Homemade Vegan Tomato Soup
by Meghan Rodgers
November 4, 2020
Homemade tomato soup and grilled cheese is the ultimate fall comfort food. Nothing beats a piping hot bowl served on a chilly, rainy day — and in Pittsburgh, we have lots of those! I swear that it just rained for what seemed like an entire week, crescendoing in the first snowfall of the year. Brrrr. Summer is long gone. Hello, hot foods!
Watching the seasons change is beautiful, but it definitely has us reaching for fatty, not-so-healthy meals. Thankfully, tomato soup is one of those rare comfort foods that can can cure our cravings for something rich, while also being healthy and plant-based. Tomatoes offer a good amount of fiber, potassium, and vitamins A and C, along with high concentrations of antioxidants lycopene and beta-carotene.
Garlic comes with its own health benefits including lowering blood pressure and improving cholesterol.
Homemade tomato soup is an all-around win.
You’ve likely had lots of tomato soups by now, but if you’ve never made your own, you’re missing out. Nothing beats that fresh tomato taste. And as always with homemade, you get to decide the sodium, sugar and spice level. You also get to ensure that it fits your vegetarian or vegan diet. (It’s frustrating how many restaurants and store-bought brands sneak in chicken broth or pork fat without explicitly stating so on the menu.)
This recipe gets a big boost of flavor from caramelizing onions. Simmer those with fresh tomatoes, garlic and sweet basil. Add a healthy dose of Italian seasoning and a splash of vegan cream. Serve it with grilled cheese croutons or crackers for the perfect lunch or dinner.
Homemade Vegan Tomato Soup
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 lbs Roma, plum, or vine tomatoes, chopped (you can also use a can of fire roasted tomatoes instead)
10-12 large, fresh basil leaves (or 2 tsp dried basil)
2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
2 cups vegetable broth, salted
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
1/4 cup vegan cream*, plus more for garnish (use another cream to fit your diet)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
Add oil to large pan and heat over medium. Add onions and a pinch of salt and sauté for about 10 minutes or until caramelized, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and sauté for 1 more minute, careful not to burn garlic.
Add remainder of ingredients (minus vegan cream and red pepper flakes) and bring pot to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove soup from heat and let cool for about 10 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until desired consistency — smooth or chunky. It’s up to you! Season with salt and pepper, as needed. Stir in a few tbsp of vegan cream to add a creamy, velvety texture.
Drizzle with more vegan cream and garnish, fresh cracked black pepper, and red pepper flakes.
Serve with grilled cheese croutons! (Just make a grilled cheese [sub vegan cheese if it suits you!], and chop into bite-sized squares.)
How to Make Vegan Cream*
Just because you’re vegan doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye forever to that delicious creamy flavor. This homemade vegan cream is an incredible substitute to use just about anywhere regular cream is used. Try it in coffee, tea, soups, casseroles and more, and most definitely in this delicious vegan tomato soup!
1 cup raw cashews
1 1/4 cups water or plant-based milk
Let cashews soak in hot water for 10-15 minutes. Drain.
Add cashews and water to a high-speed blender and puree until creamy. Keep an eye on blender and add a little more water if needed to thin the recipe out.
Use vegan cashew cream in your Homemade Vegan Tomato Soup.