This cold tomato soup is very refreshing and ridiculously easy to make. Serve it as an appetizer, or as a tasty summertime lunch.
This refreshing soup is so good. It’s wonderfully creamy. It has a mild sweetness from the canned tomatoes and a slight tang from the buttermilk, and the basil really enhances it.
Unlike the Spanish gazpacho, this soup has more of an Italian flavor profile. It is smoother and creamier. Both are very good, but this one is easier to make.
The perfect summer dish
We usually think of hot soup in the winter (this vegetable beef soup is so rich and comforting), but cold soup is such a nice dish to have in the summer – it’s as cooling and refreshing as cold lemonade.
On a hot summer day, sometimes I just can’t bring myself to cook – or eat – warm food. On those days, cold soups such as this one, or a chilled avocado soup, are a lifesaver.
An easy recipe made with canned tomatoes
One of the things that make this cold tomato soup recipe so easy is that it is made with canned tomatoes.
I do highly recommend that you use the brand I linked to below in the recipe card – Pomi tomatoes. This is an Italian brand and it’s notably sweeter and milder than local canned tomatoes, that tend to have an acidic aftertaste.
You can find Pomi tomatoes on Amazon, at Whole Foods, and in a growing number of supermarkets around the country.
Another good Italian brand that’s easier to find in supermarkets is Cento – you can use their tomato puree in this recipe.
If you end up using an American brand, taste the soup and see if the acidity of the tomatoes needs to be balanced out with a teaspoon of honey.
The ingredients you’ll need
You’ll only need a few simple ingredients to make this cold tomato soup. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here’s an overview of what you’ll need:
Fresh basil: Basil doesn’t keep for long in the fridge, so I try to buy it the same day or the day before I plan on making this soup.
Minced garlic: Mince it yourself or use the stuff that comes in a jar.
Extra virgin olive oil: My favorite oil! It’s so flavorful. Definitely use high-quality oil here – it makes a difference.
Canned tomatoes: The brands I recommend are either Pomi strained tomatoes or Cento canned tomato puree.
Buttermilk: Full-fat or low-fat, both work. Low-fat is easier to find in supermarkets, so that’s what I tend to use. You can actually make your own buttermilk, but I’ve never tried that.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the soup could end up too salty.
How to make cold tomato soup
It’s so easy! The food processor does all the work. Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
1. Place the basil, garlic and olive oil in your food processor bowl. Process into a paste.
2. Add the tomatoes, buttermilk, salt, and pepper. Process until smooth.
3. Chill before serving.
How to serve cold tomato soup
It’s excellent on its own as a first course. When I want to serve it as a main course, I like to serve it alongside any of the following:
How long can I keep the leftovers?
You can keep them in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 4 days. Make sure to stir the leftovers well before serving. I never tried freezing this soup, so I don’t know if that would work.
Never miss a recipe!
I typically publish a new recipe once or twice per week. Want the new recipes in your inbox? Subscribe!
Cold Tomato Soup
- 1/2 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves (20 grams)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cups Pomi strained tomatoes or canned tomato puree
- 1 cup low fat buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Place the basil, garlic and olive oil in your food processor bowl. Process into a paste.
- Add the tomatoes, buttermilk, salt and pepper. Process until smooth and well-incorporated, about 1 minute, stopping if needed to scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
- Transfer to a serving bowl, cover and chill 2 hours before serving.