Caramelized Onion Tomato Soup


In my never-ending quest to add caramelized onions to just about everything, I’ve created this Caramelized Onion Tomato Soup.

DSC02380I’m sure it’s no crazy concept that I enjoy a good, classic tomato soup, but what I really prefer are the ones that fall on the sweeter side of the spectrum. The same can be said for the marinaras and pizza sauces that I opt for; I love that hint of tomato-y sweetness to balance out the savory and the tang. That’s why the caramelized onions work so well here. They elevate the sweetness level to a truly decadent place that perfectly plays with the other layers of flavor.

As I enjoyed my first bowl of this Caramelized Onion Tomato Soup, I couldn’t stop oohing and awing over the thick and velvety texture. It was dreamy. I’m talking comforting like a fleece blanket on a snowy afternoon, yet so elevated by the flavors of the onion.

All-in-all, it’s a simple soup to make with a short ingredient list. Caramelizing the onions takes some time, but it’s not complicated. And once that’s done, it’s smooth sailing. Let all the fresh and cozy ingredients simmer together, fold in the onions, and then enjoy the bold, tummy-warming flavors on their own, or serve with a mean grilled cheese. Speaking of which, I’ve got a new grilled cheese recipe coming later this week. But if you need immediate ideas, check out this compilation.


A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. If you don’t have an immersion blender, I highly suggest investing because they’re relatively inexpensive and easy to use.
  2. Okay, if you still won’t get an immersion blender, you can pour the ingredients into a regular blender and smooth them that way.
  3. Fresh basil and garlic are crucial. They provide superior flavor and quality.
  4. This soup makes a great leftover for lunch or dinner the next day.
  5. Dial back on the red pepper flakes if you prefer no heat, or dial up if you really like spice. But be careful – a little goes a long way.
  6. I always choose San Marzano tomatoes because their flavor/quality surpasses all else. I use them for my favorite eggplant parm as well.


Caramelized Onion Tomato Soup
By The Smart Cookie Cook

Serves 4


  • 1 stick (8 tbsp.) unsalted butter
  • 2 yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 large fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 can San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


  1. In a large frying pan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and simmer, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden brown all over, about 30 minutes.
  2. Place a strainer over a small bowl or measuring cup and strain the excess butter from the onions into the bowl/cup to reserve the butter. Set the onions aside.
  3. Transfer butter to a large pot and bring to medium-low heat. Add the fresh tomatoes and garlic. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until they’ve cooked down and created a light sauce, about 15 minutes.
  4. Add the San Marzano tomatoes, parsley, basil, red pepper, black pepper, and salt and stir to combine. Use an immersion blender to puree until completely smooth. Make sure you work out all those tomato chunks.
  5. Stir in the cream and fold in the onions until evenly combined. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, until slightly thickened.


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Colleen Bierstine

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