!
    I am definitely making this!

  3. Rachel @ The Cupcake Sprinkles In Life says:

    I will have to veganize this one… but YUMMY thanks for sharing!!!

  4. DoleValleyGirl says:

    It's too early in the season for tomato soup, but this sounds so yummy I'm going to add it to my "recipes to try" list for this fall when the air is a bit crisp. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Leanne says:

    We adore tomato soup. We will definitely be trying this very soon!

  6. Saralyn says:

    That wouldn't be La Madeleine, would it? Every time I'm in Dallas I have to have their tomato basil soup and bring a jar home in my suitcase!

  7. monika says:

    Thanks for posting this. I tried it yesterday, and it was delicious. Probably the least filling soup ever, though. What are your favourite things to combine it with for a meal?

  8. Stacy McDonald says:

    Saralyn – Yes, that's the place! Except it was in Houston.

    Monika – It is definitely a side soup, though it's a great lunch item paired with a piece of crusty French or sourdough bread. You could also add a small salad. All that good, homemade broth is loaded with protein (and of course, cheese has protein) so you don't need a meat.

    My children say it's best with grilled cheese sandwiches (I add a salad).

    It's also good as a side soup with red meat (steak, meatloaf, lamb), a baked potato, and a Greek or Caesar salad.

  9. Miss Jen says:

    Dearest Mrs.McDonald,
    This sounds scrumptious!! *sigh*
    Thank you for sharing…. ;)

    Many Blessings~ Miss Jen

    Your new blog look is LOVELY! ?

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