Lemony Basil Tomato Soup

I have never had the taste for tomato soup, particularly if it came out of a metal can. Childhood affects one more than they’d like to think….but if you make an amazing fresh tasting soup and can it using modern techniques, it might change your mind – as it did mine. This recipe though was why I finally went and bought a Foley Mill – it made dealing with tomatoes and canning a lot more tolerable. There really is a reason why food mills were found in kitchens a few generations ago!


Lemony Basil Tomato Soup


  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cups finely chopped onion (4 hand size)
  • 3¼ cups carrots, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 10 pounds roma tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 cup lightly packed fresh basil, torn
  • ¾ cup lemon juice, bottles


In a large non-reactive pot (stainless steel, enamel, or non-stick), heat butter and olive oil over medium. Add onions, carrots, and garlic, cook for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.

Stir in tomatoes, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium, simmer uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Press tomato mixture through a Foley Mill, or a sieve, pressing to get all the juices. Discard skins, seeds, and vegetables.

Return strained mixture to pot, bring mixture back to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes, until reduced to about 10 cups. Remove from the heat, stir in lemon juice and basil.

Meanwhile, bring a large canning pot half full of water to a boil. Add in 5 pint mason jars while doing this to sterilize them. Sterilize a ladle, funnel and chopsticks or similar, for removing air bubbles (dip them into boiling water). Lay out a clean kitchen towel, place drained jars on it.

Ladle in hot soup, leaving a ½” headspace. Run a chopstick or air bubble removing tool inside each jar. Add more sauce if needed. Wipe off rims with a new, dampened, paper towel. Place a new canning lid on, screw a band on finger tight.

Place the jars in canner, lower into water, put on lid. Bring back to a boil, then process for 35 minutes (start timer after it returns to a boil). Take off heat, remove jars and place on a cooling rack covered with a clean towel. Let cool fully, checking that the lids stay flat. If any pop up, place in refrigerator, use within a couple of days.

Store for up to a year in a cool area.

Makes 5 pints.


This soup does separate after canning. Just shake gently before opening.