Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Soup

You’ve probably seen this recipe – it’s crazy popular all over the internet.

In fact, I debated about even posting it but in the end, it’s so delicious (we’ve made it several times) that I decided I needed to share in case you are in the .01% of people who haven’t seen it floating around.

When recipes like this are reposted and reposted and reposted, I have a little tiny personal commitment to myself that I won’t post the recipe unless I’ve varied it enough to merit another repost.

In the case of this tasty soup, I reduce the butter by half and use fat free half-and-half. Big cut in calories with stellar results.

Of course, that may all be negated by the fresh, homemade croutons adorning the top of the soup. I have to insist, though, that you try it with the croutons.

I can’t eat it any other way and neither should you. How can you resist a delectable bit of golden, crunchy heaven on top of the creamy, flavorful soup?

Serious yum factor. If you have been wondering if the hype around this soup is justified, I’ll add my vote that it is, but the croutons are key.

Did I mention that? Croutons.Are.Essential. Don’t worry, here’s an easy tutorial {scroll to the bottom of the post} to help you on your way to some major crouton love.

Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Soup

What To ServeHomemade Croutons
White Bean and Tuna Salad with Crackers
Fresh, seasonal fruit

One Year Ago: Overnight Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal
Two Years Ago: San Francisco Chops {Slow Cooker}
Three Years Ago: Tomato Bisque Soup

Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Soup

Yield: Serves 6-8

Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Soup

Note: You can use regular diced tomatoes if you don't have or can't find petite diced, but if you have the option, go for the petite diced. The smaller size of the tomatoes meshes better with the finely diced vegetables.


  • 2 (14-ounce each) cans petite diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup finely diced celery
  • 1 cup finely diced carrots
  • 1 cup finely diced onions
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 (4 tablespoons) butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups fat free or regular half-and-half, lightly warmed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Croutons for serving (homemade version here)


  1. In a 5-quart slow cooker, combine the tomatoes, celery, carrots, onions, oregano, basil, broth, and bay leaf. Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours until the vegetables are tender.
  2. About 45 minutes before serving, melt the butter over low heat in a medium saucepan. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is golden, about 3 minutes. The mixture will be crumbly, but that's ok.
  3. Whisking constantly, slowly ladle in 1 cup (or a ladleful) of the hot soup from the slow cooker. Whisk until smooth and bubbly. Add another cup or ladleful and stir again until smooth. Add another cup or two and stir until smooth.
  4. Stir the creamy, hot mixture back into the slow cooker. Add the Parmesan cheese, half-and-half, salt and pepper, adding more salt and pepper if needed.
  5. Cover and cook on low for 30 minutes until ready to serve (at this point, you can blend for smoother texture, if desired). Serve with homemade croutons, if desired (and trust me, you'll want to desire it).

Recipe Source: adapted from Leigh Anne at Your Homebased Mom, originally from 365 Days of Slow Cooking

68 Responses to Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Soup

  1. Kailey says:

    I just made this tonight, and I have to admit, that it was the first recipe on your blog (that I’ve made) that I haven’t loved. It was just ok, and I don’t think I will make it again. There wasn’t much tomato flavor and I added fresh basil. If I do end up making it again, I’ll add more tomatoes– probably some fresh chopped up at the end, and maybe some a bit of garlic. I don’t know what else to do to make it something I’ll want again. Kinda makes me sad. 🙁 Don’t worry though, I’m a huge fan of numerous other recipes on here!!

  2. Kathryn says:

    Hi Mel,
    Can you substitute Smoked Gouda for the cheese

  3. Larry Etter says:

    I just prepared this last night and was disappointed in the lack of tomato flavor. Fortunately, there are only two of us so have a lot leftover. I think I will blend the soup and add either tomato sauce or paste.

  4. Pem says:

    Hey Mel,

    I made the soup today. Used the food processor to chop the veggies but otherwise followed the directions. After 5 hours on low, the veggies were still crunchy. So I blended most of it up, but still have a crunch to it. Is this normal or did I do something wrong? Thanks

    • Mel says:

      It should be fairly soft after cooking in the slow cooker. Each slow cooker varies in heat and it sounds like maybe with your slow cooker you’ll need the max amount of time (the 7 hour mark).

  5. heather bell says:

    We have a 90 year old grandma who lives in the little attached apartment of our house. We have taken this to her before and she just called tonight to say this was the best tomato soup she has ever had. She said she lived through the depression and lived on tomato soup and this was the best.=) So thank you.

  6. Jen says:

    Made this and loved it!! Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

  7. lindsey says:

    Just got done making this and having it for dinner.. it was delicious!!! Instead of making homemade crutons I used store bought ranch crutons.. fantastic choice!

  8. Carrie says:

    This is one of my favorite soups and love that it is in the crockpot. I use my immersion blender after the veggies are done cooking so it is a smooth soup. So tasty on a fall/winter day!

  9. Jenn W says:

    Make it!! Very good, very easy, and oh, so comforting!

  10. Alicia says:

    Ok this soup is AMAZING!!! My husband, who is not a soup lover, had 2 bowls!!! Thanks again Mel for another wonderful recipe!

  11. Fran McCormack says:

    I also have never seen this recipe before and I’m 70! But I will use it asap……I was just searching for a good tomato soup recipe today and this looks and sounds wonderful!!!

  12. fiona mcguire says:

    Have made this in the slow cooker and on the stove. Great both ways. Freezes well.

  13. Lindy says:

    Could this recipe be doubled and still fit on the crockpot?

  14. Lindy says:

    To double this reci

  15. Stacey says:

    So yesterday it was a bit rainy and cooler, so I decided it was my chance to make this soup! Despite the fact that it had warmed up considerably by dinner time, we whole-heartedly enjoyed this soup. The croutons were super easy and tasty. Highly recommend them with this soup or any salad.

  16. Let’s Come Out of Isolation | A Tale of Twins says:

    […] crisp and golden on the outside — you may need to do this in batches. We served them with this soup, fresh basil, and pecorino […]

  17. Tristina says:

    I have made this twice now and we love it! Do you think it would freeze well?

    • Mel says:

      Tristina – I’m not sure – I’m usually a little wary about freezing creamy soups like this but it’s worth a try. Sorry I haven’t tried it yet!

  18. Katie says:

    Thanks for such a quick response! Can I tell you how much I love your blog!? I have easily tried over 100 recipes…I love to cook thanks to you and can’t thank you enough! I’ve loved everything I’ve made and love your sense of humor and witt! You are awesome!

  19. Katie says:

    Looks yummy! I have some leftover fresh basil from your lettuce wraps I want to use in place of the dry. Do you think it would work if I just stirred it in near the end? Would the flavor be strong enough without cooking it with it the whole 5 hours. Would fresh and dry be too much? Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Katie – I think the fresh basil would be delicious as a vibrant boost; but I would still use a bit of dried during the cooking time to help with flavor. I don’t think the fresh and dried would be too much (just go easy on the fresh).

  20. Mel says:

    (Wow – I need to proofread before I post, sorry for the awkward double negative on the celery! I need to go to bed.)

  21. Mel says:

    Another huge hit at our house. We all loved this! I blended with an immersion blender so it wasn’t totally smooth, but smoother (kids more likely to not pick around the celery:-). I also used 1% milk and thought it was delicious. Amen on the croutons — divine. I’m making this for a group tomorrow. Thank you!

  22. Brianna says:

    I made this tonight for dinner. It was wonderful! So creamy and thick and delicious. Thanks for the great recipe!

  23. April says:

    Tried it, even ate seconds. Super good.

  24. Misty says:

    I use your site a lot and have never commented (because I’m usually scrambling to make something delicious quick) but I had to stop and say THANK you for this one! It is hands down the best soup I’ve ever had (next to your Butternut squash Quinoa Chicken one). I was one of the .01% that hadn’t seen this one floating around.

    Anyone else wondering if they want to make this needs to make it TOnight! SOOO GOOD!

  25. Samantha S says:

    This was so, so good. I used rye bread for the croutons, and topped them with a bit of brie for the last minute of cooking. Like having a grilled cheese sandwich with my tomato soup. Thanks again.

  26. Michelle says:

    Wow! Delicious! Just couldn’t wait to try this, so I nixed the slow cooked directions in favor of preparing it on the stove the other evening. I read your post while already at work. Thankfully, I already had everything on hand, except ff half and half. Regular was great, but next time I will lighten it up as you suggested AND use my slow cooker. Besides the half and half, the only other thing I did differently was saute the veggies for a bit before adding the other ingredients and simmering for about 45 minutes. I then added the half and half mixture as you suggested. The whole family loved it! Oh…and the croutons were a huge hit!

  27. Maren says:

    I have used regular milk in place of the half and half for this recipe and been quite happy with the results –so if you don’t have half and half on hand, you can move ahead with the recipe just fine and still have it turn out awesome. 🙂

  28. Carolyn says:

    Julie, I totally agree. I decided to puree the soup the day after because I personally could not handle the chunks! I’m so used to smooth tomato soup. This was a step I’ll add on next time for sure. Besides the texture throwing me off, this was really good:) Thanks Mel for another goodie! Oh, and as for the croutons, we used the Trader Joe’s cheese and garlic croutons and they were great. They stayed crunchy all the way to the end!

  29. Julie says:

    My children are not fans of tomato chunks, so I pureed the soup in a blender before adding it to the roux. Love the flavor and the texture. For croutons, I used leftover garlic breadsticks – just sliced them up, tossed w/olive oil and popped them in the oven.

  30. Nicole says:

    I made this tonight and it was fabulous! My husband works nights and woke up to the aroma. 🙂 He wanted to know what smelled so good, and then asked if the recipe came from “Mel” 🙂 We have loved all of the many recipes we have tried , but this one was especially delicious! Thank you 🙂

  31. Ann says:

    I agree about the croutons, you HAVE to have them in this, or any other soup. IMHO

  32. Sue E says:

    So glad you posted this – dinner last night and lunch today – YUM!!!!

  33. This soup looks so mouthwatering, Mel! What a great slow cooker recipe while it’s still chilly here in Austin. Got to try it!

  34. Cyndi says:

    Looks amazing. Can’t wait to try it.. I am also in that .o1% category… Haha!!

  35. Holly W says:

    So glad you pointed out the ingredients in your fat-free half-and-half. Where I live it’s impossible to find something with all natural ingredients and no fillers like Kemps so I never use it. I really want to make this recipe and wondered if substituting fat-free evaporated milk would do the trick. Any thoughts?

    • Mel says:

      Holly – I think that might work. My experience with fat free evaporated milk is that it can make soups a bit grainy but I haven’t tried it in this soup so you’ll have to let me know if you try it.

  36. Marcus says:

    What is it about a great tomato soup that makes you feel all warm inside? This is almost the same recipe that my grandmother used to make me when I was a wee young-in. Thanks for posting this. It is exactly what I was looking for and didn’t even know it.

  37. Robert says:

    This is what I call comfort food. I can live off of this.

  38. Joseph says:

    Mouth watering. Must stop looking. Must move on. Can’t seem to leave. Must have now.

  39. My husband and I are huge fans of tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches. We really like the Tomato Basil Soup from Costco, but I’m going to make your recipe. I’m sure we’ll love it!

  40. Tina says:

    Looks great, thanks! I’m part of the .01%!

  41. Padnerual says:

    I think you might have to bump up the percentage to .02%, because it seems there are lots of us who haven’t seen this recipe yet! Excited to try this AND homemade croutons. Thanks for the lightened-up version!!! 🙂

  42. Joan says:

    Haven’t seen this recipe and so glad you shared it. I have all the ingredients and will make it now. It’s a perfect soup day in Minnesota!

  43. Rebekah says:

    Thank you for posting this! I had seen the original recipe before but could not bring myself to make it because of all of the cream and butter. I am so excited to try it now knowing it is still good after taking out a few of the calories.

  44. Melanie C. says:

    Okay, I have also seen this recipe everywhere, but now that you have given it your stamp of approval I will definitely try it!!! By the way, I used to use a lot of the fat free half & half (coffee, etc), till I read the ingredient list! It’s CRAZY all the crap they put in there, most notably corn syrup!! So, I will be making a more fattening version of this, as I will be using the regular half and half. Thanks for posting, can’t wait to try it!

    • Mel says:

      Melanie C. – I buy Kemp’s fat free half and half and the only ingredients are nonfat milk and cream. So you might try looking for that brand. I use it all the time.

  45. Definitely trying this! Haven’t seen this recipe before…

  46. Laurie Nihiser says:

    I’m going to make it now. Thinking about making a couple grilled cheese sandwiches on Pepperidge Farm Very Thin Bread and then cutting them into small squares and floating in the soup in place of the croutons. The croutons look divine though!

  47. Kandi V says:

    We make this soup quite often, and it is soo yummy! One thing I do different is that when the soup is cooked, but I haven’t added the roux & soup mixture, I use my handheld immersion blender and blend all the veggies and tomatoes together. This obviously makes for a much smoother, and IMHO, tastier soup. I can’t wait to try homemade croutons next time!

  48. Alisha says:

    Haven’t seen this either. I used to make a tomato basil soup that was a huge crowd pleaser. It started with roasting the canned tomatoes in lots of olive oil. Tasty but super rich … this light version looks fantastic.

  49. Marissa says:

    I don’t check blogs. Except for this one. Sometimes I catch myself getting swept along–all too easily–in all the internet goodness that is out there. So I try to limit myself. Thank you for posting the goodness (and improving it) that I am missing out on!

  50. Sarah says:

    I like tomato flavor but not chunks, I’m wondering, can you use crushed tomatoes instead of diced? I can eat stuff like pizza sauce by the spoonful but a piece of tomato, not so much.

  51. Kathy says:

    I have seen many versions of this and have had it on my list of things to try but have never gotten around to making it. I like how you made it lighter!

  52. Jo-Ann says:

    Never mind my previous comment, I now see where the half and half goes in the recipe.

  53. Jo-Ann says:

    Am I correct in assuming that you add the 1/2 and 1/2 into the flour butter mixture and cook until thickened and then start adding the soup a little at a time. or does it go in the same time the vegetables go in the slow-cooker?
    I too have never seen this recipe before and can’t wait to try it.

  54. I’m in the .01%, so I thank you! Can’t wait to try it!

  55. Stacey says:

    I’m part of the .01% that has not seen this, despite my Pinterest addiction. It looks so good!

  56. Mary Flora says:

    I have not seen this recipe . It sounds perfect and I appreciate that you have adapted it to be low fat. Your blog has provided me with so many wonderful recipes. A Perplexus (January post) toy will soon be in the mail for my grand daughter’s upcoming birthday.

  57. StephenC says:

    I too have not seen this before. It is no doubt marvelous, but I don’t own a slow cooker and I think it’s probably superfluous anyway.

  58. Tracey says:

    I am a great fan of fresh ingredients – could you use fresh tomatoes for this do you think?

    • Mel says:

      Tracey – I love fresh ingredients, too, but I’m not sure how fresh tomatoes would fare in this soup. Definitely worth a try, though!

  59. Cat says:

    I am part of the .01% because this is my first time seeing the recipe. It looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it. Ditto for the homemade croutons. Thanks!

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