If I was in a soup "cook off," this is the recipe I would bring to the table (literally)! It has everything! Warmth, cream, gorgeous color and complex flavors. Add the pea shoots and hemp, and you have a 5-star presentation to top it off (just look at that photo!) Tomato soup can be super basic, but this elevation keeps your taste buds happy while ensuring the comfort of a hot bowl of goodness for chilly / rainy days.
Sustainability spotlight: Canned tomatoes can be a more sustainable option alongside fresh. How is that possible, you think? It's manufactured / processed! Hear me out; canned tomatoes don't need to "look" pretty. It is estimated that ~20% of fresh food is "wasted" (cannot be sold) because it doesn't look like it should (i.e. - vine marks, split marks, or misshapen) and will go bad before it is selected by consumers at the market. In the canning process, tomatoes that fall into this category can find a happier ending through the canning process and make it to your table. When you select a canned tomato, you aren't selecting what is "pretty" on the inside, only what tastes good. With cans, it is possible to waste less (use all of our harvest - pretty and ugly alike), and still make wonderful tasteful food at home.
4 tbsp vegan butter (I use Melt brand)
1/2 of a Spanish (yellow) onion (chopped)
1 large carrot (chopped)
3 stalks celery (chopped)
5 garlic cloves (minced)
dash of salt & pepper
4 cups vegetable broth
28 oz can peeled tomatoes (Roma) with basil
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
3 (large) bay leaves
1.5 tsp sea salt
black pepper (3 dashes)
1/4 cup fresh basil (handful) - ~2 oz
3/4 cup cashews (raw unsalted) - if you do not have a Vitamix (soak cashews in water for at least 2 hours or overnight - drain water before adding to the blender).
3/4 cup vegetable broth
Optional but highly recommended:
Pea shoot tendrils (~4-5 per bowl)
1/2 tbsp organic hemp seeds (per bowl)
Melt butter in a large pot over medium-high heat (until it bubbles) then add onion and saute for ~5 min until they start to brown.
Add garlic, carrots, celery and saute with a dash of salt & pepper until vegetables are softened (~7-8) minutes.
Add vegetable broth & tomatoes. Use a masher to break up the tomatoes a bit. Add thyme and bay leaves along with sea salt and dashes of black pepper.
Bring soup to a boil and then reduce to heat and simmer (uncovered) for ~30 minutes stirring every 10 minutes (or so). Remove bay leaves from soup and remove soup from heat.
Make the cashew cream by adding both ingredients to a high speed blender and blender on high for ~1 minute (Vitamix) until smooth. If you have a different blender, mix on high for 5-7 minutes using a tamper or scraping down the sides as needed.
Now, add the soup to the blender (carefully! it's hot) and top with the 2 oz of fresh basil. Blend on high speed (~1 minute up to 4 minutes) until smooth.
Pour soup into bowls and top with pea shoots and hemp seeds (if using)
With love & hope for a better future for us all - Jamie