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Although I am a soup person, I have never been a tomato soup fan. As a child, the only soup I knew to be cooked in my home was tomato soup. Tomatoes and onions boiled together in a pressure cooker till mushy and then pureed in a blender; poured back into a pan, seasoned with salt and ground black pepper and voila!

No wonder I still groan at the mention of tomato soup.

I don’t even like those heavily sweetened versions with added cream that we get in restaurants here.

So I came up with my rustic version, almost an extension of my basic tomato sauce and instead of adding basil, I added good tablespoons full of pesto to give the soup another dimension.

I blend the tomatoes after boiling them as I don’t prefer blending the soup. I like some texture of bits of onion but for a more refined version, the soup can be blended and strained to give a smooth creamy finish.
Tomato Pesto Soup Recipe


  • Tomatoes- 500gms
  • Onion-1 large, finely chopped
  • Garlic-2 cloves
  • Pesto- 1-2 tbsp
  • Olive Oil-2 tsp
  • Water-4 cups
  • Bay leaf-1
  • Cloves-2
  • Oregano-1/4 tsp,dried
  • Black pepper-1/4 tsp, ground
  • Salt- 2 tsp
  • Sugar-1/2 tsp


  1. Chop the onion,garlic and prepare the tomatoes for boiling (see the picture with the chopping board).
  2. Blanch the tomatoes in pan of boiling water for 5 mins till the skin wrinkles. Peel the tomatoes and blend the peeled tomatoes in a blender to a smooth puree.
  3. In a pan over high flame, add the oil. Then add the onion,garlic,bay leaf and the cloves.
  4. Once the onions get lightly browned, add the paprika and mix well for about 30 seconds.
  5. Add the tomato puree, sugar,salt and pepper.
  6. Once the tomatoes start simmering add the water and let it come to a boil.
  7. Lower the flame to medium and let it simmer for 15-20mins.
  8. Add pesto to the pan and taste for seasoning.
  9. Serve hot with croutons or garnished with a basil leaf.