What if I told you that you can make a nutritious and delicious vegan, creamy, rich tomato soup in under 30 minutes? Well you can!
This recipe came to me because sometimes I have those days where I don’t have any food prepped, I finished late at work, and I’m just exhausted. The idea of chopping up lots of veggies and cooking a whole meal is totally overrated at this point. And I love to cook! But at that point in the day, all I want is something easy, comforting, and fast. It’s that danger zone where it’s soo easy for healthy eating to fly right out the window, you know what I mean?
That’s why I keep the ingredients for this soup on hand so I can make it at a moment’s notice. Canned tomatoes are a pantry staple for me, as is a carton of veggie broth for those just-in-case-moments. The other ingredients are typical pantry items as well. You could easily substitute dried herbs for the fresh herbs (just use less of them) or alternatively, keep fresh herbs in the freezer. The same is true for the fresh tomatoes – keep chopped fresh tomato in the juices frozen in the freezer and then you will always be prepared!
The speed and simplicity of this soup is that the total cooking time is under 15 minutes. Just cook a few onions and then throw everything into the blender. And in a high speed blender like a Vitamix, if you run it on high for 5 minutes, it will heat the soup to piping hot! Now that’s easy. If you don’t have such a blender, that’s totally fine, just blend it all up and then heat in a pot on the stove.
The first step to make this tomato soup is to bring about 1 cup of water to a boil. While the water is heating up, roughly chop 1/2 of an onion (white or red – it’s up to you). By now your water should be boiling, so pour that water over 1/2 cup of cashews in a bowl and set it to the side. Heat a skillet over medium heat, then add the onions plus 1/4 cup water. Cook the onions until translucent, adding water a few tablespoons at a time to prevent them from burning. This method allows the recipe to be oil-free!
A note about the ingredients:
You may want to purchase canned tomatoes that are in BPA-free cans. Most cans have epoxy liners inside of them, which usually contain BPA. The problem is that the acidity of the tomatoes causes a lot of the BPA to leach out into the food. There has been some debate of late regarding the safety of BPA. It has been classified as an endocrine disruptor, however some studies are saying that the amount of BPA one would have to ingest is thousands of times higher than what you would typically consume in a normal diet. With that being said, I still think it is most appropriate to try to avoid as many toxins as possible. Will eating canned tomatoes here and there be super detrimental to your health? Probably not. But there are some brands that do use BPA-free liners, so you may want to purchase these. I personally buy the Muri Glenn brand organic tomatoes (pictured above)(not an ad, just what my store has!). There’s a list from the EWG here with brands that use BPA-free cans (link).
Alternatively, you could can your own tomatoes or you could stew tomatoes and freeze them. Then you can eliminate the waste from buying cans and use mason jars which are glass. This is definitely more work, though! But would be great if your garden has a bumper crop!
So, once your onions are cooked, throw them in your blender. Drain the cashews and add them to the blender as well. Then pile in the rest: canned and fresh tomatoes, broth, seasonings, herbs, and coconut milk. Cover and blend on high until super smooth. In the Vitamix, you can run it on high for 5-6 minutes (or use the soup setting) and it will make it hot. In a standard blender, I would blend on the highest speed for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a pot to warm it.
To serve, you can top with all sorts of goodies such as:
- Fresh thyme and basil leaves
- Homemade cashew ricotta cheese
- Drizzle of coconut cream
- Non-dairy yogurt or sour cream
- Sautéed mushrooms
- Roasted cauliflower
- Microgreens or arugula
- Vegan “parmesan”
- Pan-fried tofu cubes
You could also go classic and serve your soup with a vegan grilled cheese. I like to use sourdough bread or sprouted bread, like Ezekiel Bread. Then I will spread on a nut-based cheese, like Treeline Cheese. I really like the Treeline brand because it has minimal ingredients that are not processed, so this qualifies as whole food plant based.
Very occasionally I will use vegan sliced cheese, such as Chao, but I don’t consider this to be healthy because it is made of coconut oil and modified potato and vegetable starches. Using this cheese would be a special treat and I cannot recommend eating such cheese every day! But if you want something that melts like real cheese, you can give it a try. The Daiya brand cheese I personally do not like at all, if you are going to eat that, may as well eat super-processed cheese-whiz because that’s what it tastes like. Yikes!
Anyway – try packing some kimchi in the middle for a spicy kimchi grilled cheese, now that’s tasty!
I hope you enjoy this tomato soup recipe and let me know what you think in the comments! I think this is such a perfect, healthy, “fast food” option and you can’t go wrong with it. Here’s to staying healthy even on our busiest days!
Creamy Tomato Soup
Makes about 4 servings
This whole food plant based, creamy tomato soup is fast to make in a high speed blender and tastes just like classic tomato soup. Total prep + cooking time is under 30 minutes.
Author: Leah Romay
- 1/2 cup cashews, soaked in water (soak in room temp water for several hours or use the fast soak method below)
- 1/2 large red onion, roughly chopped
- 1.5 cup broth
- 1 T nutritional yeast powder
- 2 tsp salt
- Pepper (10 grinds)
- 1 – 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- 2 fresh tomatoes, quartered
- 1/2 cup loosely packed parsley (it’s about 1 small handful including stems)
- 1 T thyme leaves
- 1/2 c coconut milk (or milk of your choice)
- Toppings: parsley, thyme, sautéed mushrooms or cauliflower, see more ideas above in the post
High Speed Blender – if you have a high speed blender like a Vitamix, run blender on high for about 5 minutes (or soup setting) and it will make the soup hot. If you a standard blender, just blend until smooth, then heat on the stovetop.
- Place about 1 cup of water in a kettle and bring to a boil. While the water is heating, roughly chop half of a large onion.
- Heat a small skillet over medium heat. While the skillet preheats, pour the boiling water over the 1/2 cup of cashews in a bowl.
- Add the onion and about 1/4 cup water to the pre-heated skillet and cook for about 5 minutes until translucent, adding more water as needed to prevent the onions from burning (oil-free cooking method).
- Once the onions are done cooking, add all the ingredients to the blender. Drain the water from the cashews before adding them.
- Blend the soup for 5 minutes, or use the soup pre-set button on your blender, to make hot. OR blend for 2 minutes, then heat in a pot on the stove.
- Serve plain, dressed up with toppings, or pair with a vegan grilled cheese!