Roasted Cherry Tomato Soup Recipe
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Fresh tomatoes, root vegetables, and garden herbs mingle with warm spices and sweet honey in this creamy homemade cherry tomato soup recipe.
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
The way fruits and vegetables taste in finished dishes has a lot to do with how they’re cooked. In this great recipe, roasting a mixture of cherry tomatoes along with root vegetables like carrot, onion, and garlic coaxes caramelization. A quick pass with an immersion blender together with some homemade chicken or vegetable broth, and a dash of heavy cream yields a pleasant bisque that is hard to resist.
What plays a big role here though, are the ingredients I have yet to mention. Fresh basil, thyme, and rosemary, additional larger Campari or Roma tomatoes (on their vine if you want added flare!), garlic cloves, tomato paste, warm spices like cumin and dill, and…trust me on this one…honey, come together to make for THE BEST tomato soup.
Roasted Cherry Tomato Soup Recipe
Roasted tomatoes have long since been a thing for me. And this time of year, when fields are bearing the last of what summer 2022 had to offer, there is this couple-week time pocket that makes merging both summer things and autumn things possible in your kitchen.
A well-balanced and creamy tomato soup is achievable without grabbing for anything canned from your pantry. If you’ve been following me long enough and have implemented suggestions I’ve shared about stretching your grocery store dollar, you’ve likely got some bags of homemade rich chicken stock in your freezer.
You’ll want to thaw a bag or two, enough to equal 2-ish cups for this creamy roasted tomato soup. You’ll also of course, need garden tomatoes.
Use whatever you’ve got left; grape tomatoes, Campari’s, Roma’s…and combine them with a pint or more of sweet flavor cherry tomatoes. It is the grand finale of tomato season, and YOU are closing it out with a bang.
Do You Have What’s Needed for My Roasted Cherry Tomato Soup Recipe? Check the List!
- fresh cherry tomatoes (and, if desired, any additional garden variety tomatoes you may have)
- sweet onions
- whole head garlic and loose garlic cloves
- fresh carrots
- fresh herbs thyme, rosemary, and basil
- olive oil
- dried dill
- smoked paprika, hot or sweet
- Kosher salt
- black pepper
- red onion
- tomato paste
- red pepper flakes (may also use Aleppo pepper)
- honey, raw if you are able to source it
- chicken stock or vegetable stock
- heavy cream or full fat and well-shaken coconut milk
optional if you happen to have it
- rind from a block of Parmesan cheese or any other hard cheese rind
Why Cherry Tomatoes?
Why not? Seriously? They’re full of vitamin A and lycopene, they’re sweet, less acidic than some other varieties, and cook fast to where they caramelize their own sugar perfectly.
In this soup recipe, I play up and capitalize on that sweet profile, hitting the tomatoes with roasted carrots, additional caramelized vegetables, and of all things, honey.
The addition of honey puts this soup on the map.
What Equipment Do I Need to Make Roasted Cherry Tomato Soup?
First and foremost, a very large, rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. All of these vegetables will roast in your oven for anywhere from 35 minutes to 1 hour depending on how deep a color and caramelization you want.
You will also need a large Dutch oven or other ceramic coated large pot. Though it will never go above medium heat, having a ceramic coated pot helps to avoid scorching and sticking/burning.
Lastly, an immersion blender (stick blender) or large food processor that can take hot liquids well. After the roast, the caramelized vegetables will marry sautéed vegetables and warm spices, then be pureed together harmoniously.
What Herbs Are Added to This Healthy Roasted Tomato Soup?
Have a gander at what’s looking good among the herbs in your garden. I am using thyme (because there’s like an acre of it!), rosemary, and basil.
Other fresh herbs that work beautifully include sage, marjoram, and in limited quantity, tarragon. If you want to garnish with fresh herbs, think basil, small amounts of finely chopped fresh dill, and also carrot or fennel fronds.
What Spices am I Adding?
Think warm spices like cumin and smoked paprika. I also add quite a lot of dried dill because I love, love, love the sweet flavor it offers.
In addition to aromatics, you will also be adding sweet honey, raw if you have it available, and either red pepper flakes, cayenne, or Aleppo pepper if you are able to source it.
And though it is not a spice, tomato paste plays an important role in this dish. In the Dutch oven, and after we’ve sauteed together celery, shallots, and red onion in a little olive oil, tomato paste is added alongside the trilogy and given time to caramelize from a bright red to an almost brown color.
Can Roasted Cherry Tomato Soup be Made Ahead?
Yes, and in my opinion, though it’s delicious right out of the pot as soon as it’s pureed, it’s downright fabulous the next day after it’s had time to simmer, cool down, refrigerate, and be brought up to a hot soup again.
All of these simple ingredients, all of these FRESH ingredients, really do marry to create THE BEST FLAVOR in a homemade soup. Once you’ve assembled this easy roasted tomato soup recipe for the first time, you’ll quickly set your mind to thinking about other unique combinations to invent more favorite soups.
What to Serve with A Good Tomato Soup?
So, there is the very cliche, however VERY YUMMY, good old grilled cheese sandwich. In a way, I feel as though the best soups, well the ones that I consider comfort food anyway, almost scream for grilled cheese as an accompaniment.
Do not underestimate the satisfaction of a good crusty bread though. Softened butter smeared across an airy crumb that is still warm from your oven…it’s as good a reason to bake your own bread as far as good reasons go!
Or you can think outside the box…
This may come as a surprise, but tomato soup is one of my favorite things to eat with mac and cheese! The two distinct flavors of each dish compliment one another and make for a hearty meal.
Homemade Sandwich Bread ‘Inside Out’ Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
If you are like me, and you relish the best of both worlds here, do this: bake a loaf of this sandwich bread. Once pulled from the oven, allow it to cool while you brown two tablespoons of unsalted butter in a non-stick skillet.
Slice the sandwich bread the thickness of a regular store-bought bread and place one slice into the brown butter. Remove it quickly and jiggle the pan to redistribute the remaining brown butter.
Sprinkle a tablespoon or two of finely shredded cheddar cheese atop the butter right in the center of the pan. Allow it 15 to 30 seconds to begin to bubble and melt.
Place the clean slice of bread into the pan and top with a single slice of yellow or white American cheese. Replace the top slice of bread to the cheese, the buttered side facing out.
Griddle the sandwich on the first side over medium heat until golden brown and the dragging of a knife results in a crispy, crunchy sound. Oh, I LOVE that sound!
Gently lift the sandwich so as not to dislodge the cheese, sprinkle some additional cheddar in the pan, then flip and griddle side number two to the same golden brown, and the American cheese is molten and just beginning to drip.
Cut the sandwich into two triangles from corner to corner. Serve with this easy soup made perfect with the use of sweet tomatoes, the last of the summer tomatoes.
Other Ideas for Serving with This Soup
- homemade croutons (bread croutons)
- grilled cheese croutons
- frizzled chopped onion straws
- chiffonade fresh basil leaves for garnish
Can this Tomato Soup be Frozen?
Yes, with a caveat. Let me elaborate for a moment, as this is in my way of thinking, the best way to do this for the best results.
If freezer meal planning, gather your freezer-safe containers (any airtight container or freezer bags). Make the soup up to the step where you would be adding the heavy cream. STOP before adding any cream.
Ladle the soup into your containers and allow to cool completely before fastening the lids. Label, date, and affix the tops and freeze for up to 6 months.
Upon reheating, add heavy cream (or full fat coconut milk) to your liking and serve. To reheat properly, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and heat gently in a non-stick sauce pan over medium heat.
Et voilà, a bowl of soup!
How to Make This Roasted Cherry Tomato Soup Recipe?
Roast the Tomatoes
Line your largest baking tray with a sheet of parchment. You will thank me for the easy cleanup after.
After washing and drying a pint or more of cherry tomatoes, spread them out on the tray. Follow with two large peeled and segmented carrots, one peeled and quartered large onion, the 2 shallots you’ve left whole, a head of garlic halved, and a handful of peeled garlic cloves.
Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, cumin, some smoked paprika, dried dill, freshly cracked black pepper, and a healthy pinch of Kosher salt. Use your hands and toss the vegetables around COATING EVERYTHING.
Turn the garlic head halves upside down so their exposed flesh is against the baking sheet. The loose cloves can be scattered. Nestle the herbs in between the vegetables.
Pop into a preheated 350°F oven for anywhere between 35 minutes to one hour. The longer the roast, the sweeter the vegetables and if you’re lucky, even a good bit of mild charring here and there.
Sauté the Aromatics
Into a large Dutch oven, pour a tablespoon-ish of good olive oil and heat it to shimmering. Add some diced celery, diced shallots, and diced red onion.
Allow this trilogy to sauté over medium heat for about 10 minutes until some pieces are translucent and others mildly golden. Using a wooden spoon, push all to one side of the Dutch oven.
Add 4 tablespoons of tomato paste directly into the space you’ve created. Using the same wooden spoon, try as best you can to ‘spread’ the tomato paste over the bottom half of the Dutch oven.
Cook the tomato paste for several minutes before stirring it and re-spreading it. You are coaxing a burn, and the sugar in the tomato paste will begin to turn a lovely shade of brown, caramelizing that sugar the longer it cooks.
Build A Soup Base
At this point, use that wooden spoon to merge the (now nicely browned) tomato paste with the vegetables and add in cumin, more dried dill, red pepper flakes, and several tablespoons of honey.
The mixture is still sitting over medium heat and because of the honey, will likely begin to cook faster and smoke. Grab your whisk and begin deglazing with whatever stock you intend to use, homemade of course recommended, whisking constantly and scraping any bits that accumulated on the bottom.
If you want to flavor your soup in a bit of a savvy way and have both time and a rind of a well-aged cheese such as Beemster or Parmesan, toss it into the base. Simmer it for 20 minutes, removing and discarding the rind before adding in the vegetables.
Pro Tip: always save those cheese rinds, as they are a fabulous way to flavor soups, chowders, and stews; they simmer in the soup and are removed just before serving; they impart a rich, almost nutty flavor without adding actual cheese to a recipe.
Incorporating the Roasted Tomatoes
Pull the baking sheet full of roasted veg from the oven. Give them a few minutes to cool, but pretty immediately, begin spooning them into the Dutch oven mixture, careful to remove any vine tomatoes you roasted and are planning to use as a garnish.
Squeeze the garlic from its papery exterior and into the Dutch oven. Add any of the charred loose cloves into the Dutch oven as well.
You’ll notice quite a bit of perfumed juice that has collected beneath the vegetables. Carefully lift the parchment paper and allow the loaded-with-flavor viscous juice to drip into the Dutch oven.
The herb leaves may be pretty well dried out at this point, but I do try to use my fingers and salvage some of it. The thyme for me especially is so worth it, so I run the stems between my thumb and forefinger removing what leaves pull away easily.
Puree the Ingredients
I use an immersion blender to puree the mixture directly in the pot. If you do not own an immersion blender, use a very large blender or food processor that hot liquid will not damage.
If I am serving immediately, I begin drizzling in heavy cream, pureeing some more, then a bit more cream until it’s the consistency I want it. I would say in total, I do not add more than 3/4 cups cream ever, but of course everybody’s idea of thick soup is slightly different.
TASTE YOUR SOUP. What does it need? More salt? Additional honey? Add accordingly and keep warm over very low heat until you are ready to serve.
Roasted Cherry Tomato Soup Recipe
- Dutch oven
- large rimmed baking sheet
- emersion blender or large capacity blender or food processor that can handle hot liquids
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 3 large tomatoes any variety, whole; may be on the vine
- 1 very large sweet onion peeled and quartered
- 1 head garlic halved
- 8 cloves garlic peeled and slightly smashed
- 4 large shallots peeled; 2 left whole and 2 medium dice
- 3 large carrots fresh; peeled and cut into 3 or 4 pieces
- 1 small bunch thyme fresh
- 1 small bunch basil fresh
- 1 stem rosemary fresh
- 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 2 teaspoons cumin divided
- 2 teaspoons dried dill divided
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika divided; may be hot or sweet
- Kosher salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 3 ribs celery medium dice
- ½ large red onion medium dice
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- pinch red pepper flakes to taste
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 cups stock may use chicken or vegetable; homemade if you have it
- ½ to ¾ cups heavy cream may use full fat, well-shaken coconut milk
optional if you have on hand
- 3 inch cheese rind from a block of Parmesan, Beemster, or other hard aged cheese NOTE: always save those cheese rinds, as they are a fabulous way to flavor soups, chowders, and stews; they simmer in the soup and are removed just before serving; they impart a rich, almost nutty flavor without adding actual cheese to a recipe
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line your largest baking tray with a sheet of parchment.
- Scatter a pint of cherry tomatoes out on the baking sheet. Add the carrots, the onion, the 2 whole shallots, and all of the garlics. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon dried dill, some black pepper and Kosher salt to taste. Use your hands and toss the vegetables around COATING EVERYTHING. Turn the garlic head halves upside down so their exposed flesh is against the baking sheet. Nestle the herbs in between the vegetables.
- Bake for anywhere between 35 minutes to one hour. I go the full hour as I like to encourage a mild amount of charring on the vegetables. You may need to stir the contents of the baking sheet halfway through.
- In a large Dutch oven, the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and heat it to shimmering. Add the celery, the 2 diced shallots, and the red onion. Sauté over medium heat for about 10 minutes until some pieces are translucent and others mildly golden. Using a wooden spoon, push all to one side of the Dutch oven. Add tomato paste directly into the space you've created. Using the same wooden spoon, 'spread' the tomato paste over the bottom half of the Dutch oven. Cook the tomato paste for several minutes before stirring it and re-spreading it. You will cook it until it browns, about 15 minutes. See my progression photos above.
- Merge the now browned tomato paste with the vegetables and add in the remaining cumin, remaining dried dill, remaining smoked paprika, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and honey. Still over medium heat, begin deglazing with whatever stock you intend to use, whisking constantly and scraping any bits that accumulated on the bottom. If you intend to use a rind of an aged cheese, add it now and simmer for 20 minutes, removing and discarding after.
- Remove baking sheet from the oven. Squeeze out the roasted garlic from its papery exterior. Spoon the vegetables into the Dutch oven mixture, careful to remove any vine tomatoes you may have chosen to roast and are planning to use as a garnish. Add in any juices that collected beneath the vegetables by gently lifting one end of the parchment into the Dutch oven.
- Run the stems of what remain of your herbs between your thumb and forefinger removing what leaves pull away easily. Add them to the Dutch oven. If your herbs are looking scorched, simply discard them because technically, they've done their job.
- Use an immersion blender to puree the mixture directly in the pot. If you do not own an immersion blender, use a very large blender or food processor that hot liquid will not damage.
- If serving immediately, begin drizzling in heavy cream or coconut milk, pureeing some more after you've added it. TASTE YOUR SOUP. Season accordingly and keep warm over very low heat until you are ready to serve. Garnish with the roasted vine tomatoes.
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