A simple, classic roasted heirloom tomato soup recipe that can work with a range of different tomatoes shapes, sizes and colors and bring out the very best in their flavor!

Let’s turn a batch of heirloom tomatoes into soup!

And not just any soup. A rich, creamy, hearty, tomato soup of dreams!

My aim today is to show you how to make a great soup with heirloom tomatoes (aka heritage tomatoes). The specific challenge is that these tomatoes don’t all look / taste / behave the same way. We can buy a batch of them one week and then get something completely different the following week. So when we cook with them it’s important to be flexible when it comes to appearance, texture, yield, etc.

I used a batch of mixed heirlooms for this one, mostly beefsteak and mostly dark red, which is why we have such a beautiful rich color going on here. Some test batches turned out a lot lighter in color. Some test batches were more full and pulpy. Some test batches had more obvious seeds / skins present. But this recipe always delivered me a delicious soup, and I hope I can do the same for you today.

So what works about this recipe?

  • We are roasting our heirloom tomatoes in olive oil with lots of balsamic vinegar and honey. So we get amazingly sweet tomatoes plus lots of flavored juices and oils that end up in the soup pot. The roasted tomato base is a rock solid starting point no matter whether your tomatoes are larger, smaller, lighter, darker, fleshier, juicer, etc.
  • We are using some nice flavor boosters such as tomato paste, wine, cheese and herbs to create a tasty broth.
  • We are adding some cream to give a velvety rich finish at the end, so even if you choose not to de-seed or peel your roasted heirlooms, your soup still has a beautiful texture.

What to know about your ingredients

  • Heirloom tomatoes: Any will work! As you can see, mine were mainly beefsteaks this time round with a few rogue smaller ones. My absolute favorite result came from heirloom plum tomatoes so if those are available, you are in for a real treat, but you can use whatever you’ve got.
  • Tomato paste gives a little thickness to the soup as well as a boost to the tomato vibes. If you don’t have as many tomatoes as the recipe calls for, you can use a little extra tomato paste to make sure it doesn’t come out too weak tasting.
  • Shallots can be replaced with red onion.
  • Parmesan cheese or another strongly flavored Italian cheese is best for this recipe. (If you’re vegetarian you need to watch for animal rennet in parmesan but generic “italian hard cheese” will work fine here.)
  • Honey: We roast the tomatoes with a little honey, but you can use sugar if you prefer.
  • Italian herb mix: If you don’t have a premade herb mix, just throw in a teaspoon each of basil, oregano and thyme.

Tips for Success

  • Season, season and season some more! It does make a big difference. In my tests, it was really noticeable when I forgot to season adequately.
  • Don’t skimp on the roasting oil. Another thing I noticed between test batches was that the amount of roasting oil used made a massive difference to the flavor. You want to make sure your baking tray has a good layer of oil covering the bottom and then drizzle each tomato with a little more on top. If in doubt, drizzle a little more.
  • Know your tomatoes. If you don’t think they’re the super sweet types, you could increase the honey and balsamic that you roast them in.
  • Make your own choices when it comes to cheese quantities. The recipe calls for half a cup of cheese, which will add some umami but probably not a very obvious hit of parmesan (it does depend a little on your cheese). So taste test and add more if you’d like.

Creamy Roasted Heirloom Tomato Soup

A simple, classic roasted heirloom tomato soup recipe that can work with a range of different tomatoes shapes, sizes and colors and bring out the very best in their flavor!
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  • olive oil, for roasting
  • 4 lbs (1.8 kg) heirloom tomatoes, a little more or less is fine
  • 1 tbsp honey, more if your tomatoes aren't naturally very sweet
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, more if your balsamic is on the lighter / runnier side
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp mixed Italian herbs
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) white wine
  • cup (80 ml) double (heavy) cream
  • ½ cup (50 g) parmesan or Italian hard cheese, grated
  • 2 cups (480 ml) vegetable stock
  • 5-10 fresh basil leaves
  • Lots of salt and pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 180C / 360F.
  • Prepare your tomatoes for roasting. Slice larger heirlooms into thirds and smaller tomatoes into halves. Baby / cherry tomatoes can be left whole.
    Brush two half sheet pans with olive oil and arrange the tomatoes over the pans, making sure to space them out a little so that they will roast effectively.
    Drizzle with balsamic and honey, then add salt and pepper and another drizzle of olive oil over the top of the tomatoes.
    Place in the oven for 45 minutes (at the halfway point, you will want to check in and swap the oven positions of the two pans).
    olive oil, 4 lbs heirloom tomatoes, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, Lots of salt and pepper
  • Meanwhile, prepare your soup base. Heat a little olive oil or butter in a deep saucepan over a low heat. Saute the shallots until soft. Add the garlic and saute another minute or two until fragrant, before adding the mixed herbs.
    2 shallots, 4 cloves garlic, 1 tbsp mixed Italian herbs
  • Once the herbs have released their fragrance (this will just be a matter of 10-15 seconds) add the wine to the pan. It will sizzle and cook down. Add the tomato paste and stir through for a few moments so the flavors can come together. Add lots of salt and pepper. Cover and set aside until the tomatoes are finished roasting.
    1 tbsp tomato paste, 1/4 cup white wine, Lots of salt and pepper
  • The tomatoes are ready when they are well reduced, jammy, and browning around the edges. In my experience this takes about 45 minutes for two pans – but yours may be quicker or longer so just keep a good eye on things.
    Remove them from the oven and carefully pour them into the saucepan with the soup base. Make sure to get all the juices and oils from the pan into the saucepan too – this is where so much of the flavor comes from, it's crucial! Add some more salt and pepper now too, for good measure.
    (Optional: You can let them cool down first, then remove the skins and as many seeds as you can – this will result in a smoother soup.)
    Lots of salt and pepper
  • If you have a hand blender: Add the vegetable stock to the pan and bring to a simmer. Add in the basil and then blend with the hand blender until smooth.
    If you are using a jug blender: Transfer the contents of the pan to the blender, then add the cold vegetable stock and basil. Blend until smooth, and then return to the pan. Bring to a simmer over a low heat.
    5-10 fresh basil leaves, 2 cups vegetable stock
  • Add the cream and cheese to the pan and stir through until the cheese has melted through. Taste test. If you want a cheesier soup, throw in some more parmesan. If it's too thick, add a little extra broth.
    1/3 cup double (heavy) cream, 1/2 cup parmesan or Italian hard cheese
  • Serve with an additional swirl of cream and/or extra basil leaves if desired.
Calories: 253kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 21mg, Sodium: 490mg, Potassium: 823mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 3018IU, Vitamin C: 43mg, Calcium: 161mg, Iron: 2mg