Saturday, February 18, 2017

Creamy Tomato Soup

I have been trying to eat healthy again lately. Someone I know (not well) asked me if I was pregnant a few weeks ago, so I decided I needed to start making some changes again to my diet. She obviously has no filter and I probably wasn't wearing the most flattering outfit, but I really did gain at least 5 pounds over the winter holiday. I have been using a few recipes from the The Oh She Glows vegan cookbook, and I am loving them. This vegan creamy tomato soup recipe is one of the recipes I have tried and loved.  I added feta cheese as a garnish (you can find vegan feta cheese if you want to try it) along with some kalamata olives. You can also leave the feta out and use croutons as a garnish. Greg and I both think that this soup is comfort food. The other day he was eating a bowl of it, and he said "this soup is off the hook!" I don't think I have ever heard Greg describe anything as being "off the hook."

Serve it with toasted and buttered/olive oil brushed french bread. It's delicious! Enjoy.

Recipe for Creamy Tomato Soup

1/2 cup of raw cashews, soaked in water for two hours
2 cups of vegetable broth
1 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
A pinch or two of sugar (optional - if you choose to caramelize the onions)
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 can of San Marzano peeled Italian plum tomatoes (28 - 32 ounces)
1 can of tomato paste (3 - 4 Tbsp.)
6 Tbsp. of sundried tomatoes in oil (with oil drained off)
1/2 tsp. of dried thyme leaves
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 to 3/4 tsp. fine sea salt
1 tsp. dried oregano
a pinch or two of cayenne pepper
chopped kalamata Olives
Feta (optional - for garnish- you can find vegan feta)
Crushed red pepper flakes

Drain the water out of the cashews. Place the cashews in a food processor or blender with the vegetable broth and puree until smooth. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add the onion and cook for 7 - 8 minutes, then add in the garlic and cook for an additional minute. *If desired, add a pinch of sugar in with the olive oil and onions and then cook for 15 minutes to lightly caramelize before adding in the garlic and cooking for one minute. Allow onion and garlic mixture to cool slightly. Add the plum tomatoes and their juices, tomato paste, sundried tomatoes, and slightly cooled onion mixture to the blender or food processor. Mix until smooth. Pour mixture into the pot that you cooked the onions and garlic in. Heat over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Stir in the oregano, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and thyme. Continue to simmer over medium heat for 20 - 25 minutes. Ladle soup into bowls. Top each with a tablespoon of feta cheese (vegan or regular), sliced kalamata olives, crushed red pepper flakes, freshly ground black pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.
This soup gets more flavorful and taste even better leftover the next day! Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Makes approximately 6 servings.

Recipe Adapted from: The Oh She Glows Cookbook