Tomato-Basil Soup 2.500

James M. Thresher for The Washington Post

Washington Cooks May 18, 2011

Lemon juice brightens the flavor of this simple low-fat soup.

Make Ahead: The soup can be frozen, preferably in single-serving amounts, for up to 3 months.

Servings: 2.5 - 3 quarts
  • Olive oil
  • 3 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium white or sweet onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 5 to 6 medium cloves garlic, minced through a garlic press
  • 5 to 6 basil leaves, rolled and cut crosswise into thin slices (chiffonade; may substitute 1 tablespoon dried basil)
  • Four 14 1/2-ounce cans plum tomatoes or diced tomatoes, with their juices
  • 2 tablespoons chicken stock base, such as Minor's brand, stirred into 2 cups hot water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice


Heat enough oil to coat the bottom of a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the celery, onion and 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt; cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and translucent but not browned.

Add the garlic (to taste) and cook for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, then stir in the basil, the remaining teaspoon of sea salt, the tomatoes and their juices and the reconstituted chicken broth. Once the mixture starts to bubble, reduce the heat to low and cook uncovered for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat.

Use an immersion (stick) blender to puree the soup to the desired consistency. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed.

Stir in the cayenne pepper and lemon juice just before serving or cooling to refrigerate or freeze.

Rate it

Recipe Source

From Waldorf cook Decoyise Brown.

Tested by Decoyise Brown.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at