Vegan cream of tomato soup

Considering my great love for soup, you’d have thought I’d have more affection for cream of tomato soup. It seems to be such a favourite among so many people, but although I like it (it is soup after all), It’s never particularly been a flavour I’ve craved.

Over the weekend however, I had a surplus of tomatoes, so I set about creating a recipe that would change my mind… and do you know, I think I’ve done it!

The tomatoes are roasted before being combined with a base of braised vegetables and spices, and with a simple savoury cashew cream to add richness, this soup really is delicious.

There are deep layers of flavour that I’ve not managed to get into a tomato soup before, I think the hint of fennel seed and celery seed helped with that!

Now really, it needs a toasted cheese sandwich for dipping…

Vegan cream of tomato soup

Vegan cream of tomato soup

serves 3 -4

for the roasted tomatoes

8 -10 tomatoes, halved and with stalk end removed if you like

2 tbsp oil

salt and pepper

for the soup base

1 large onion, chopped

1 carrot, diced

1 stick of celery, diced

1/4 tsp fennel seed

1/4 tsp celery seed

1 bay leaf

4 sun dried tomatoes

600 ml hot water

for the savoury cashew cream

40 g cashews, soaked in boiling water for an hour or so and then drained

1/2 tsp tapioca starch

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

100 ml water

a small pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees c.

Drizzle 1 tbsp of the oil in a roasting tin and sprinkle over some salt and pepper. Arrange the tomatoes cut side up (this helps the liquid to evaporate), in the tin and top with the remaining oil and a little more salt and pepper. Roast for 1 hour to 1 hour 20 until the tomatoes are wrinkled and the flavour is concentrated.

Put all of the ingredients for the soup base in an ovenproof casserole pan with a lid, cover and cook for around an hour, until the vegetables are soft.

I braised the vegetables at the same time as roasting the tomatoes, which took a bit of juggling with pan sizes to fit it all in!

For the savoury cashew cream, simply blend the ingredients together.

When the tomatoes and soup base are done, transfer the casserole pan to the hob on a medium heat. Add the tomatoes to the soup base, with the roasting juices and some of the oil.

Simmer, partially covered for 20 minutes. Stir in the cashew cream, and then blend the soup. I did mine in a jug blender this time, as I wanted it as smooth as possible.

Return the soup to the pan, check the seasoning, and heat through gently before serving.

By E.

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