Kitchn Love Letters

I Tried Reddit’s Wildly Popular Creamy Tomato-Basil Soup and It’s the Definition of Cozy

published Oct 12, 2022
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Grace Elkus

A few weeks ago, I would have broken into a sweat at the mere mention of soup. But then fall decided to arrive in full force, and suddenly I’m wrapped up in a blanket craving all the warm foods I can get. 

Enter: the r/slowcooking subreddit, aka the first place I turn to when there’s a chill in the air. I first discovered the subreddit when the Creamy Tortellini, Spinach, and Chicken soup (or “Upvote Soup”) went viral, and I’ve been hoping an equally popular, meat-free recipe would surface ever since. 

And it did! During a recent browse of the subreddit’s list of Tried and True Slow Cooker Recipes, I stumbled upon a Creamy Tomato Basil Parmesan soup. The recipe, originally posted by u/Grapepo, looked every bit as easy, creamy, and comforting as the Upvote Soup, sans the meat. I couldn’t wait to try it! 

Credit: Grace Elkus

How to Make Reddit’s Creamy Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup

This slow cooker recipe is as simple as it gets. You’ll start by adding celery, carrots, onion, dried oregano, dried basil, one bay leaf, a few cans of diced tomatoes, and a carton of broth to the slow cooker. (The recipe called for chicken broth; I used vegetable.) Cook on low for 5 to 7 hours or until the veggies are tender. 

Thirty minutes before serving, melt butter in a pot and add the flour. Although the recipe says this will “create a roux,” there’s too much butter for it to really turn into one (the classic roux ratio is 1 part butter to 1 part flour; this recipe is 2:1). With that said, it still does its job of helping thicken the soup, and I think any more flour would have made it too thick. Slowly add about 3 cups of soup to the flour mixture, stir until smooth, then return it to the slow cooker. Mix in Parmesan cheese and warmed half-and-half, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook another 30 minutes, and dig in! 

Credit: Grace Elkus

My Honest Review of Reddit’s Creamy Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup

This recipe is the definition of cozy. It’s thick and creamy like a chowder (in fact, I found myself craving oyster crackers), but not so rich that you can only eat one bite. I liked that the veggies came out tender, but not mushy, and the Parmesan was the perfect finishing touch. Thanks to the dried spices and melted butter, it also smells delicious — like something that would come out of a fancy restaurant kitchen. 

With that said, it needs a little help in the flavor department to really make it sing. You’ll want to season it generously with kosher salt (I used 1 1/2 teaspoons), and don’t be shy with the black pepper, either. I also recommend adding red pepper flakes for heat (although you can omit this for kids), and stirring in a splash of balsamic vinegar to cut the richness and add brightness. If you have fresh basil, you could certainly add it as a garnish.  

With these additions, this soup is a winning cold-weather dinner option worth adding to your rotation. It’s made of pantry staples, only dirties a few dishes, and its mild flavor and creamy texture makes it great for picky eaters. My fiancé, who hates tomatoes (and most tomato soups), devoured every single bite. 

Credit: Grace Elkus

If You’re Making Reddit’s Creamy Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup, a Few Tips

  1. Adjust the amount of half-and-half to your liking. Instead of adding the full two cups at once, start with a drizzle and taste as you go. You may find you don’t want quite as much as the recipe calls for (I found 1 cup to be the perfect amount). 
  2. Blend for a creamier soup, if desired. If you prefer a completely smooth soup, try blending this one after adding the roux. Then, stream in the half-and-half as it purées. This will help give the soup a creamier mouthfeel. 
  3. Serve with crackers (or crusty bread). A creamy soup like this one benefits from a crunchy element like crackers or bread. Or, embrace the decadence and pair it with buttery grilled cheese sandwich. 

Have you tried Reddit’s Creamy Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup? Let us know in the comments!