The Best Tomato Soup You’ll Ever Have

New York is having a surprisingly chilly week, so we’ve been craving comfort foods, like tomato soup with a gooey grilled cheese sandwich. There’s nothing cozier and more bolstering on a cool day, or a lazy Sunday evening at home, don’t you agree? Luckily, Helene from Tartelette has agreed to share her recipe for the perfect warm-you-up-and-hit-the-spot tomato soup…

The Best Roasted Tomato Soup
With Tomato Parmesan Croutons
By Helene from Tartelette

Home is Provence. Even if I left France over fourteen years ago, my ex-pat heart still calls it home. Home is also where my actual heart resides, and right now it is Charleston, South Carolina. I might have uprooted myself for the love of a man, but I have adapted to this new life by keeping certain family and cultural traditions alive at home. They always bring me back to earth. One of them is to start dinner with a bowl of soup.

My days can go from very calm to completely hectic, and if there is soup that I can reheat when lunch comes around, then I know I can go on working all day without hearing my stomach talk in another octave.

I usually make a big batch of soup in the evening while I am cooking our dinner. Without being fancy, soups are incredibly satisfying and easy to fix when hunger strikes at lunchtime. As a food photographer, I either work in my studio or on location, and a thermos of soup is easy to grab in the morning before I head out.

This soup is one my husband asked me to recreate after one of our favorite restaurants closed a few years into our marriage. Their tomato soup was legendary around town. Without a recipe, I went about roasting a bunch of tomatoes one day, adding onion, garlic and herbs, and the final soup, although different than the one we remembered, became our new favorite.

Roasting vegetables is one of my favorite ways to eat them. It brings out the most of their flavors and their natural sweetness. For guests or a date night, I garnish each bowl of soup with what I call “tomato parmesan croutons”–thin simple slices of tomatoes, topped with herbs and parmesan and broiled until golden brown. And delicious.

Recipe: The Best Roasted Tomato Soup With Tomato Parmesan Croutons
Serves 4-6

You’ll need:
2 pounds fresh tomatoes
4 garlic cloves (skin on)
4 small Vidalia onions, cut in half (or 2 regular onions)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons dried basil
2-4 cups water (depending on how thin/thick you like your soup)
Salt and pepper to taste

For the tomato parmesan croutons:
8 to 12 large cherry tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon grated parmesan
Fresh oregano to garnish

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Slice the tomatoes in halves and place them on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Place the garlic cloves and onion halves on a separate baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Place both baking sheets in the oven and roast the vegetables until soft, about 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool.

Peel the skin off the garlic cloves and place with the rest of the vegetables, in a food processor. Add about 2 cups of water and puree until smooth. Add more water to reach your preferred consistency. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if desired.

For the tomato parmesan croutons:

Turn your oven broiler on high.

Thinly slice the cherry tomatoes (I usually get 3 slices per tomato) and layer on a baking sheet line with parchment paper. Sprinkle evenly with the dried oregano and parmesan. Broil for about 1 minute or until the parmesan starts to get golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

To serve, place the soup in a large saucepan and re-heat quickly over medium heat right before serving. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the tomato parmesan croutons. Enjoy!

Delicious!! Thank you SO much, Helene! We’re making this for dinner tonight! :)

P.S. More best simple recipes, including banana bread with bourbon and chocolate-chip cookies

(Photos by Helene. Thanks to Shoko for help with this series.)

  1. I am very thankful for this delicious soup recipe. I have tried this recipe at my last weekend. I have just thought it was good but it was superb. I love this yummy recipe, now today I am going to make this recipe again for my daughter, I am sure she loves it.

  2. Good job Joanna! It’s looking so tasty and yummy. I have tasted it once at home few months back. This is one of my favorite recipe. Thanks for sharing my favourite recipe.

  3. HI Joanna! This is one of my favourite soup recipe which I generally used to before meal in the dinner. Your recipe little changes and I hope it will increase its taste as well as nutrient value. Thanks for sharing my favourite recipe.

  4. There you can even bake bread itself! Hello? Where is there something else? I only know from my childhood in the country :) So I’ll definitely be time to look for baking bread over there!

    Designer Bridal Gowns

  5. I just barely finish making this soup tonight. It sure smells delicious, but it definatetly need some modification, I double the recipe, I found out that for 4 lbs of tomatoes, you only need one cup of water, I also add 1 tsd of salt, and I would recomend to add milk inted of water thats how i would do it next time. its too runny right now and only add 2 and half cups of water for 4 pounds of tomatoes.

  6. I made this soup this past weekend and WOW! So delish. Definitely going on to an index card and into the recipe box for the tomato seasons to come. Thanks for sharing :-)

  7. I think here author did a great analysis about topic..Great efforts shown..Keep working and posting!!

  8. I think here author did a great analysis about topic..Great efforts shown..Keep working and posting!!

  9. Wow how nice explained and so detailed! That is how i like to see recipe, to be all clear!

  10. Anonymous says...

    I made this tonight and I omitted the water–it was really tasty. I also added a generous amount of chili pepper and blended in fresh basil (about 6 BIG leaves) instead of dried basil

  11. Your blog is great and i also know Allen always adds balsamic vinegar to his soup. I really appreciate to have this blog ever..keep up the good work and please keep me updated with it..

  12. Ashley says...

    Oh my… the photo sure is deceiving. I too ended up with a soup that was more orange in color. By the time I read the other comments, I already had the vegetables roasting in the oven. I substituted the water for vegetable broth (I’m not sure the soup would have had much of a taste otherwise), and still ended up adding a couple teaspoons of tomato paste once it was on the stove. The addition of a pinch of garlic salt and cayenne also helped save this soup.
    Love the blog, Joann, but this recipe just wasn’t for me. (I do enjoy it when you post recipes, though. Keep it up!)

  13. Anonymous says...

    I was super excited to make this recipe because of the color of the soup! It looked deep and rich…and I was very disappointed tonight when making it, upon discovering that the soup is a light orangey-pink color, and not very flavorful at all.
    (Also, where was the dried basil supposed to be added?)
    Added some parmesan cheese, fresh basil, paprika, pepper and cayenne pepper to spice it up a bit, but probably will go with another recipe next time. :(

  14. Anonymous says...

    I’m sorry, but I made this soup last night for my family and it was horrible. No flavor, looked nothing like photo (more light pink than red). Luckily, we made grilled cheeses too so something of the dinner was edible. I re-read and did everything according to recipe. A real disapointment. Also, there is dried basil listed in the ingredient list, but the method never says when to put it in.

  15. Melanie says...

    I tried this recipe yesterday…super easy to make. I regretted buying the more costly organic tomatoes as the sweetness of them is lost from the onion/garlic. However, the tomato crouton were great! Very clever and an easy way to make a simple soup look fancy. Had the soup as a starter and a spinach/mushroom lasagna with bechamel sauce…great dinner. Thanks for the jumping off point!

  16. Anonymous says...

    Hi everyone!

    I made this soup last night and I must say that I was quite disappointed. It looks nothing like the photo (which I guess is where a food photographer’s skills come in) and the seasoning was extremely bland. I found myself adding all sorts of things last minute, like smoked paprika and garlic powder to try and give it some flavour. Simple and easy is what I would use to describe this dish, but that is about it…

  17. Craving that for lunch already. One of my all-time favourite food combinations.

    I love how simple, yet flavourful that recipe appears to be. Time to give it a try this week. :)

  18. Love your post so much!!!

  19. Sasha says...

    I love your blog, I find myself coming back to you multiple times a day to see if there are new posts, so when I saw this tomato recipe, I had to try it.

    I made this tonight but without the croutons cause I’m not a crouton kinda girl. I’m sad to say I was disappointed. I think if I were to make this again, I would use a chicken or veggie stock instead of the water. It needed more flavour so I added parmesan cheese to the soup and that made it better.

  20. Question for anyone who feels even remotely qualified to answer — do you think this recipe would work well without the onion? I’m actually mildly allergic and would rather avoid the reaction, but I LOVE tomato soup and am already pawing at my laptop screen. (Pair tomato soup with a good tuna melt and I become the happiest, most useless blob on the planet. Dang it, now I’m hungry.)

  21. Anonymous says...

    The parmesan crisps look amazing. Great combo.

  22. Thank you everyone for your kind comments.

    Anonymous: I would agree with you except that I live in a subtropical climate where tomatoes are already in season (as well as all berries and asparagus)

    HiLLjO: for you, yes. Not here. I don’t really like clove that much.

  23. Anonymous says...

    Tomatoes are kinda crappy this time of the year. Hothouse, etc.

  24. joanna! if you read this comment you should absolutely check out self magazine’s tomato-white bean soup with pesto!

    my bf and i made it this past week (with grilled cheese!), and it was soooo good. it’s in the april 2012 issue, and online.

  25. It’s pretty cold here too, perfect weather for some soup :) Tomato soup is my favorite!

    PS: I’m having a giveaway for moms that want to stay organized! Please come check it out :)

  26. One of these days I’m going to have to try this recipe out myself. Sounds simply delicious.

  27. I can eat tomato soup year-round…you’d think I’d get tired of it in the hot summer months, but I don’t. Add a grilled cheese sandwich, and I’m in heaven! :)

  28. I’ve always said if I had one last meal on earth it would be a grilled cheese and tomato soup. It’s just so delicious!! I’m so excited to try this!! <3


  29. I love roasted tomatoes and my immersion blender is maybe the one extraneous kitchen appliance I use with any regularity, plus this recipe doesn’t seem too difficult and the payoff sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing.

  30. Looks absolutely delicious, and I think it’s something we might use for the cold days in San Francisco as well. Antioxidants in tomato are super good for defeating and preventing cancers of all kinds.

    Anna ~Moments of Libra

  31. one of my most favorite meals – tomato soup and grilled cheese. yum! we live in a teeny tiny apartment with no oven. i can make the soup but will have to get creative with the croutons! or just save the recipe for our next apartment. :)
    p.s. don’t turn the word verification off – you’ll get the spammers again in no time!

  32. This sounds so yummy! I love tomato soup and grilled cheese! It is such a comforting combination on cold/rainy days! I’ll definitely have to try this one out!

  33. I’ve never made tomato soup in my life, which is weird because I love to cook and I makes soups all the time. But this seems like the perfect way to start! Look delicious, can’t wait!

  34. Sounds so good. I will try now and again. when the tomato harvest comes in, I will roast then freeze them to save for winter comfort with a touch of summer. Thanks for sharing!

  35. aren’t* in the recipe!


  36. If the soup taste as good as it looks in that photo then I’m sold.

  37. I’m really surprised cloves are in the recipe! They add SO much to homemade tomato soups.

    Looks yummy though!

  38. I absolutely love tomato soup, and this one looks delicious! This recipe series is wonderful. I’ve made the egg sandwich recipe you posted probably a dozen times, and it looks like this one will be a new favorite!

  39. I’m definitely trying this one, looks gorgeous – thanks for sharing!

  40. My favourite soup. Well that and minestrone, but because it’s also tomato. :)

    I can eat tomato soup everyday all day. How can people not like it?!

  41. Yum! One of my favorite meals! Joanna, I love this column! Thanks so much for your diverse and interesting posts everyday!

  42. jennivg says...

    My daughter has requested tomato soup and grilled cheese to be served at her birthday sleepover next week. Perfect timing, thank you!

  43. looks great-bookmarked it before I read it…I will def use this-roasted veg is the best in a soup!

  44. This looks sooo good & I love the Tartlette blog. Helene’s macaron recipes are so perfect and creative.

  45. Anonymous says...

    Delicious sounding. The picture itself is mouth- watering.

  46. Anonymous says...

    Tomato soup is my absolute favorite!!! I will definitely try this recipe. Thanks, Joanna.

  47. This looks spectacular. I have yet to find a good roasted tomato soup recipe that’s easy. I attempted Ina Garten’s cream of tomato soup for Christmas this year and it ended up on my ceiling because I put too much in the blender!

    mon amy

  48. ok, i turned the word verification off! fingers crossed the spam won’t descend… :) thanks, meadow!

  49. That sounds absolutely, positively delicious! Not sure if my tiny kitchen is big enough to make it (or if I have enough of the proper dishes, haha!) But I’ll definitely have to give it a try! :)
    xox, giedre

  50. meadow, i’m so sorry! i know people hate it, but i’m trying to prevent spam, which can come in droves….i will try to remove it and see what happens:)

  51. i have to say, these recipes are great. even when i get to one (like the egg sandwich) that i think i’ve already “mastered,” i learn something new- dare i say, better.


  52. This looks absolutely delicious…I will have to add it to my rotation! Thanks for the recipe.

  53. What will I be cooking today? THIS!
    Thank you!


  54. This looks delicious. I might have to make it :)

    On an unrelated note… the verification at the bottom is SO annoying..

  55. Tomato soup holds such a special spot in my heart. It’s so comforting and in a weird way always reminds me of childhood. The recipe sounds super scrumptious and I LOVE the twist with the tomato parmesan croutons. Brilliant! Wish you both a cozy day. xo

  56. I was so loving the warm weather we were getting here on the east coast and now it’s back to the regular winter! The soup looks wonderful :)

  57. This comment has been removed by the author.

  58. i love tomato soup, too, paislea. my friend nick used to go to the whitney museum just for the tomato soup in their restaurant. you wouldn’t think tomato soup would be that thrilling, but sometimes it is just the perfect thing.

  59. I’ve been obsessed with my immersion blender lately so lots of soups have been in this house. I haven’t made tomoato soup though. I LOVE tomoato soup. It reminds me of the ketchup in the movie Meet Me In St. Louie. Thanks for sharing!

    – Sarah