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April 25, 2011

Recipe for cream of tomato soup with basil and corn

Cream of tomato soup

Today's soup comes to you courtesy of ingredients that were left from other events and made their way to my kitchen. From a cooking class to benefit Drop In & Decorate, I had an extra half-pint container of heavy cream, and some passable but not glorious fresh basil. And from my friend Candy's pantry, which we emptied last week when she moved to New Mexico, I inherited a can of San Marzano tomatoes with basil. Tomato, basil and corn is, to me, the combination of foods that personifies summer. It's anything but summer here in New England, yet with all of the key ingredients, I managed to coax the flavor of August out of my soup pot. The actual color is a bit more pink than it looks here. I think you'll like it.

Cream of tomato soup with basil and corn

Serves 6.


1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 leeks, trimmed, chopped (white part only) and washed
28-oz can whole tomatoes, with their juice
6 slow-roasted tomato halves*
A pinch of sugar
1/4 tsp piment d'Espelette (optional)
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
2 cups frozen organic corn kernels
1/2 pint heavy cream
3-4 Tbsp roughly chopped or julienned fresh basil leaves


In a 5- or 6-quart Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the leeks and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until just wilted but not browned. Stir in the canned tomatoes, slow-roasted tomatoes, sugar, piment d'Espelette, salt and pepper, plus 3 cups of water. Bring to the boil, then reduce to simmer and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Remove the pot from heat and puree the soup with an immersion blender (or let cool slightly and process in batches in a food processor or stand blender).

Return the pot to the stove, and stir in the corn, cream and basil leaves. Cook on the lowest heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste, and adjust seasoning as needed with salt and pepper. Serve hot, or let cool to room temperature, refrigerate, and serve cold.

*If you haven't made your own slow-roasted tomatoes with garlic and thyme, you can substitute oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, plus 2 cloves of roughly chopped garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of thyme leaf.

Print recipe only.


Posted by: Maris (In Good Taste) | April 25, 2011 at 01:50 PM

Pretty lucky for you that all those ingredients came together, because that is one magnificent bowl of soup!

Posted by: Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) | April 25, 2011 at 01:53 PM

Maris, soup is entirely about luck. And confidence. That's what I love about making soup. It's almost impossible to make a bad soup; if you have the confidence to keep throwing things in the pot, you'll eventually get to a wonderful flavor and texture.

Posted by: Sandie {A Bloggable Life} | April 28, 2011 at 08:50 AM

This is a fairly luxurious version of tomato soup... I think I'm in food love ;) There's just something about tomatoes & basil...

Posted by: Lydia | April 28, 2011 at 08:55 AM

Sandie, I'm definitely trying to push ahead to summer, despite the cool rain and grey skies today!

Posted by: Katie Ostermeier | April 2, 2013 at 10:16 PM

This looks great! However, I'm not familiar with leeks - do I use both the white and green parts? Also, I bought oil-packer sun-dried tomatoes, but I'm not sure how many pieces to use. What do you recommend?

Posted by: Lydia (Soup Chick) | April 2, 2013 at 10:19 PM

Katie, First, leeks: trim them right at the point where the white part ends. Discard the green, and use the white.

Use the same number of pieces of tomato as in the recipe: 6.

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  • I'm Lydia Walshin, a longtime food writer who lives and cooks in a real log house. If I could, I'd eat Chinese noodles, grapes, ice cream and soup every day.
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