Tomato-Basil Soup (reduced fat)

Tomato-Basil Soup (reduced fat)

My sister-in-law, Susanne, can always be counted on for making food that everyone loves. I’m amused when she tells me her favorite culinary trick: “When in doubt, add more butter!”

How true: Butter tastes good and adding more butter to a recipe makes it, often, taste better. I’ve cooked professionally long enough to know that the more butter or cream in a dish, the better the dish sells.

I’m a people pleaser and am delighted when folks love my cooking. But I’m also concerned about excessive fats in our diet. So what’s a health-conscious, people-pleasing cook supposed to do?

Practice moderation. For everyday dining, I’ve learned to balance the people-pleasing me and the health-conscious me in my recipes. Today’s recipe is a case in point.

Recently Susanne directed me to a recipe for Tomato-Basil Soup. You can find it online at I can see why thousands of readers love Sarah Perkin’s simple recipe: The ingredients include 1/2 cup of butter and a cup of cream. It’s a great simple recipe–I’m certain it’s delicious and I’m certain my family would lick the bowl clean. With the hefty amount of fat, however, perhaps it’s better for us saved for a special occasion.

For tonight’s dinnerFeed, I made my own version of Tomato-Basil Soup, adding and subtracting ingredients to get a flavor profile that we’d enjoy, without so much fat. I didn’t say this was fat-free, mind you–but it’s just enough fat to make the soup savory and satisfying for us.

If you’re in possession of a particularly exceptional bottle of extra virgin olive oil, drizzle a bit of the nectar over the finished soup before adding the yogurt. (I’m sure you’re probably aware not to cook with the finest olive oils–the heat diminishes the flavor.)

I’m thinking this would also be quite tasty with feta cheese– if you have feta on hand–perhaps crumble a bit into the soup before enjoying. Ummm…Good!

Recipe: Tomato-Basil Soup (reduced fat)


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, optional
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes, San Marzano preferred*
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped or torn fresh basil, plus extra for garnish
  • 2-3 tablespoons strained Greek yogurt (I used Fage; 2% or full-fat, preferred)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes


  1. Over medium-low heat, heat olive oil and butter, if using. Add onions and sauté 2-3 minutes or until onions are fragrant. Stir in garlic and tomato paste and continue cooking 1 minutes.
  2. Add tomatoes and stock to pan and increase heat to high. When tomatoes are just beginning to bubble, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes, occasionally stirring. Add chopped basil and red pepper flakes in the last minute of cooking time. Remove from heat.
  3. Serve with dollops of yogurt and reserved basil.

*San Marzano tomatoes are particularly sweet. If the canned tomatoes you are using have more acidity, you may want to add 1-2 teaspoons sugar to the recipe.

Time: 35 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 5 cups (2-3 servings)

Copyright © Peggy Lampman’s dinnerFeed.

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