Who doesn’t love to indulge in a healthy and tasty, tangy tomato soup on cold wintery days? I know I enjoy a plain ol’ vegan tomato soup on a day like today. When it’s snowing outside and we’re dealing with the ass end of winter with nothing much to look forward to except Valentines and more cold for the next few months! 🙁
The great thing about a vegetarian tomato soup is that it is so easy to make at home. And there a couple of ways to do it. You can make it from scratch with real tomatoes or you can make it with canned crushed tomatoes as your base.
I’d encourage you to try making it either way and see how you like it. The recipes are pretty much identical except for the tomato parts.
And as suggested in the vegetarian orzo recipes ideas from the other day, you can throw in some orzo if you like for a heartier soup if that is your thing.
But before we get to homemade vegan tomato soup recipes, let’s look at a couple of the commercial tomato soups that I’ve found to be vegan.
We’ll start with Campbell’s Classic Tomato Soup at Hand which the last time I checked – which was very recently – it was still vegan. This is a handy tomato soup to throw in your purse or backpack to take with you on the go for a quick and nourishing snack. Just microwave and drink. However, this is not a meal. It only has around 140 calories. You’ll at least want a bun if you’re going to call this a lunch.
Most of the Campbell’s plain tomato soups that I have seen are vegan. This includes the Campbell’s Red & White Tomato Soup in the tubs as well as the condensed tomato soup in the can.
* However, please always check ingredients before buying. I have found companies to change their product ingredients from time to time and something that was vegan becomes non-vegan overnight!
Another company that makes some delicious vegan tomato soups is Imagine. Both the Imagine Organic Creamy Tomato Soup and the Creamy Tomato Basil Soup are vegan despite their “creamy” name. Most other companies including Amy’s which is a shame want to adulterate their tomato soups with moo juice. Yuck.
Lastly, for those on a budget, I have found that many of the store brand or no-name brand condensed tomato soups are vegan as well. You’ll want to check it out at your own supermarket to be sure.
Okay, convenience is great, and I can vouch for the above mentioned commercially prepared vegan soups, they’re tasty and nourishing. Perhaps higher in salt than we’d want but we don’t have to enjoy them every day.
When you have some time and you’re in the mood for cooking up a hearty and warm vegan tomato soup this is how you roll!
You say tomato I say vegan
This is a really good soup either way you make it. Make 4 large bowls of yummy tomato soup.
1 to 2 tbsp oil
About 16 ripe medium tomatoes the redder the better and finely diced or 2 28 ounce cans of crushed tomatoes
3 cups vegetable broth – I use one vegetable bouillon cube with that much hot water
1 large sweet onion chopped
4 to 6 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp thyme
0.5 cup of fresh basil if you have it – optional
salt and pepper to taste
TIP: You can of course add other veggies too, like celery carrots etc. But we’ll stick to a classic vegan tomato soup or a vegan tomato basil soup if you have the basil.
In a large pot add the oil and over a medium heat fry up the onions until they are at least translucent or browned. Browned gives a nice “sweeter” flavour to the soup.
Add the garlic and fry for another minute or so. Add in the diced tomatoes or the crushed canned tomatoes and the vegetable broth. Add the dried thyme and as much salt and pepper as you’d like.
Let it simmer for 20 to 30 minutes to help reduce the excess liquid. Longer if you like. Keep stirring intermittently.
When done, toss in the fresh basil and let it simmer for another 2 to 3 minutes for the basil flavour to imbue. Then take off the heat, let it cool a bit and then blend to make super smooth.
If you’d like, you can of course replace the water in your vegetable broth with soy milk to make a “creamy” vegan tomato soup. Enjoy.
Nutrition info for vegan tomato soup with canned tomatoes, basil no soy milk and 1 tbsp of oil. One fourth of recipe: 90 calories, 3 grams fat and 3 grams protein.