The Creamiest Tomato Soup
Let’s make some creamy dreamy tomato soup with roasted red pepper – MY all time favorite soup! It tastes so much better homemade than out of a carton, especially with the perfect grilled cheese.
This soup is inspired by the Trader Joe’s Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Soup! It’s so warming and comforting especially with a grilled cheese. It got me through some dark days in college but everything can be made at home and even better. It’s a bit sweet from the roasted red bell pepper, slightly acidic from the tomatoes, and super creamy from the parmesan and cream – the perfect balance. To make it a more filling meal, I add grilled chicken on the side for protein and a grilled cheese or sandwich.
How to Make the Soup
The best part of this recipe is that you only need one dish, a large pot, so cleanup is super easy!
- Caramelize the tomato paste with garlic! Over medium-high heat, add olive oil and cook down the tomato paste and garlic. For a more rich flavor, swap half of the olive oil with butter. If you’d like to add onions to this recipe, saute them first for 3 to 4 minutes before adding the paste and garlic.
- Add the whole peeled tomatoes, roasted red bell pepper, spices, and fresh basil. Add it all to your pot and drop the heat to bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Blend really well. Use an immersion blender or regular blender to make the soup really creamy. If you like some texture, don’t blend too much.
- Add the heavy cream, milk, sugar and cayenne (optional), and parmesan! The heavy cream and milk makes this soup so smooth. But if you would like it lighter, you can just add only milk, water, or broth.
- Taste and adjust. Make sure the salt level is perfect to your taste.
Tips & Notes
- Tomato soup is delicious when made with high quality canned peeled whole tomatoes. The San Marzano tomatoes are my absolute favorite.
- For a more rich flavor, add some butter with the tomato paste and garlic along with the extra virgin olive oil.
- If you don’t have fresh basil, you can also use dry basil but the taste of fresh basil can’t be beat.
- You can also add onions to this soup. Just slice it and saute it for about 3 to 4 minutes with the olive oil and/or butter before adding the tomato paste and garlic.
- Some optional toppings you can garnish the soup with are a drizzle of olive oil, more grated parmesan, croutons, or grilled cheese bites which I explain how to make next.
How to Make the Perfect Grilled Cheese to Dip
No bowl of tomato soup is complete without a grilled cheese to dip on the side. I like to use brioche sliced bread but any sliced bread will work perfectly. Brush the outsides of both slices with mayo or butter. Trust me on the mayo, it’s a game changer for making grilled cheeses. For the cheese, I like to add both medium sharp cheddar and mozzarella. Assemble and add to a pan over medium-low heat. Cover the pan so the cheese can melt properly. Once one side is golden and toasted, flip and repeat with the other side. And that’s it!
To make grilled cheese bites to add as “croutons” on top of the soup, just chop the grilled cheese into crouton sized pieces and use it as a garnish.
Some other dishes you may like:
If you have any questions about this recipe, let me know in the comments! If you make this, send me a picture on Instagram! I love seeing your remakes SO much.
The Creamiest Tomato Soup
Let's make some creamy dreamy tomato soup with roasted red pepper - my all time favorite soup! This soup is inspired by the Trader Joe's Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Soup! It's so warming and comforting especially with a grilled cheese. It's a bit sweet from the roasted red bell pepper, slightly acidic from the tomatoes, and super creamy from the parmesan and cream - the perfect balance.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or replace half with unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 28 ounces can whole peeled tomatoes
- 8 ounces roasted red bell pepper
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 5 to 7 basil leaves
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup whole or 2% milk
- 2 teaspoons sugar optional
- dash of cayenne optional
- 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan
- optional garnishes: olive oil drizzle, grated parmesan, croutons, cracked black pepper, basil leaves
- Heat a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add olive oil and butter, if using, along with the tomato paste. Cook down the tomato paste for about 3 to 4 minutes to caramelize it and remove some acidity. Add the garlic and saute for another minute.
- Add the can of whole peeled tomatoes, roasted red bell peppers, thyme, black pepper, salt, onion powder, and basil. Mix and once it starts to bubble, bring heat down to low. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Blend in a blender that can handle heat or use an immersion blender. Blend to the consistency that you prefer. Blend a lot to avoid any texture for a very creamy soup.
- Transfer the soup back to the pot if you used a stand blender and add the heavy cream, milk, sugar, a tiny dash of cayenne, and the parmesan over low heat. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper level to taste.
- Ladle into bowls and top with garnishes of your choice.