Growing up, I loved to make grilled cheese with Kraft singles on white bread (with copious amounts of butter, of course). A side of Campbell’s tomato soup was a must for dipping. This combo will always hold a warm and special place in my heart.
It snowed last week in Colorado and I found myself craving this cozy meal, but I was lacking two key ingredients for my favorite tomato soup recipe: a few pounds of roasted Roma tomatoes and a hefty amount of fresh basil. Since quarantine has limited our grocery trips, I set about improvising a recipe using only pantry staples and a few other ingredients I had on hand.
This version of tomato soup is easy, economical and delicious. It’s also easy to throw together in one pot in well under an hour. We served it this alongside grilled cheeses made with homemade garlic herb bread and Follow Your Heart Gouda and Provolone.
Creamy Tomato Soup
- 3 tablespoons vegan butter or olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes optional
- 1 small white onion diced
- 1 medium carrot peeled and diced
- 3-4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups vegan chicken-style broth see notes
- 3 14.5 oz cans tomatoes (whole peeled, crushed or diced are all fine)
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
- 1/2 cup cashew cream recipe follows, coconut cream, or vegan half & half substitute (optional)
- In a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat, melt butter and add pepper flakes, onion, and carrot. Sauté 5-8 minutes, until vegetables are softened.
- Add in garlic and tomato paste and continue to cook and stir 2-3 minutes. Tomato paste might begin to darken slightly and stick to the bottom of the pan; this is okay.
- Add chicken-style broth to pot to deglaze pan, scraping any browned bits off the bottom. Add in canned tomatoes, basil, and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the bay leaf and use an immersion blender to purée the soup to your preferred consistency. (I usually like to leave it just slightly chunky.) You can also transfer to a blender to purée. If you do, I recommend working in smaller batches, as the steam creates a lot of pressure in the pitcher and may cause the lid to pop off if you're not careful.
- Return to stove to heat through. Optionally, stir in cashew cream, coconut cream, or a vegan half & half substitute to make it extra creamy.