Bowl of tomato soup drizzled with heavy cream, black pepper, and basil

Tomato Soup with Parmigiano Reggiano Rinds

Tomato soup is relatively new to me. It is not something I’ve had back home and to be honest I didn’t realize cream and soup go together. Growing up, soups I’ve had were brothy, meaty, bouillon-based. The exception would only be “Okroshka” – cold summer soup with a salty, drinkable-yogurt-like base. 

A few years ago, I worked at a bistro that served fantastic tomato soup and grilled cheese for lunch. One day, a customer asked for some extra cream to add to it because it was too acidic for her. When I brought it to her (probably looking totally confused), she poured CREAM into her SOUP. I guess back then for me that was something along the lines of sprinkling green onions on chocolate chip cookies. 

And then I tried butternut squash soup a few years later. I was amazed by the vegetal sweetness, the rich creamy texture, and all that goodness that is butternut squash soup. Then there was a she-crab soup, pumpkin soup, and more tomato soup. Turns out that cream was the secret behind all of them!

I use cream in the recipe but I also love adding a little bit on top because, well, it’s beautiful. Refer to the Notes section at the bottom of the recipe to find out how to recreate it.

Please note that you will need an immersion blender for this recipe. You can also use a food processor or just a blender.

Bowl of tomato soup drizzled with heavy cream, black pepper, and basil

Tomato Soup with Parmigiano Reggiano Rinds

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 6


  • 1/2 onion, chopped roughly I use Sweet onions exclusively because they don’t make me tear up as much
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tb olive oil
  • 2 28 oz Canned whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes (Muir Glen are the best!)
  • 1 C heavy whipping cream
  • 2 C Chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • Parmigiano Reggiano rinds – optional


  • freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • fresh basil leaves
  • cooked crumbled bacon


  • Saute the onion in the olive oil over medium heat in a large pan or pot for about 7 minutes. It should look slightly browned. If it browns too quickly, lower the heat.
  • Add the garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes more.
  • Add the tomatoes and mash them up with a potato masher. If you don’t have one, use a sturdy spatula, or a fork. Be careful not to ruin the bottom of your pan/pot doing that.
  • If using, add Parmigiano Reggiano rinds and bring to boil. Let boil for about 5 minutes.
  • Take off heat and take out rinds using a spoon or tongues. 
  • Cut them into bite sized pieces and set aside. It has to be done while they’re still hot because they are going to toughen up when cool. Make sure your knife is sharp and be careful. 
  • Using an immersion blender (or regular blender or food processor), process the soup until smooth. Add the cut up rinds.
  • Bring to a low, gentle boil and add stock, cream, salt & pepper. Stir in the nutmeg and let cook for about 5 minutes. Serve with toppings or by itself!


Parmigiano Reggiano is expensive and the weight of the rind is contributing to the price you pay. It seemed so wasteful to me to throw it out until I decided to try and use it. Real Parmigiano Reggiano is brined and then aged. The thick, hard coating is safe to eat when you can soften it up. Otherwise, it can break your teeth. The tomato flavor compliments it so well and having been cooked, it becomes pleasantly chewy, salty, and tangy all at once. Definitely a delicious way to not waste it!
Drizzling it with heavy cream – the secret is to drizzle it drop by drop. If you pour it in, it will sink. Just move it around lightly, never more than a tiny stream. That’s all! 🙂
Keyword Batch cooking, cheese, Comfort food, Fall recipes, low carb

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