Tomato Soup with Basil Aïoli

Preparation info

  • Makes


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Lighter, Quicker, Better: Cooking for the Way We Eat Today

Lighter, Quicker, Better

By Richard Sax and Marie Simmons

Published 2000

  • About

This soup can be served hot or cold, and it can be made with fresh or good quality canned tomatoes. Aïoli is garlic mayonnaise from the South of France. We’ve made a lowfat version, with basil to be added to the soup at the table.


  • 1 cup vertically slivered onion
  • 1 leafy inner rib celery, cut into thin diagonal slices
  • 1 leafy basil sprig
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled, cored, and quartered, or about 6 cups imported canned (two 28-ounce) Italian plum tomatoes, with juices
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth or reduced-sodium canned broth, fat skimmed
  • Salt and Freshly ground black pepper
  • Basil Aïoli (recipe follows)


    1. Combine the onion, celery, basil, olive oil, and water in a large heavy saucepan. Cover and cook over low heat until the vegetables are very tender, about 20 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, place a large strainer over a bowl. Working in the strainer, gently squeeze the seeds and juice from the tomatoes. Chop the tomato flesh and add to the saucepan. Rub the seeds and pulp in the sieve to extract as much juice as possible. Add the strained tomato juice to the saucepan. Discard the seeds. Add the broth to the tomato mixture and heat to a simmer over low heat.
    3. Remove the basil sprig and season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, with aïoli. This soup can also be served cold.