Tomato Basil Soup Lightened Up Southern Style

Knock knock knock.

Gentleman Caller.

I planted some basil plants (7 or 8 of different varieties to be exact) and weather conditions have been so sunny and so rainy that the things basically took over everything. I LOVE fresh basil but lord knows I have been straining my little brain to come up with ideas for it all.

The basil plants have grown to new and exceptional heights this year!

My Granny likes to go to Panera Bread. Especially after church on Sunday. Now, I am not such a fan of Panera Bread. But I understand the appeal. Granny likes to indulge on tomato basil soup. Tomato basil soup traditionally is laden with fatty, fatty cream and butter and other nonsense that our poor arteries simply do not need!

Given that I have so much basil and that I want Granny to eat healthy I decided to concoct a Gentleman Caller tomato basil soup that you can feel good about ingesting… one so rich and flavorful you never miss the nasty fatty dairy products that I replaced. The secret is exceptional tomatoes and exceptional basil. And of course putting your heart into it!


  • 4 ripe Roma tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
  • 6 large garlic cloves
  • 4 tablespoons of quality olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped white onion
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1 bay leaf (preferably fresh)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Tabasco sauce
  • 2 tsp honey
  • about a tbsp kosher salt (to taste)
  • 2 tsp black pepper

This is deceptively easy.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a sheet pan place your tomatoes and garlic cloves and drizzle them with extra virgin olive oil. Salt generously with something nice (like Himalayan pink salt). It’s important to salt in layers here.

Place in your hot oven for about 40 – 45 minutes… your house is going to smell quite heavenly.

In a stockpot, melt the butter and amend it with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Allow to come together. Add the onion and sauté till it’s translucent. Add thyme, basil, bay leaf, chicken stock and crushed tomatoes. Stir. Add the roasted tomatoes and garlic, including any juices in the pan.

Simmer for about half an hour. Add the buttermilk, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, honey, salt and pepper. Allow to simmer another 10 – 15 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow it to sit for a moment. Use your food processor to process in batches to the consistency you like. I prefer it pretty smooth. Taste for salt and amend as your palate dictates.

You can serve this warm or cold. You can top it with homemade croutons and a whisper of parmesan cheese, or perhaps a piece of crusty bread.

This freezes very well and you’ll be so happy during colder months to be able to enjoy this summer throwback soup.

For downloadable PDF click here:The Gentleman Caller’s Tomato Basil Soup

Enjoy, my Lovelies!

xoxo – The Gentleman Caller

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