Saturday, May 1, 2010

Healthy Vegan Creamy Tomato Soup

I had a backlog of organic tomatoes built up in my kitchen from the organic veggie share, so it was only natural that I try making a tomato soup. While I would like to report that it tastes just like the soup at Panera or Nordstrom's, it doesn't. But it is very tasty and way lower in calories than the heavy cream based tomato soups!

Healthy Vegan Creamy Tomato Soup
Yield 17 cups. Freezes well for a few months.

2 cups chopped carrots (1 large plus 1 medium carrot)
2 cups chopped celery (5 large stalks)
3 cups diced onions (1 huge onion)
6 cloves garlic, minced
12 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (9 medium tomatoes)
2 Tbsp olive oil OR 5 Tbsp liquid (broth, wine, water, carrot juice, etc.)
2 cups vegetable stock
2 Tbsp kosher salt
2 tsp agave syrup
1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
3 Tbsp unsweetened coconut creamer (optional)

Rough chop all the vegetables. It doesn’t matter what they look like because the soup will be blended later, but make sure the carrots, onions and celery are all about the same size so they cook at the same rate.  In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil or liquid. Add in the carrots, celery and onions and cook until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook another 5 minutes, but don’t let the vegetables brown.
Add in the tomatoes and water or vegetable stock. Allow to simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down and the carrots are soft.

Turn off the heat.  Puree the soup, either with a stick blender or in batches in a conventional blender.
Once the soup is all pureed, push it through a sieve or a food mill. I used a food mill, but you can use any kind of strainer. The point is that you want to get out the tomato skins and seeds, but push through the rest of the vegetables. If you use too fine a mesh strainer, you will just end up with tomato juice. Return the strained soup to the pot and add the almond milk, optional coconut creamer, salt, agave syrup and pepper to taste.
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