One-Pot Wonders

Tomato Soup With a Whole Head of Garlic

July 12, 2021
39 Ratings
Photo by Carolina Gelen
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 35 minutes
  • Serves 2
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
- Vitamix One High-Speed Blender
- Staub Ceramic 2-Piece Nesting Oval Baking Dishes Set

Carolina Gelen

What You'll Need
  • 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
  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.

  • Christine Tetreault
    Christine Tetreault
  • Jessica Stirling
    Jessica Stirling
  • epicharis
  • Medora Van Denburgh
    Medora Van Denburgh
  • Rosalind Paaswell
    Rosalind Paaswell
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.

57 Reviews

Dorota D. February 9, 2023
Don't think any longer just make this recipe ! it's a keeper for me .
pamela T. January 10, 2023
I too loved this recipe but it was a little too sweet for me so I added a bit of curry. Loved it!
Bernadette January 3, 2023
This soup is absolutely delicious! From the aroma while the ingredients roast in the oven to the first taste, this recipe is perfection! Thank you for such a nutritious and yummy recipe. I cannot imagine using another tomato soup recipe now that I've found this one.
reywints November 29, 2022
This recipe has become one of my all-time favorites! It's become the only tomato soup my family will eat!
adparnell October 26, 2022
This soup has become a staple in our house. It is nourishing, comforting, delicious and customizable. Can't recommend it enough!
nercon5 September 27, 2022
Gosh this was delicious. I did it all in my dutch oven and just used the stick blender in the pot. This will seem like a glib comparison, but for all my ladies from tx (hey y’all!) it reminded me of a sophisticated version of la mad’s tomato bisque
Christine T. September 2, 2022
Ermygawd! This is the best tomato soup I have ever had…and the easiest. I followed the recipe exactly, the red chili is the finishing chef’s kiss.
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!