And we’re back to tomato soup weather. After a brief flirtation with balmy 75 degree sunny days, we have abruptly returned to February’s specialty — 40 degrees and rainy. Lovely. To say I’m over it is an understatement, but I am not over soup! Particularly, this creamy vegan tomato, white bean and rosemary soup. There is nothing better than a steaming bowl of this soup to warm you up. I adore this soup. It has everything I love about classic tomato soup — bright tomato flavor, a bit of sweetness and silky creaminess — but is vegan, filled with protein and (dare I say it) even more flavorful. And it comes together in less than 30 minutes! Done and done.
The soup gets a double-dose of creaminess from the white beans and soaked raw cashews. Adding white beans to the soup lends a nice richness to the soup without weighing you down and it adds satisfying protein. Blending the soup with the cashews gives the soup that same creamy flavor and texture you get from adding cream — perfect for anyone sensitive to dairy or looking for a plant-based alternative. When I completely gave up dairy for the first year of breastfeeding Rose (she had a cow’s milk protein allergy and was reacting to the proteins transferred via my breastmilk), I turned to cashews to add dairy-free creaminess to dishes. The cashews blend into an incredibly silky and rich “cream” that I adore. I’ve incorporated high quality dairy back into my diet, but feel much better when I don’t overdo it. I feel fine with yogurt and kefir and a little cheese, but whole milk or cream are not very kind to my belly. I use both sparingly, and in certain recipes, cashews are a great substitute.
Anyway, back to the soup. To add even more flavor to this soup, I use fire roasted crushed canned tomatoes (alas, fresh tomato season is many months away) to infuse the soup with a smoky undertone. I also use tomato paste to add even more concentrated tomato flavor. The rosemary adds an aromatic piney flavor that pairs really well with the smoky tomatoes. Finally, I add in a tiny bit of maple syrup to balance the acidity of the tomato. It’s all about balance!
I hope you enjoy a warm bowl of this soup as we await warmer days. Or, if you live in a warm climate — lucky you! — I think this soup is perfect anytime. Serve with a good crusty bread for dipping. Or, even though this soup is dairy-free, I often cancel that out by serving it with grilled cheese. (It was particularly delicious the other night with a fig, balsamic, goat cheese, goat gouda and arugula grilled cheese). No judgement! Oh! I almost forgot. This soup can double as a delicious, protein-packed sauce for pasta, lasagna, shakshuka, etc. — just add slightly less broth.
Enjoy! xo Maggie
Creamy Vegan Tomato, White Bean and Rosemary Soup
Yield 4-6 servings
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp rosemary, minced
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 28 oz can fire roasted crushed tomatoes (I like Muir Glen Organic)
- 1 1/2 cups cooked white beans, or 1 15 oz can, drained and rinsed
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 3/4 cups broth (vegetable or chicken), plus more depending on desired thickness
- 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in boiling water while you prep the soup
- Sea salt and pepper, to taste
- In a small bowl, cover raw cashews with boiling water. Set aside. You will add the cashews later while blending the soup.
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent and starting to brown (about 5 minutes). Add garlic and rosemary and cook for a few more minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring often, for another few minutes. Onion mixture should be fragrant and starting to caramelize.
- Add canned tomatoes, white beans, maple syrup, broth and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 15-20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
- Remove soup from heat and let cool slightly. Drain soaked cashews. Transfer soup to blender and add the cashews. Test for seasoning, and add more salt and pepper if necessary. NOTE: Depending on the size of your blender, you may need to work in batches. To avoid a blender explosion, be sure you vent to allow the steam to escape as you blend. I like to vent the lid and drape a dishtowel over the lid as I blend.
- Serve immediately or transfer back to pot to warm until serving. Garnish with salt, pepper, herbs and toasted cashews — or any toppings you desire.