David's Favorite Recipes

Homemade Tomato Basil Soup


I was in the tomato business for 24 years with Heinz and tasted my fair share of tomatoes all around the world. Other than Heinz Ketchup, which still flows in my veins, one of my absolute favorite recipes is this Homemade Tomato Basil Soup. I find it’s best made from with canned San Marzano tomatoes, which you can find in most well-stocked supermarkets. This recipe is quick to make and will bring many smiles.


2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large yellow onions, diced
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
2 (28 ounce) cans San Marzano tomatoes
2 cups fresh basil leaves
4 cups The Essential Homemade Chicken Stock (page 26), or good-quality canned chicken stock or broth
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
4 tablespoons dark brown sugar
½ cup heavy cream
Kosher salt
Chopped fresh basil or chives, for garnish


Heat the olive oil and butter in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the paprika and cook 1 minute longer.

Add the tomatoes, basil, chicken stock, oregano, thyme, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

With an immersion blender, puree the soup; or, alternatively, puree it in batches in a countertop blender, following the manufacturer’s instructions for blending hot liquids safely, then returning the pureed soup to the stockpot.

Rewarm the soup over low heat and stir in the cream. Season to taste with salt. To serve, ladle the soup into heated bowls and garnish with chopped basil or chives.