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Preserve the taste of summer with this Easy Garden Fresh Tomato Basil Soup. Come January, you’ll be thanking yourself!

Creamy Tomato Soup made from fresh garden tomatoes. Perfect for freezing!

If I had to choose a single comfort food to live on for the rest of my life, I would choose tomato soup and grilled cheese. Some people go for mashed potatoes, melty macaroni and cheese, or burgers and fries. But on my weariest days, nothing seems to soothe my tattered spirit quite like a humble bowl of tomato soup.

It may seem like a strange time of year to be talking about a hot bowl of soup, but with droves of plump, ruby tomatoes appearing everywhere, I figure there’s no better time to stock up on fresh tomato soup than right now.

Garden fresh tomato soup is the best way to put your tomatoes to use!

I’ve been looking for an easy, from scratch tomato soup recipe for awhile. A long time ago I made a roasted tomato soup that was heavenly, but it was also time consuming and used canned tomatoes. I wanted a recipe that called for fresh tomatoes and could be made in about 30 minutes.

Luckily, this recipe fits the bill. Common pantry staples and about 40 minutes of your time is all it takes to make a giant vat of this stuff. The most time consuming aspect is chopping the tomatoes and onions, which I assume could be done with a food processor if you have one. Beyond that, all it takes is a lot of “add that to the pot” and the occasional stir.

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup made from fresh garden tomatoes.

For minimal effort, you’ll be rewarded with sweet, flavorful soup that tastes like summer poured itself into your bowl.  I was surprised how little seasoning the soup needed. It actually tasted quite good without any added salt, pepper, or basil, but I gave it a small dose of all three for good measure. The great thing about making your own soup at home is you get to control the flavor. Want it creamier? Replace some of the broth with milk or cream. Want it spicy? Stir in a little cayenne pepper. Want a little smokiness? Smoked paprika would be lovely.

I’m pretty low maintenance when it comes to things like this so I chose not to seed or peel the tomatoes. If you want a perfectly smooth soup, you’ll need to do both. But if you like your soup to have just a bit more texture, this recipe is perfect. And by perfect, I mean it coats the outside of a grilled cheese sandwich like a champ.

Easy Fresh Tomato Soup--the perfect way to use up your garden tomatoes!

Now, a few notes about the process. I tried to use my blender to blend the soup and had a boiling hot tomato VOLCANO erupt all over my kitchen (and my white capris–why, oh WHY, would I wear white capris while making tomato soup??). Seriously, it’s a good thing no one walked in on me because I probably would’ve been arrested for murder. It was a tomato blood bath in there.

I was actually able to blend the soup after draining off the liquids and just blending up the solids, but this was the last push I needed to finally get an immersion blender. You might want to consider it too. It’ll save you time and laundry detergent…at least that’s what someone told me. Ahem.

Make a big batch of Garden Tomato Soup to freeze and enjoy all winter long!

Today for #SundaySupper, we’re discussing all kinds of ways we can preserve the tastes of summer. Lord knows we can all use a little whiff of fresh basil when the polar vortex rolls around. Truthfully, I’m terrified of canning things, but I do a good bit of freezing, and that’s exactly what I did for this recipe. Normally, I would make a third of this recipe for an average weeknight dinner for the two of us. But this time around I made a big batch and was able to freeze 4 quarts of it for easy, comforting dinners this winter. If you’d like, you can double or triple this and freeze a lot more. Just make sure you have a BIG pot!

There’s no real trick to freezing, but here’s what I do. I place a quart size freezer bag in a 2 cup measuring cup. The cup helps it to stand open and cuts back on mess. Then I pour the soup in until it’s about 2/3 full, squeeze out as much air as I can, then seal it up. I freeze the bags flat on a baking tray for easier storage then stack them up to pull out when I need them. Just make sure to label them so you don’t wonder what that odd colored bag of liquid in your freezer is (trust me, it’s happened before).

How To Freeze Fresh Garden Tomato Soup

Be sure to check out all the other great ideas the #SundaySupper team is sharing below the recipe!

Easy Garden Fresh Tomato Basil Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: Makes 4½ quarts
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 6 cups chopped yellow onions (About 2 very large onions)
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 cups chopped tomatoes (I used a variety of kinds and didn't peel, but you can peel if you like)
  • 6 cups chicken broth (or swap vegetable broth)
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Basil, to garnish
  • Cream, if desired
  1. In a large (at least 6 quart- bigger is even better!) heavy pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for 5-7 minutes, or until they've started to soften. Add the balsamic, sugar, and garlic and saute for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until garlic is fragrant.
  2. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and bring the mixture to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in the chicken broth and bring the mixture back to a simmer. Simmer another five minutes then taste. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
  4. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup into the consistency of your choosing. You can make it totally smooth or leave some chunks. I personally like a few chunks. You can also blend this in your blender, but I recommend draining off the liquid and just blending the solids to avoid a blender explosion! Once the solids are blended, add them back to the liquid and stir to combine.
  5. To serve, spoon the soup into bowls and top with sliced fresh basil. Swirl with half and half or heavy cream, if desired.
  6. To freeze, allow the mixture to cool then ladle it into freezer safe containers or quart size freezer bags. Freeze bags laying flat. Thaw soup in the fridge overnight then reheat on the stovetop.

Recipe adapted from 

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Leave a Comment

  • Stacy August 10, 2014, 6:49 AM

    That is one gorgeous bowl of soup, Courtney! I love the swirl of cream and the little basil leaves. Just a word of caution about the immersion blender. It can create an awful mess if your pot isn’t deep enough for it to be completely immersed. Not that I know this from experience, you understand. Ah, hem.

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood August 11, 2014, 10:52 AM

      Haha! Thank you for the tips Stacy. Not that we would know from personal experience or anything. 😉

  • Jennifer Drummond August 10, 2014, 9:46 AM

    Wow! Your soup is beautiful! I love it! I love that you can freeze it too!!

  • Renee Dobbs August 10, 2014, 10:01 AM

    I’ve had that same blender explosion thing happen but with butternut squash soup. It was all over my ceiling, cabinets, and clothes too. Your soup looks amazing and tomato soup is one of my husband’s all-time favorites. And yes, it is superb with grilled cheese.

  • Amanda Boyarshinov August 10, 2014, 11:48 AM

    I’m a tomato soup fan too! LOVE your pictures. They make me SO hungry!

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood August 11, 2014, 10:51 AM

      Thanks Amanda. I was iffy about these pictures. White balance is apparently my nemesis when it comes to red soups. 🙂 Glad to hear they’re making you hungry though!

  • Shaina Wizov August 10, 2014, 12:53 PM

    I’ve never been a huge soup person, but this looks so freaking delicious. The color is gorg and it looks so smooth and creamy. I want a bowl for lunch right now!

  • Tara August 10, 2014, 1:04 PM

    Nothing better than homemade soup and tomato is one of my favs! Scrumptious with grilled cheese, it is on our menu often!! Your soup looks fabulous!!

  • Liz August 10, 2014, 1:58 PM

    My daughter could live off your soup (and grilled cheese sandwiches!). I need to make a big batch of this for our freezer! So sorry about the tomato blood bath…sounds like something that would happen to me :/

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood August 11, 2014, 10:50 AM

      It makes for a good story, right? 😉 I hope you and your daughter both love this!

  • Mallory @ Because I Like Choco August 10, 2014, 3:22 PM

    What a vibrant soup! I am definitely going to make a vegetarian version sans chicken stock!

  • Deanna Samaan August 10, 2014, 3:44 PM

    I love this soup, his one my favorite flavors!

  • happyvalleychow August 10, 2014, 4:07 PM

    Holy cow that sounds delicious! Fantastic recipe 🙂

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  • The Ninja Baker August 10, 2014, 7:53 PM

    Sorry, Courtney, but LOL…And laughing with you because sooo many times I’ve worn white only to find a stain. Oh, well, more happy shopping =) Speaking of happiness, your gorgeous photos make me want to dive into the lovely comfort of your tomato soup =)

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood August 11, 2014, 10:50 AM

      Ugh. I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s made that mistake! It’s so silly too because I have a whole closet full of aprons!

  • Family Foodie August 10, 2014, 9:32 PM

    It’s hard to believe that with minimal effort you could have this delicious soup — but I am willing to try it! Looks amazing.

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood August 11, 2014, 10:49 AM

      I know! I’m so amazed at what great flavor it has with such simple ingredients too. Just goes to show that nothing beats fresh summer produce!

  • Erin@WellPlated August 11, 2014, 12:00 AM

    YES you speak my comfort food language. How perfect for summer!

  • Alice Choi August 11, 2014, 9:43 AM

    Courtney, LOVE this tomato soup. . we just picked a bunch of tomatoes from our garden yesterday and I was going to make tomato sauce but now I’m going to try this! love!!

  • Nichole C August 11, 2014, 9:58 AM

    Heck yes. Tomato soup and grilled cheese are my go-to comfort foods, as well. I love everything about this!

  • Jessica_AKitchenAddiction August 11, 2014, 2:06 PM

    Great way to enjoy summer flavors in the dead of winter! Love this!

  • Happy Baking Days August 11, 2014, 3:50 PM

    I’m so glad to know it’s not just me who wears impractical clothes and then has kitchen disasters! But your capri sacrifice was worth it for such an utterly beautiful soup!

  • Sarah R August 11, 2014, 5:41 PM

    Gorgeous photos of such a comforting soup!

  • Cindys Recipes August 12, 2014, 7:01 PM

    I’m with you, Courtney, loving the tomato soup and grilled cheese combo! We’re on the same page when it comes to freezing too! 😉

  • Kimberly August 13, 2014, 4:18 PM

    This has to be the prettiest bowl of soup I have seen in a long time … and it sounds absolutely divine as well! Pinned!

  • Sarah | Curious Cuisiniere August 14, 2014, 9:43 AM

    I ALWAYS find myself wearing white or light grey after I start working with tomatoes… or jam. I’ve just given up on the stains ever coming out!

  • Heather August 15, 2014, 12:16 PM

    Made this soup this morning and it was so good I ate it for breakfast…is that weird??

  • Alice August 15, 2014, 2:06 PM

    I LOVE my immersion blender!! I dont even own a blender!! although I’m finding that I do want a blender for other things…. : )

    thanks for sharing! Love tomato soup!

  • Bobbi Renee Hass-Burleson August 15, 2014, 5:18 PM

    WOW that bowl of soup is absolutely gorgeous. I just about licked the screen!!

  • Sparks13 September 7, 2014, 3:57 AM

    I’m going to chop up my basil fairly fine then try freezing it in large ice cube trays with about 50% ater. It won’t be usable for pesto in February, but I’m hoping a cube or two dropped in a pot of soup will be good. If it flops, I haven’t lost anything as the basil will just die otherwise.

    Your love of grilled cheese and tomato soup gave me a chuckle. G-ma told me when I was young (7-8), I told her when I was big and no one could tell me what to eat, I was going to live on grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup and lemonade! Hey, at least I hit all four food groups (or what they were back in the ’60’s.

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood September 7, 2014, 11:18 AM

      I think the frozen basil is a great idea. That should work really well! I’m glad there are some fellow lovers of tomato soup and grilled cheese out there! 🙂

    • Ann September 13, 2014, 1:14 PM

      I make pesto every summer with my basil and freeze it in ice cube trays and it lasts us all winter long, so you can try that as well! 🙂

  • Amy Basso July 17, 2015, 10:22 AM

    Looks fresh and delicious! Thanks for the tips on freezing 🙂

  • Erin Lynch July 17, 2015, 11:34 AM

    I can just smell the fresh basil now – Can’t wait to put summer’s bounty to a great cause!

  • Kim September 27, 2015, 9:04 PM

    This was really good. I screwed up a bit & 1/2 everything but the sugar & vinegar but still turned out good. I used veggie broth & use emulsion blender to smooth it out a bit. I didn’t use basil or cream. Will make this again.

  • Jules August 11, 2016, 4:29 PM


  • Courtney @ Neighborfood August 13, 2016, 3:33 PM

    I am sorry you didn’t like the soup. We have made it a few times and freeze it each year to enjoy year round. I only share recipes we love, but obviously they might not fit everyone’s tastes. I hate when recipes don’t work out for my readers, but always appreciate when they can be gracious about it. Fresh tomato soups are not going to be as rich or thick as those made with canned tomatoes or paste. For a thicker, more traditional soup you may want to try this recipe-

  • Suzabelle Jaye September 23, 2016, 5:26 PM

    This has become my go-to recipe for all those extra tomatoes from the garden…I just love this recipe, super fast and very delicious! I have another batch on the stove as I type, this time I’m trying it with cherry tomatoes. Thank you so much for sharing this! I do have two questions, however. How long will it keep in the freezer, and how do you go about heating it up? I assume you would have to pull it out the day before and let it thaw in the fridge, but if there is another trick to heating it up out of the freezer, that would be awesome to know!

    • Courtney @ Neighborfood September 23, 2016, 7:44 PM

      That is wonderful! I am so glad you like it so much. I know it lasts at least 6 months in the freezer, probably longer. We freeze ours in ziplock bags and if I forget to take it out of the freezer the night before, I drop it in a bowl of hot water until it’s thawed enough to break apart, then just put the frozen chunks in a pot on the stove and cook like normal. Thanks again for taking the time to come back and let me know you enjoyed this. It makes my day!

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