One-Pot Wonders

Tomato Soup With a Whole Head of Garlic

July 12, 2021
5 Stars
Photo by Carolina Gelen
Author Notes

I find myself making this recipe at least once a week. It’s satisfying, comforting, and requires almost no effort to make. You dump a bunch of things in a pan, forget about it for 30 minutes, come back, blend it all up, and voila, dinner is ready!

One ingredient makes all the difference here: a whole head of garlic, roasted until buttery tender. It adds such a nice touch, sweet and creamy, not overpowering, just right. The best way to serve this? With a fried sourdough toast or a melty grilled cheese.

Helpful tools for this recipe:
- Borosilicate Glass Baking Dish
- Vitamin One High-Speed Blender
- Staub Ceramic 2-Piece Nesting Oval Baking Dishes Set

Carolina Gelen

  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 35 minutes
  • Serves 2
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pints (about 650 grams) cherry tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 small garlic head, halved crosswise
  • 1 bunch basil
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • 1 red chile, optional
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk, soy cream, or heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock, plus more as needed
In This Recipe
  1. Heat the oven to 480°F (250°C).
  2. Drizzle some oil into a deep baking dish. Add in the onion, garlic (cut side down), basil and thyme, chile, and tomatoes. Drizzle more olive oil on top, plus a big sprinkle of salt and pepper. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the tomatoes are slightly charred.
  3. Let cool for 5 to 7 minutes. Remove and discard the thyme. Add the rest of the ingredients to a blender, along with the coconut milk and vegetable stock. Remove the little plug from the blender lid, then cover the lid with a kitchen towel and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper if needed.
  4. Serve with a piece of buttered toast or a grilled cheese sandwich.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jessica Stirling
    Jessica Stirling
  • epicharis
  • Medora Van Denburgh
    Medora Van Denburgh
  • Rosalind Paaswell
    Rosalind Paaswell
  • Teeny
Carolina is a resident at Food52. She's also one of the hosts of Choose Your Own Recipe Adventure, our YouTube show where our Food52 readers pick the ingredients and techniques for a brand new recipe. Carolina recently immigrated to the U.S. from Transylvania, a place she spent most of her life. She continues to get inspired by the classic Romanian and Hungarian foods she was raised on, creating approachable, colorful, and fun recipes. For more cooking ideas and candid moments, check out her Instagram @carolinagelen.

44 Reviews

Deborah January 18, 2022
This soup was fantastic, even without any fresh herbs. I used extra broth and greek yogurt, dried basil and no chili. My ingredients were limited. But it's delicious. I urge you to roast extra garlic to spread on a baguette.
cmhgmantsch January 11, 2022
Delicious and so easy!!!
Sadieray August 2, 2021
I am looking at a photo with this recipe that has pesto and maybe cream on top? Can someone clarify as I see no reference to a topping in the recipe. Thanks!
Medora V. August 3, 2021
Apparently the pesto comes up in the Instagram video.
Jessica S. April 20, 2021
Wonderful! I make it weekly!
JV April 13, 2021
Low effort, high reward. My kind of weeknight recipe!

Mine came out a bit sweet, I think I had a very large onion and the tomatoes were sweet, of course the roasted garlic and coconut milk have a gentle sweetness too.

It wasn’t the best tomato soup I’ve had but definitely very yummy. At the end I added smoked paprika for more depth.
epicharis April 8, 2021
Absolutely outstanding. Can't wait to do this in the summer with fresh tomatoes. My garlic heads weren't very big, so I used two. Zero regrets.
Medora V. April 1, 2021
Thanks for a superlative recipe, which I made last week; two people made short work of it, with gluten-free crackers and vegan cheese on the side. The one thing I would change would be to omit the chile pepper (I used a red jalapeño). It's not that we aren't fans of hot-n-spicy (we are), but I felt that the heat obliterated the flavor of the garlic. I might even double the garlic next time. Also, not a change but a refinement: blend for longer than you might think necessary, and at a higher speed, in order to eliminate more of the particles of tomato skin.
Rosalind P. March 17, 2021
Great as is. And pantry friendly: great with regular tomatoes, roasted to the same stage as the cherry tomatoes. Good with cashew cream, with yogurt or any other rich, thick creamy thing just in case you don't have cream.
ReneeAR March 14, 2021
This was amazing! We used the full-fat coconut milk. It was more like a bisque than a traditional soup but my husband and I loved it. Super easy too! While it was in the blender, we made grilled mackerel salad sandwiches - perfect!
Qoral March 8, 2021
Hi! This looks amazing. I want to make this for my family of 6. Should I just multiply all the ingredients by 3? Will it come out the same?
Bertini March 12, 2021
I made this last week. It's incredibly rich, and I only had a small ramekin of the soup. Very hearty. I'm sure you could double everything without changing the taste/texture. It really is magnificent soup!
Teeny March 7, 2021
I had been craving a good tomato soup for so long! Such a fantastic recipe:) DON’T THINK, JUST MAKE IT!
Gladys L. March 4, 2021
OMG!! This was amazing! Thank you so much for sharing your expertise with us! I cannot tell you all the ways in which I love this tomato soup! My family devoured it! There was not enough because everybody had second helpings! I followed your recipe to the T! Again, thank you so much!
Amanda R. March 4, 2021
This soup had my apartment smelling DELICIOUS! I added the chili and whewww does it give the soup some heat! Really yummy but will probably only add half a chili/take out the seeds or not add at all next time since I'm a little bit of a wimp when it comes to spiciness. Overall, really yummy recipe!
Amanda R. March 4, 2021
Chile* :)
Gladys L. March 4, 2021
Yes!! The smells in my home were amazing! I feel like making this every day just for the scent that it had in my home!
Marylouise O. March 3, 2021
You had me at hello...just the photo of the sandwich dunking in the soup. So yummy. I followed the recipe but wonder why you say to take the little plug out of the blender. My soup and blender worked fine with it in. I also added a little more broth to thin. Also, my tomatoes and onion were REALLY charred- but it didn't matter. Smoky flavor. New fan here, Carolina.
asawicz March 3, 2021
I used a blender, immersion blender, and a cuisinart but just couldn't get this smooth. I will probably just serve this over pasta.
Bertini March 12, 2021
I used a blender... kinda liked the texture, but we did the same after we ate it as soup. Used it over chicken, pasta... whatever needed amping up.
jlhogan March 2, 2021
This was delicious and really easy. I skipped the cream or coconut milk asni didnt have any but this was great without it.
Cat March 2, 2021
Easiest and best tomato soup that I've ever made. I used heavy cream. I didn't have a chili pepper so I sprinkled in the red pepper flakes. The only thing I would do differently is go easier on the garlic. After I got done roasting the vegetables, I scooped out the garlic cloves and slid the peel off. It was so easy. I threw the garlic cloves back in with everything to blend. This soup is easily made in 30 minutes.
Phoebe M. March 1, 2021
Made this last night and it was SO easy! Will definitely make it again, but next time I’ll use much less cream and practice more on my pesto marbling technique!
Alison February 28, 2021
this looks delicious. when you puree the roasted vegetables, do you include the entire garlic head (halved)? or do you squeeze out the cloves and leave the paper behind?
Author Comment
Carolina G. February 28, 2021
Good question! I simply squeeze out the jammy garlic cloves in the blender, we don’t need the garlic peel in there :)
Ariela M. March 3, 2021
Ah, now you tell me. Might be good to edit the recipe to add this correction. We had garlic paper in the cuisinart and the soup; other than that, I liked the recipe.
Suzanne M. March 25, 2021
Yes. I’m surprised this didn’t come up at the beginning of the comments or even in the recipe. I would edit it to instruct folks to squeeze the roasted garlic out of the bulb and discard the remains. Not everyone would know to do this.
Alex E. April 15, 2021
I'm sorry but have you ever read any recipe ever that calls for the use of garlic skin?
Alex E. April 15, 2021
Again, yes they would. Anyone would. You wouldn't eat onion skins, right? Same logic would apply to garlic.
Janet January 14, 2022
Yes. It included unpeeled ginger as well. I made a mental note to strain it!
Karen W. February 27, 2021
I'm a student who went out to the grocery store at 7pm to get tomatoes for some 9pm tomato soup and I can 100% tell you that it was worth it.

I used an emersion blender and I think that with a regular blender as written in the recipe I could have gotten the consistency smoother. I also used a full 12 oz can of lite coconut milk, water as written, no stock, and some better than bouillon seasoned vegetable base just because that's what I had in my pantry. I'm sure my version was a little more rich than the recipe as written but I figured a half cup (4oz) of regular coconut milk would be the most similar to a full can of lite coconut milk and then I wouldn't end up with leftover open coconut milk. Anyways, 10/10 would recommend to anyone and definitely something that is modifiable to what you have on hand.
Author Comment
Carolina G. February 28, 2021
No wayyyy!!! I’m so happy it was a success, Karen, thank you for giving it a go :)