So, we are on quarantine day…twelve? Honestly, I am beginning to lose track of the days, as much as I attempt to give myself a schedule and a plan for each day. If I didn’t, I would surely go insane (it is a miracle that I have not yet already.) I imagine people with larger homes and living spaces have a slightly easier time of it. If you are bored or in need of a change of scenery, you can easily move to another room. Take in another scene. Tired the bedroom, go to the den! Fed up with the view from your living room window, move into the office. I have the immense fortune of being able to move five whole feet from the kitchen counter to the couch. And back. And forth. Such variety.
During these times, I need something grounding and warming. A balm to my unemployed soul. Truly, I do not think there is anything more warming and lovely during anxious and uncertain times than a big bowl of soup. This comforting tomato-basil soup is exactly that!
A lot of traditional tomato-basil soup recipes involve the use cream. As a result, vegan tomato soup recipes often use cashew creams to thicken and enrich, but I wanted the filling heartiness without going for something quite so heavy. Thank you to Cookie and Kate for inspiring me to use cannellini beans instead of cashews for thickening this soup. It turns out, my mom used to hide pureed cannellini beans in most of my meals as a small child to sneak protein into my diet. Who knew?
Moms and dads with picky eaters at home, take note!
This soup not only freezes and reheats beautifully, but it can be made almost entirely with ingredients from my Pantry Stock-Up List. Make more than you need and freeze it in quart sized zip-top bags. It should keep for three months. That way, when you are holed up in your kitchen, baking a ton of bread, you can immediately break out this soup and have it with a thick, crusty piece of toast. Or not. Because other than ‘do not burn down,’ kitchens do not have rules. But I say, during an emergency such as this, we can all use the extra carbs.
Or is that just me?
Hearty, Protein Packed Tomato-Basil Soup
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium yellow onions (approx. 1 ½ cups)
- 2 heads roasted garlic
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 teaspoons cane sugar
- ¾ teaspoon white pepper
- ¼ teaspoon liquid smoke optional
- 1 can cannellini beans excess liquid poured off
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat, until shimmering.
- Add chopped onions, roasted garlic, and salt. Stir occasionally and cook until onions are translucent.
- Add vegetable broth and canned tomatoes and stir to combine.
- Add white pepper, cane sugar, and liquid smoke (if using). Stir to combine.
- Bring this mixture to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Adjust the temperature as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, but to prevent the mixture from vigorously boiling. The mixture will reduce and thicken somewhat as it cooks.
- After 30 minutes, take the soup off of the heat and allow it to cool for several minutes.
- Pour the cannellini beans into the pot, toss in the basil leaves, and stir.
- Using an immersion blender,* puree the soup until it is a smooth consistency. The soup will lighten in color, transitioning from a deep red to a medium orange.
- Adjust seasonings as needed. Sometimes I add an additional 1/2 teaspoon of salt or white pepper, depending on the level of salt in the canned tomatoes I have used.
- Serve with a crusty loaf of bread. My preference is thick slices of fresh sourdough toast!
Let me know if you decide to make this soup- take a picture and tag me on Instagram @kettleandkale! I love seeing all of your culinary adventures. If you’re interested in more recipes like this, don’t hesitate to sign up for my email list! That way, you never miss a post.
Happy cooking (and eating!)