A delicious fresh roasted tomato basil soup that is suitable for babies 6 months and up! The base recipe is dairy free with no added salt or sugar, with optional additions to add more flavor for older kids. Red lentils add creaminess and a source of iron too!
It’s been on my mind for a while to create a tomato soup recipe for babies, but the prospect of making soup without any added salt, without using stock, and without sugar?!?! It was a tough nut to crack! But here we are. A roasted tomato and red lentil soup that is legit tasty, with a creamy smooth texture for babies, and options to build up the flavors for toddlers and kids as they get older.
This soup is a great way to use up some of your summer tomato haul, and you can freeze it to enjoy year round.
How to make this recipe for babies versus older kids
- Our base recipe is for the youngest stage eaters, 6-12 months old. It uses no vegetable stock / broth, salt or sugar, so it relies on preparing the veggies in the most flavorful ways possible to bring out their natural sweetness. We caramelize our onions, roast our garlic and tomatoes, and then simmer with herbs and lentils to make our soup, which ends up with a subtle, soft flavor.
- For older toddlers and kids, we don’t need to be quite as strict about salt and sugar content, and your kids are probably used to more flavorful foods by now, so we can add some extras. I like to include 1) cheese, for the salty umami flavor and 2) orange juice for natural sweetness, and a boost of vitamin C to help the iron from the lentils be more easily absorbed. You can also decide for yourself if you’d like to salt your tomatoes, add a pinch of sugar to your onions and use vegetable stock.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of tomatoes should I use?
Plum (Roma, San Marzano) tomatoes are what work best here, because they have a lot of flesh. If you’re using another kind of tomato, I’d suggest using more than the recipe states because your yield per tomato will be less. Ultimately, you are looking for 300g (10oz) of cooked, peeled tomatoes.
If you want to swap in canned tomatoes, that is fine too, the flavor will be different but it can work. Again, we’re looking for 300g of cooked, peeled tomatoes so by draining some of the juice away from your can, you’ll end up with about the right amount.
Do I really have to leave out the cheese for babies under 1?
No, you do not HAVE to leave out the cheese when making this for babies. We know it’s OK for babies to eat cheese and I have many recipes for babies which include cheese, but I believe the base recipe here can work without it for those who prefer to hold back or need the recipe to be dairy free.
Do I really have to leave out the orange juice for babies under 1?
I won’t recommend adding orange juice for babies under one, because babies should never be given juice to drink. That said, in this recipe it is an ingredient, not a drink, so this is a judgement call for individual parents to make. Again, I believe the base recipe can work without it for those younger palettes.
How should I serve soup for baby led weaning?
A shallow layer of soup in a bowl alongside some bread or a grilled cheese / toasted sandwich would be my recommendation. And keep the wipes handy!
More tomato recipes for babies 6 months+
Tomato Soup for Babies, Toddlers and Kids
- olive oil
- 1.5 lb (600 g) large plum tomatoes
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 small-medium onion, thinly sliced
- 2 inch chunk carrot, peeled and grated
- 1 tsp dried Italian herbs
- 3 tbsp red lentils
- 1.5 cups (350 ml) water
- 2-3 sprigs fresh basil , leaves
- 4 tbsp fresh orange juice
- ½ cup (60 g) grated cheddar cheese
- First, get your tomatoes roasting. Heat the oven to 200C / 390F. Slice the tomatoes in half lengthways, lay in a pan (cut side up) and add the whole garlic cloves to the pan. I like to place the garlic cloves really close to a tomato – the proximity to the tomato slows down their cooking time, so they stay a little softer and don't overcook. Drizzle with olive oil and place in the oven for 35-45 minutes. (Note that if you're making this for older kids, you may want to season the tomatoes with salt and pepper, but not if you're giving it to babies under 12 months.)1.5 lb large plum tomatoes, 3 cloves garlic, olive oil
- Meanwhile, start the onion caramelizing. In a saucepan, heat a little oil (or melt some unsalted butter) and cook the onions over a low heat, stirring often, until they start to brown and caramelize, maybe 15-20 minutes. (We won't achieve complete caramelization, but we can get them pretty nicely golden in that time.)olive oil, 1 small-medium onion
- Add the grated carrot and mix through. Cook for another couple of minutes to soften the carrot.2 inch chunk carrot
- Add the herbs and mix through, just until fragrant.1 tsp dried Italian herbs
- Add the lentils and 1.5 cups of water. Bring to a gentle simmer for 10-12 minutes until the lentils are soft.1.5 cups water, 3 tbsp red lentils
- Once the tomatoes have reduced in size and charred a little, remove from the oven and let them sit to cool for about 5 minutes.
- Flip the tomatoes over so the skins are on top, and peel the skins off. They should come away pretty easily.
- Add the peeled tomatoes to the saucepan and stir through. Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes. If it's too thick, add another 1/2 cup (125ml) of water.(If you're using the orange juice, add it now)4 tbsp fresh orange juice
- Add the basil and then puree the soup with a hand blender, or by transferring to a jug blender. (If you're using the cheese, add it alongside the basil and allow it to melt before pureeing)2-3 sprigs fresh basil, 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese