One of our favorite restaurant soups is tomato basil. Of course, it is creamy. It also has the tang of tomato flavor. But, the sweet basil makes the dish. It just makes sense that Creamy Tomato Basil Soup would be wonderful at home – we control the ingredients. We also add a touch of parmesan to our recipe for a nutty twist. Our recipe is a low-carb delight – we know you will love it!
Ingredients and Method
We rarely use our “crock pot” for cooking meats or casserole style recipes. We are so used to the stove top and oven as our appliances of choice. But, by slow cooking a soup recipe, we find the flavors have time to meld together and intensify the taste. We use our slow cooker for our creamy tomato basil soup. It works perfectly. The slow cooker also gives you the chance to cook a meal at home when you are not at home. It is nice to run errands or enjoy a movie then come home to a meal!
Controlling the ingredients in a recipe is a key to a low-carb lifestyle. Restaurants love sugar in everything from a classic margarita to a classic tomato basil soup. It keeps customers coming back, but it is not healthy. At home, we skip the sugar and lower the carbs with ingredient choices. As you try our recipes and follow our posts you will see we avoid extra sugar and wheat products.
We show a simple basil pesto recipe below for our soup. It also works well for topping chicken, on salads, and even as a burger topping. Spreading basil pesto on toasted “soul bread” with tomato and fresh mozzarella is a wonderful appetizer.
However, we do recognize that making every recipe with only freshly purchased ingredients does take time. When we find an ingredient that is processed but healthy and can substitute for homemade we use it. A well stocked pantry can be a great kitchen helper and save time, while maintaining quality. We did find a quality prepared basil product at Costco that is healthy, cuts your kitchen time, and works well in any soup recipe.
We also find that quality canned tomatoes are a quick alternative. Our favorite brand is Cento. Their San Marzano tomatoes are certified authentic and undergo rigorous growing protocol. They are guaranteed fresh. That is, of course, as fresh as a can will allow. This brand is used by many chefs and foodies – do not hesitate, they are tasty!
Our creamy tomato basil soup with parmesan is actually made in stages. We use a traditional stock pot at the beginning and the end of the cooking process. We sauté our onions and celery in butter in our stock pot first before adding them to the “slow cooker.” The entire soup is returned to the stock pot at the end when we add the heavy cream and cook for an additional 1/2 hour.
The second stage is an easy one since it lets the slow cooker do the work. With the exception of the heavy cream and parmesan, the rest of the ingredients are all added to the slow cooker and allowed to cook for 4-6 hours, on high. As an alternative, you can simply use the stove top stock pot and cook the entire soup for 2 hours on a low simmer (again, add the cream for the last 1/2 hour). If you do use the stove top, do not run any errands or catch that movie.
The well steeped “slow cooker” soup mixture is then added a few cups at a time to a blender and creamed until smooth. You can also use an emersion blender to smooth out the soup. It should have a nice medium red color and be very smooth when it is done. A trip back to the stock pot with the cream for 1/2 hour then topped with fresh parmesan and you have a wonderful sweet basil soup!
One secret ingredient? We like to add a good sherry to our soups. About 1/2 cup added before the slow cooker stage will add a delicious flavor. Use a Spanish sherry that you enjoy drinking.
A perfect low-carb soup for a cold winter night or here in the Southwest, on any night! Enjoy our tasty creamy tomato basil soup with parmesan and let us know what you think.
Creamy Tomato Basil Soup With Parmesan
A delicious creamy soup with a sweet basil taste!
- 4 ounces basil leaves 2 cups, packed
- 1 cup pine nuts toasted
- 1 cup parmesan cheese grated
- 5 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups olive oil extra virgin
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 stalks celery chopped
- 1/2 large onion chopped
- 1/2 tablespoon oregano
- 2 cans Cento tomatoes 28 ounce cans
- 16 ounces heavy cream
- 1/2 cup sherry
- sea salt to taste
Put basil, pine nuts, parmesan, garlic, and olive oil in a blender and blend to make pesto. You can also use 1 1/2 cups pre-made pesto.
Melt butter in stock pot and sauté onions and celery until softened (about 5 minutes).
Transfer onions, and celery, and pesto to a crock pot. Add tomatoes and juice, oregano, and sherry and cook on high for 4-6 hours.
Blend soup in batches in a blender or food processor until smooth - transfer to stock pot.
Add heavy cream and cook for 30 minutes. Garnish with parmesan cheese and serve hot.
You can substitute 1 1/2 cups of pre-made (Costco) basil pesto instead of making homemade. Soup can be made entirely in the stock pot instead of a crock pot - cut the cooking time down to 2 hours on a low simmer.