This instant pot tomato soup with basil is fresh, creamy and delicious. Made with just a few basic ingredients like ripe tomatoes, butter, onions, garlic, flour, whole spices and herbs, it is a real treat as an appetizer before meals or as a meal in itself with some garlic bread or toast!
Simple, homemade tomato soup with croutons, garlic bread, a light dusting of dried herbs, and swirls of cream. Mmm! Can you honestly think of anything more comforting?
I'm a sucker for soup. All kinds. Bisques, chowders, gumbo, clear, thick, hot, cold...I haven't yet met a soup I didn't like. Plus tomato soup is something I've literally grown up with, one of those ever-present foods you just don't question. It happens to be a very popular appetizer on Indian restaurant menus as well. Glance through a dozen of them and I bet you will spot some form of tomato soup or tomato shorba without fail right at the top. No points for guessing how I know:)
So then, this is my ode to those memories. Of course, I'm willing to bet that those of you who have no such baggage would also enjoy this tomato soup recipe, so here it is in all its fiery orange splendor!
These days, I make all my soups in the instant pot (affiliate link) because who wants to wait for hours for a slow cooker to do its thing? Or to babysit the soup simmering away on the stovetop, in perpetual fear that it might boil over or stick at the bottom? I'm all about making things easy, not hard most of the time.
However, I do make one concession and roast the tomatoes in a baking pan for 35 minutes before adding them to the instant pot. A trip to the oven makes those tomatoes release all their wonderful flavors and juice!
Oh, and before I move on to the ingredient list, do check out a few more soup recipes on the blog. If you are as much into soup as me, you will love my cauliflower soup and mushroom soup. And if chicken happens to be a favorite ingredient, have a look at the chicken and wild rice soup as well as mulligatawny soup. Both are really good!
Ingredients in cream of tomato soup
- 12 medium sized tomatoes, cut lengthwise.
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter or vegan butter (affiliate link)
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
- 2 tablespoon tomato puree (affiliate link)
- 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour (affiliate link)
- ½ teaspoon ground white pepper (affiliate link)
- 2 bay leaves (affiliate link)
- 1 large cinnamon stick (affiliate link)
- 1-3 tablespoon sugar
- sea salt, to taste
- 1.5 cup water
- a sprig of basil leaves
- ½ cup coconut cream (affiliate link)
- croutons (optional)
- dry herbs (optional)
Based on reader feedback, I added 1.5 cup liquid (water) to the ingredients. This prevents the burn notice. You can also add broth in place of water if you so wish.
How to make this instant pot tomato soup
1. Spray a baking tray lightly with some oil and arrange the tomatoes on it. Drizzle some more oil on the tomatoes and stick the tray in a preheated (400F) oven for 35-40 minutes. Take the tray out and remove the skins. They will slide off easily. There might be a little liquid on the tray from the tomatoes. Don't discard this.
2. Switch on your instant pot and press saute (normal). Melt the butter and add the whole spices (bay leaf and cinnamon stick), onions and garlic. Saute for 2-3 minutes until soft and fragrant.
3. Add the roasted tomatoes (liquid and all), 1.5 cups water, tomato puree, white pepper, sugar, salt and basil. Pressure cook on high for 5 minutes. Let the steam escape naturally.
4. Open the pot and discard the whole spices and basil. Using an immersion blender, blend to a smooth puree.
5. Switch the pot to sauté and add the flour. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the soup thickens.
6. Add the coconut cream and mix well.
7. Take the soup out in deep bowls and garnish with some dry herbs and croutons, if using.
Some useful notes
1. Choose the freshest, reddest, ripest tomatoes you can find. The taste of the soup depends a lot on the kind of tomatoes you use. If you're planning to use those pale, hard tomatoes languishing in the back of your refrigerator, forget it!
2. The traditional recipe calls for heavy cream, but I quail at the thought of all that heaviness. So, more often that not, I use coconut cream instead in this recipe. It gives it a nice, coconutty aroma and makes it vegan. Two birds and all that.
3. I love sautéing the onions and garlic in butter, but if you're on a vegan diet, go ahead and sub with some vegan butter.
4. All those tomatoes make this soup quite tart and I like to balance it out a bit with sugar. I used raw, granulated sugar but you can use 2 tablespoons honey as well (or more, depending on your taste) to counter the sourness. I have mentioned 1-3 tablespoons sugar in the recipe because everyone has a different threshold for salt and sugar. The best thing to do would be to taste as you go and stop when you feel it's enough.
5. You can use any herb of choice but basil goes very well with tomato soup. The sprinkling of herb you see on the top of the soup is dried oregano leaves. Just a pinch.
6. All-purpose flour is what makes this soup pleasingly thick. Two level tablespoons are enough. Any more and it will turn into sludge, especially upon cooling. However, do not add the flour or coconut cream before pressure cooking the soup as it could trigger the burn notice. It's best to add any kind of flour after the pot opens.
7. I used an immersion blender (affiliate link) to puree the tomatoes (mainly for convenience) but if you have a powerful blender like Vitamix (affiliate link), go right ahead and use it. Especially if you want the soup to be silky smooth with not a hint of skin or seeds in your mouth. In fact, you don't even have to bother about slipping off the skins if you are using a Vitamix. They will get blasted into oblivion in this blender, as you probably already know.
Instant Pot Tomato Soup
- 12 medium sized tomatoes cut lengthwise.
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic peeled and diced
- 2 tablespoon tomato puree
- 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 large cinnamon stick
- 1-3 tablespoon sugar
- sea salt to taste
- 1.5 cups water
- a sprig of basil leaves
- ½ cup coconut cream
- croutons optional
- a pinch of dried herbs optional
- Spray a baking tray lightly with some oil and arrange the tomatoes on it. Drizzle some more oil on the tomatoes and stick the tray in a preheated (400F) oven for 35-40 minutes. Take the tray out and remove the skins. There might be a little liquid on the tray from the tomatoes. Don't discard this.
- Switch on your instant pot and press saute (normal). Melt the butter and add the whole spices (bay leaf and cinnamon stick), onions and garlic. Saute for 2-3 minutes until soft and fragrant.
- Add the roasted tomatoes (liquid and all), 1.5 cups water, tomato puree, white pepper, sugar, salt and basil. Cancel saute and secure the lid. Set to pressure cooking on high for 5 minutes. Make sure the steam release handle is on 'sealing'. Once the timer beeps, let the steam escape naturally.
- Open the pot and discard the whole spices and basil. Using an immersion blender, blend to a smooth puree.
- Switch the pot to sauté and add the flour. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the soup thickens.
- Add the coconut cream and mix well.
- Take the soup out in deep bowls and garnish with some dry herbs and croutons, if using.
- Choose fresh, red and ripe tomatoes because the quality of soup depends on this.
- If you're on a vegan diet, go ahead and substitute the butter with vegan butter.
- Instead of sugar, you can also add 2 tablespoon honey. Adjust the quantity of sugar or honey as desired.
Did you make this instant pot tomato soup? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!