Y’all know that I am a giant fan of soup. (And apparently I’m a cowgirl as well, y’all. Calgary represent! YEEHAW!) I worship at the altar of the stock pot and I find comfort like no else in a steaming bowl of homemade stew. So rich, so satisfying, so nourishing on all levels.
By now, you should also know that I am practically a vegan (and when it comes to soup, I am most certainly a vegan, because honestly– who puts eggs in soup?) I love to experiment with making vegan soups, and I feel the greatest sense of accomplishment when an old classic (non-vegan) soup recipe gets a successful, delicious vegan makeover at the hands of yours truly. I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!, my dinner guests exclaim when they bring a spoonful of one of my delicious soups to their lips. (Well, not really, because my real-life friends generally don’t quote pop culture references that have anything to do with Fabio, but you get the idea: a successful soup is a successful soup, vegan or non-vegan.)
Anyway. This Veganized “Cream” of Tomato Soup will make you believe again– in something at the very least, or perhaps in many new and wonderful things. Seriously. Even if you’re not a big tomato fan (like me), this soup will convince you of the divinity of the Vine-Ripened Tomato. Even if you think Dairy reigns Queen and you can’t imagine your life without the satisfying slick of heavy cream coating your digestive tract, this soup will make you believe in Veganism. Are you sure this isn’t butter? I swear: even if you’re turned off by the colours red, orange, or reddish-orange, this soup will make you rethink your prejudiced stance. You’ll probably end up starting your own Reddish Orange Worship Group, for all I know. Finally, even non-soup lovers will dig this soup: it is that amazing.
This particular recipe is an amalgamation of many tomato soup recipes– some were originally from the internet, some were seen in Vegetarian magazines, and still others were read in the vegan cookbooks which line my bookshelves (The Coup restaurant and Green Cuisine restaurant cookbooks deserve particular shouts out for steering me in the right direction). Finally- through the decidedly unscientific process of Random Trial and Error, the perfect ingredients balance was achieved, and now I’m convinced that this soup has the power to transform you. Try it for yourself– I dare you to cross over to the dark, aka Vegan, side. 😉
Vegan Tomato Ecstasy* Soup (*no street drugs required)
You Will Need:
– 10-12 medium/large ripe tomatoes (any varieties, but make sure they are big and juicy)
– 1 large red onion
– 1 medium onion (red, white, or yellow– it’s up to you)
– 4-6 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
– Red hot chili pepper flakes to taste (I am a heat wimp and usually use about 1/2 a teaspoon of these flakes for a giant pot of soup. Feel free to increase the quantity up to a full teaspoon or teaspoon and a half if you like it hot.)
– 1/3 cup dry white cooking wine
– 1 small can (156 mL) tomato paste
– 1L container vegetable broth (or 4 cups water)
– 2 cups extra water if needed for consistency
– 1 400mL can of coconut milk
– 1 Tbsp coconut oil or other cooking oil, plus 1/2 Tbsp for sauteing
– salt and pepper to taste
– fresh basil leaves for garnish, optional
How To Make It:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Meanwhile, wash the tomatoes and chop into bite-sized chunks.
3. Peel and chop the red onion into bite-sized chunks as well, and combine with chopped tomatoes in a large mixing bowl.
4. Mix tomatoes and onions with coconut oil plus salt and pepper to taste. (You could also add some dried basil flakes here to pump up the flavour that much more.) Spread evenly on a rectangular cookie sheet and roast veggies for 45 minutes once oven has preheated.
5. While the vegetables are roasting, peel and chop the small onion as well as the garlic cloves. (The size of the pieces doesn’t matter, because the soup will be blended at the end.)
6. When approximately 20 minutes are left on the oven timer, melt remaining 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil in a stock pot and saute onion over low heat for 5 minutes, until they begin to turn translucent.
7. Add the garlic pieces as well as the chili flakes to taste. Cover pot and saute over low heat for another 5 minutes.
8. When onion and garlic pieces are tender, add white wine to the pot. Cover and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
9. Add tomato paste, vegetable broth (or water), and bring to a gentle boil.
10. Once vegetables have roasted, add them to the pot and continue to cook on medium/high heat for 8-10 minutes.
11. Remove pot from heat and blend until a smooth consistency has been achieved. Add more water if soup seems too thick. (A hand or immersion blender works wonders here.)
12. Add can of coconut milk, stir well, and put pot back onto low heat. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
13. Adjust salt and pepper if needed before serving. Serve with fresh basil leaves on top.
14. Eat and proceed to Vegan Heaven. Trust me– you’ll never guess that this soup contains coconut milk and not actual cow’s cream. 🙂
I’m curious to know your thoughts on this recipe. Is it just me, or is this the most delicious soup on the planet? (In my mind, any soup that can convince me to buy a boatload of raw tomatoes is magical– I just don’t do that sort of thing on a regular basis… or at all.) Please give me a shout in the comments or by e-mail if you end up making this soup (e-mail link is in the Contact page above). I need to know how many of you convert to Veganism because of it, at least for one dinnertime! 🙂