I’ve been obsessed with soup. We make it at least once or twice a week, and thankfully Mike loves it just as much as I do. But making the same soups over and over and over again can get boring. In an attempt to switch it up, the other night I decided to experiment with a vegan tomato soup from scratch. I’d tried this once before and found that it lacked a bit of flavour, but throwing in a red pepper gave it that “roasted” taste that I love. Plus, it’s vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free, so it’s a perfect fit for many dietary preferences and food allergies/intolerances.
Tomatoes have so many wonderful health benefits.
They’re a great source of vitamins C, A and K (although cooking the tomatoes does destroy some of the vitamin C – it’s best to eat them raw for this), and have potassium and manganese. You don’t hear much about manganese, but this mineral helps us by supporting healthy bones and blood sugar control.
Tomatoes also contain this super awesome phytochemical called lycopene. Lycopene acts as an antioxidant in the body, fighting off free radicals which can cause cancer, and it helps support heart health by lowering the risk of heart disease. Even though cooking typically reduces the vitamin content of a food, lycopene actually becomes more bio-available when tomatoes are cooked!
So what are you waiting for? Let’s cook some tomatoes!
- 3lbs fresh Roma Tomatoes, chopped (I'm sure you could use canned tomatoes too, but just make sure they are from BPA-free cans)
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 medium-sized cooking onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp dried basil (use fresh if you have it!)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- Water, as required
- 1/2 cup cashews, soaked for 6 hours
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Add coconut oil and onion to a large pot, over medium-heat.
- Once onion is translucent, add red pepper, tomatoes and basil. Sauté for a couple of minutes.
- Add water to the vegetables. The amount of water you add is up to you - I left about a cm of tomatoes out of the water, and my soup wasn't very thick. Remember that tomatoes have a high water content, so adding a ton of water isn't necessary.
- Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.
- Add your soup and cashews to a high-speed blender and blend until completely smooth. It should become creamy with the help of those cashews! Make sure you blend long enough for the cashews to be completely liquefied.
- Add salt to taste.