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Fire-Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

This is one of those cases where pictures just cannot do justice to the flavors. This soup tastes exactly like a fresh Italian garden. All the wonderful flavors of tomato and basil together (think bruschetta) layered into a (cashew) cream-based soup, with just a hint of smokiness from roasting the tomatoes. It’s one of the most unique and fresh and flavorful soups I’ve ever tasted.

The steps for this recipe seem long, but they’re actually quite simple. Just a few whole ingredients and 35 minutes (including cooking time) is all it takes to create the most creamy and decadent soup. Campbell’s should be so scared right now.

Tomato_Basil_Soup

Makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 small pepper (jalapeño, habanero)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2/3 cup cashews
  • 10 roma tomatoes
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • Sea salt & Black pepper

Step Zero

This kind of soup thrives on heavy cream and butter… but we’re not doing that. Instead, we’ll make a delicious cashew cream, similar to the cashew milk recipe I posted last year. To do this, soak 2/3 cup of cashews in warm water for at least 2 hours. Then, combine them with 2 cups of water in a high-powered blender until completely smooth. Voila! Cashew cream. Preferably, prep this ahead of time and set aside until ready to make the soup.

Step One

Roasting the tomatoes in the broiler adds a beautiful slightly smokey taste to the final soup. To make this happen, slice the tomatoes in half and add them to a baking sheet on your oven’s top rack. Turn the broiler on high and allow the skins to char slightly (8-10 minutes). Turn the pan regularly to ensure even cooking. When thoroughly blackened, remove from the oven and set aside for now.

Step Two

Meanwhile, heat a large stockpot with a drizzle of olive oil. Chop a white onion, 4 cloves of garlic, and one small chili (jalapeño, Anaheim, habanero, or whatever) and add all these ingredients into the soup with a splash of water and a teaspoon of dried thyme.

Step Three

Allow these ingredients to soften for 5 minutes, then add about 2 full cups of basil leaves into the pot. How much basil is 2 cups? I simply took a 1 cup measure, and packed it with basil leaves, then repeated for another cup. It doesn’t have to be super exact. Allow this to reduce for several minutes.

Step Four

Next, add 4 cups of vegetable broth and 2 cups of that amazing cashew cream (reserving a few tablespoons for garnish). Also, now is the time to throw in those halved tomatoes along with a few pinches of salt and pepper. The light beige, red, and green colors will be almost as beautiful as the aromas filling your kitchen:

Tomato_Basil_Soup_Pot

Step Five

With big leaves of basil and halves of tomatoes, this soup needs to be blended. If you have an immersion (stick) blender, you can puree the soup right in the pot. Otherwise, pour the soup into a blender and blend on low until you reach the desired consistency. I prefer to make this soup *slightly* chunky with a little texture, but you can also blend until completely smooth.

Step Six

To serve, ladle into bowls and use a spoon to drizzle the reserved cashew cream in a circular pattern over top. Garnish with a small sprig of basil.

Garlic Toast: This pairs perfectly with crusty slices of french bread rubbed with garlic. To prepare, slice the loaf at an angle, rub with a few drops of olive oil and add to a stovetop griddle until crispy. Then, simply take one fresh clove of garlic and scrape it along the surface for the most deliciously simple garlic bread.

Tomato_Basil_Soup_Bread

41 Comments

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  1. Andrew, I just love your recipes. So simple and so delicious. This looks fabulous – I’ll be making this soon with fresh basil from the garden! Thanks again for a fantastic recipe that helps me replace food I used to love before going vegan! 🙂

  2. LOVE the addition of cashews for thickening and creaminess–it’s so hard to come by recipes that are vegan and still maintain the great texture and taste of the original. Super excited to give this recipe a shot!

    • Thanks, Ala! 🙂 I love cashews so much. They make such an amazing base for vegan creams and cheeses without adding any weird taste. You’d never know this soup didn’t have heavy cream. 🙂

  3. I made this soup tonight. It was so super delicious. I loved it; a keeper for sure! So different from the traditional heavy tomato basil soups, but tasted at least as good. Thank you!! One of the best vegan recipes I have tried!

  4. This looks amazing! I only have a hand blender, would I risk breaking it if I tried to make cashew milk? I’m saving for a decent bender, but in the meantime….

    • Hmm, good question, Sarah. I don’t think you would risk breaking it, but I have a hand blender as well and I’m not sure it’s powerful enough to fully blend the cashews. Your best bet is to soak the cashews for 12 hours so they’re very, very soft first and you might get away with it.

  5. Andrew, this soup looks delicious! I am vegan and on a diet, and this is the only soup that I’ve found that meets my criteria, and sounds yummy. however…. there is one problem. I’m allergic to Basil! Do you think the soup will taste good, or should I not even bother?

    • Hey Rai! Ah, I couldn’t say for sure. Obviously, the basil adds a lot of flavor here, but you could probably get away with some other Italian seasonings… it really wouldn’t be the same though.

  6. Hi Andrew, I made this tonight for my guests and they all went silent from the ecstatic pleasure this soup provided. Really excellent recipe and a whole new taste experience. I even made the croutons to go with this. Thanks!

    Hens

  7. Hi Andrew!

    I made this soup last night and it was wonderful! Even my meat loving boyfriend thought it was good. I added some roasted garbanzo beans for a bit of a crunch instead of the toasts and it was great.

    Thanks!

  8. I am so excited to try this recipe. Me and my boyfriend are fasting for spiritual reasons and I am looking for new and yummy recipes to keep us on track. Thanks!

  9. This look really excellent and I am excited to try it. Do you have any ideas to the calories and fat by chance? Thanks!

  10. Just wondering if you discard those charred tomato skins. I have tried this recipe once–and liked it. Going to do it again but would love not to mess with the skins…

      • Thanks, Andrew. I went ahead and made it with skins this time and I like it even better. The tomatoes are out of my garden–had to find a way to use up the large harvest that turns up daily. I didn’t use Romas but rather some heirlooms I have. Still turned out great. Thanks for your response.

  11. Soup tastes even better when served the next day. Super easy to make. What’s a serving size and how many calories per serving. I’m trying to enter the count into my Fitbit.

  12. MY FAVORITE SOUP EVER!!!!! I MADE IT LAST NIGHT, FOR THE FIRST TIME, AND WE ATE IT ALL, SO I MADE ANOTHER BATCH TONIGHT, AND WE JUST CANT GET ENOUGH!!!!!! MY SON AND I ARE VEGAN AND MY PARENTS ARE NOT, BUT THEY LOVED IT AND COULDN”T BELIEVE THIS HAD NO DAIRY AND IS VEGAN, WE LOOOOOVE THIS RECIPE!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING!!!!! ❤️❤️❤️

  13. I just have to tell you this has been my go-to soup for every dinner party since i discovered your website (about 2 year ago). I ave gotten SO MANY complements on this soup. It is so beyond delicious. Comes out perfect every time!
    I had to make it a few times without the cashew cream (because of a guest’s allergies) and it was still delicious! Thank you for bringing this (and other) deliciousness into my life! YUM YUM YUM!

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