Soup No. 9: Vegan tomato bisque

Dec.14.09 § 3 Comments

I could have used the milk in my fridge to make this a bisque. But that was not the intention at all. The goal with this recipe was to take tomato soup, something I find deliciously frustrating, and turn it into a protein and fiber packed meal.

I used to love tomato soup with grilled cheese as a kid. I actually continued to buy Campbell’s tomato soup into adulthood, that is until recently. Have you looked at the sugar content? And where’s the “nutrition”, Campbell’s? How is this soup going to keep me full throughout the day? It’s not. It’s going to make me crash. Scant fiber, little protein, and lots of sugar is a recipe for an afternoon disaster. I’m talking head on the desk, drooling on my keyboard disaster. But I love tomatoes and, therefore by association, tomato soup! What’s a working girl to do? I took it upon myself to remedy this situation.
Beans and cashew butter add a creaminess, without dairy or soy, along with protein and fiber. Extra vegetables, like carrots and celery, that get pureed, add fiber and vitamins. Not to mention if you’re using Magic Mineral Broth like me, you’ve got a powerful health tonic sealed inside the bisque. Fire roasted tomatoes, roasted garlic and a splash of a bold red wine add a depth of flavor you’d never get from canned or boxed tomato bisque.
It turned out as a savory, decadent bisque with protein, fiber and to top it off, flavor. Like BAM! Emeril flavor, he’d be proud I’m sure. Maybe I should send him some via FedEx. Serve with crusty bread smeared with roasted garlic or a grilled cheese!
I’ve included an easy garlic roasting how-to that since trying has gotten me addicted. I’ve got a roasted bulb on top of my fridge right now waiting to go into a hummus I’m going to whip up tonight. It’s just too easy!

Vegan tomato bisque
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried ground thyme
1 bulb (about 8 cloves) roasted garlic
1/2 cup red wine of your choice
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 15 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup soaked and cooked or 1 can white beans
2 tbsp cashew butter

First you need to take care of roasting the garlic. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Take one bulb garlic and remove the outer skin, leaving the individual cloves intact in their skins. Then cut the top off each clove by about 1/4 of an inch. Spray, brush or massage with olive oil. Wrap in tin foil. Roast for about 30 to 35 minutes, until the bulb is soft to the touch from outside the tinfoil. Set aside to cool. You can do this while you are putting together the soup.

For the soup, heat a pot on medium high heat. Add the oil and the onions. Sweat the onions for about five minutes, then add the celery and carrots. Continue to cook for about seven minutes more. Then add the seasonings. Stir and deglaze the pot with the red wine. I used a Syrah, which is not only my favorite but gave this soup the perfect depth. A note about wine and vegan recipes: I am unsure if the brand of wine I purchased was ACTUALLY vegan, meaning no animal products were used in the production of the wine. If you are a stickler, use Yellowtail Shiraz. It’s a good Shiraz and I know Yellowtail does not use animal products.

Add the fire roasted tomatoes and crushed tomatoes. Stir and let the mixture get happy for about five minutes. Then add the vegetable broth. Cover and let the flavors meld for about 15 minutes. Then take the soup off the heat and cool completely. Do NOT put it in a blender or food processor without letting it cool, unless you’d rather wear it than eat it. Red is my favorite color, but I don’t recommend.

Once it has cooled transfer it in batches to a food processor. My food processor took about three batches. In each batch, drop in a few of the roasted garlic cloves that you’ve squeezed or plucked with a fork out of the bulb, 1/3 cup of the beans and add a spoonful of the cashew butter. Puree and then return to the pot and reheat. Bring back to a simmer to allow the flavors to meld one last time. Then you’re ready to serve.


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