Tomato Basil Soup

Oh man, this soup is so glorious and rich. It does take a fair amount of time and cream (probably one of the reasons it’s so delicious), so we’ll often look for cream to go on clearance and then freeze it for making this soup or ice cream in the future. This soup is adapted from a deli recipe at Harmons, so get out your scale for this recipe. I’m so glad the deli director at Harmons was always happy to share any recipe you’d ask for, because everything that Harmons makes is so amazing. I did adapt it to make it a little easier and cheaper for certain ingredients, and to add chicken and pasta. This soup is fantastic when served in a bread bowl or with bread in general–dip your bread in it. Or grilled cheese. Delicious. (Also try the Jalapeno Cheddar Soup recipe adapted from Harmons.)

You can add chicken and/or tortellini to the soup, which we usually do. Take note that this soup does require an immersion blender (unless you make a tiny batch and blend it up in your regular blender). We usually make a giant batch and freeze leftovers in gallon bags, so it always takes longer to make than I think. But it’s so worth it. And it’s wonderful to have in the freezer for an easy meal or in case a friend is sick and needs a quick meal.

*I learned last time I made it that it fills about half the huge stock pot. You can double all the ingredients except the chicken and tortellini if you want more “soup”. This recipe had lots of chicken and tiny raviolis when I made it last, so I might double the soup portion next time–I think I remember doubling this recipe but having the recipe’s amount of chicken and tortellini. I remember buying a 3 lb bag of onions because by the time you peel them, it’s about 2 lbs of onions.

If you’re making this gluten free, just don’t add the tortellini. You could potentially cook some gluten free pasta separately and put it in the bottom of each person’s bowl before adding the soup. But it’s pretty great as it is.

Tomato Basil Soup

  • Servings: 30?
  • Difficulty: medium-hard
  • Print

We make this giant batch and freeze leftovers in gallon bags for amazing, easy meals.


  • 6 lbs. + Chicken Breasts, cubed (optional) (like a pack of fresh chicken breasts from Sam’s Club)
  • 1/4 c. Olive Oil
  • 1 lb. Yellow Onions, diced
  • 1 oz. Garlic, minced
  • 1 oz. Salt
  • 0.3 oz. Ground Black Pepper
  • 3 c. Water
  • 1 lb. 8 oz. (24 oz.) Fresh Tomato, 1/2″ dice
  • 6 lbs 6 oz (102 oz.) can Diced Tomato (I’ve also sliced whole tomatoes after Sam’s Club stopped carrying the large diced can–but you’ll puree it all anyway)
  • 2 lbs. 8 oz. (1 qt. + 1 c.) Heavy Cream 
  • 16 oz. shredded Italian Cheese 
  • 1/2 c.+ Parmesan (like the cheap powdered parmesan)
  • 0.375+ oz. dried Basil
  • 40-60 oz. Frozen Tortellini (optional)


In a very large stock pot, cook the chicken breasts, then remove and place in a bowl. Then heat oil over medium heat. Saute garlic, onions, salt, and pepper until translucent. Add water, fresh tomatoes, and canned tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cooking for 40 minutes or until thickened. Add cream, cheeses, and dried basil. Puree with a stick blender. Add more cheese, salt, or basil to taste–I often add more of all–but remember that the basil flavor will get stronger as it sits. Add chicken and tortellini at end to heat through before serving.


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