Tomato Mascarpone Soup with Basil Oil

By Michele Di Pietro

Some recipes featuring traditional Mediterranean ingredients like eggplants, tomatoes and peppers are enhanced by the flavor of olive oil - what grows together goes together! The pure, true flavor of olive in Piro olive oil is the perfect addition- every cook should have a bottle of Piro olive oil in their pantry for that last splash of elegance…

- Michele Di Pietro


Tomato Mascarpone Soup with Basil Oil

Serves 6

For the Basil Oil (makes about ¾ cup): 

1 cup packed fresh basil leaves (about 1 ounce)

¼ teaspoon salt

¾ cup Olio Piro extra-virgin olive oil

For the Soup:

1 tablespoon Olio Piro extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1 cup diced yellow onions

½ cup diced carrots

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

2 tablespoons minced garlic

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

¼ cup tomato paste

4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

1 (28-ounce can) whole peeled tomatoes, hand-crushed

2 Tbsp roasted garlic or garlic confit (optional)

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

¾ cup mascarpone cheese



First, make the Basil Oil: Stem and rinse the basil. Blanch the basil leaves in boiling water for 10 seconds, then remove them using a strainer or slotted spoon and immediately transfer them to an ice bath to maintain the bright green color. Once they are cooled, remove the basil from the ice water and squeeze to remove excess moisture, pressing them between paper towels to ensure they are as dry as possible.

Place the blanched basil and salt into a blender or food processor. Add olive oil and process until smooth. Transfer to a container and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight. This will allow the flavors to blend together.

Bring the basil oil to room temperature, then strain it through a colander lined with cheesecloth. Once done, squeeze the cheesecloth to make sure most of the oil has been extracted. 

Transfer the oil to a glass container and refrigerate. It can be held in the refrigerator for up to one month. Be sure to bring it to room temperature before using. (You will definitely have more oil than is needed for the batch of soup!) 


Next, make the Tomato Mascarpone Soup: Heat olive oil and butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, basil, garlic and crushed red pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened a bit.

Push the vegetables to one side of the pot, then add tomato paste and caramelize for about 2 minutes, while stirring.

Add broth and deglaze, scraping up all the brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Add tomatoes, garlic confit or roasted garlic, salt and black pepper and stir. Cover and bring mixture up to a boil, then immediately reduce heat to a simmer and simmer, partially covered, for about 15 minutes or until all vegetables are tender. Stir the mixture occasionally.

Reduce heat to low, then puree mixture using an immersion blender. Add mascarpone cheese and continue to puree until smooth. Turn off heat.

Portion soup into bowls and drizzle each portion with about 1 to 2 teaspoons room temperature Basil Oil. Buon Appetito!

all photography: Michele Di Pietro


Michele Di Pietro is a classically-trained chef, culinary consultant, food writer, cookbook author, blogger, founder of It’s All About The Food LLC and creator of Mangia With Michele, the expression of her lifelong passion for Italian ingredients, foods, recipes, culture, and traditions. She released her first cookbook in 2020, called SOUPified: Soups Inspired by Your Favorite Dishes, a whimsical and fun collection of soup recipes that were inspired by favorites like Eggplant Parm, Chicken Marsala and Lasagne.
Find her at and follow her at @mangiawithmichele on social channels. 

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