Aah, tinned tomato soup. Or, more specifically; aah, Heinz Cream of Tomato Soup. Everyone loves cream of tomato soup, don’t they? I have it when I’m ill, when I’m hungover and it was all I could face when my house got burgled a few years ago (well, soup and alcohol, anyway). In fact, it’s more of a comfort blanket than a soup, really. I suspect it’s because I don’t see tomato soup as an ‘everyday’ soup, I don’t make homemade tomato soup very often and, if I do, it’s usually ‘tomato and something’, rather than just tomato.
But I had a few tins of chopped tomatoes taking up room on the kitchen worktop, so I decided I’d make a homemade tomato soup. I wasn’t expecting it to turn out like Heinz because mine would be a vegan version and therefore it wouldn’t contain any cream. I’d thought about thickening it with cashews but, thanks to my Froothie Optimum G2.1 high powered blender, it turned out beautifully creamy and smooth without needing to add any thickeners (I know it doesn’t look silky smooth in the photo but, trust me – it is).
You could, for a creamier taste, replace half the stock with soya milk (or dairy milk if you’re not fussed about it being vegan), but I don’t really think it’s necessary and I only swirled on a bit of soya milk for a prettier photo.
A cheap, creamy, comforting bowl of soup; even if you don’t need comforting.
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Easy Vegan Tinned Tomato and Basil Soup
Author: Cathy @ Planet Veggie
Recipe type: Soup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 2 400g cans chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 500ml vegan stock
- A few basil leaves, torn
- salt and pepper
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan
- Add the onion and garlic and fry for about 5 minutes, until soft
- Add the tinned tomatoes, tomato puree and stock, then season to taste with the salt and pepper
- Stir through and simmer for 10 minutes
- Add the basil, stir through and transfer to a blender and blend until smooth
I’d never made a nice risotto. So, when Sunrise Care asked me to make the Tomato and Basil Risotto recipe on their website, I thought ‘uh oh’. But, I know the key to a good risotto is to pour the liquid in slowly and to keep stirring, which is where I’ve gone wrong in the past. I’m far too impatient for that kind of thing and usually just bung in the liquid then go off to play Candy Crush or something and return to a heap of bullets stuck to the bottom of the pan.
This time, I thought, I’m going to do it properly. I’m going to make a decent risotto. Guess what? I didn’t make a decent risotto. Although I did the pouring slowly thing and the stirring thing, the rice was still hard at the end. So hard, in fact, that The Meat Eater wouldn’t eat it (he does like his rice and pasta to be more overcooked than undercooked though). I ate it though as, although it was slightly (and only slightly) too firm, it was creamy and cheesy and rich and delicious. If you’re one of those people who can make a risotto, you should make this one.
Tomato and basil risotto (two large portions)
(adapted from the recipe at Sunrise Care)
20g salted butter
1tbsp olive oil
2 vine tomatoes, chopped
1/4 red onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
200g Arborio rice
400ml vegetable stock
20ml double cream
70g goat’s cheese, chopped
Handful of fresh basil, torn
salt and pepper
- Heat the oil and fry the onion and garlic for a few minutes, until soft.
- Add the tomatoes and seasoning and fry for a further 3-4 minutes.
- Add the rice, mix thoroughly and fry for 3-4 minutes.
- Gradually add the vegetable stock, stirring until all the liquid is absorbed.
- Continue stirring until the rice is tender and creamy but still firm, then add the butter, cream, goat’s cheese and basil and stir it all through.
I should have waited a few hours before making this bread, then I could have put it on the timer to have the smell of fresh cheesy bread throughout the house when I woke up.
But, I didn’t wait. I didn’t even get to eat it fresh and warm straight out of the machine, as by the time it finished, I’d just stuffed myself with pizza and garlic bread for dinner.
I had some toasted this morning though, and it was delicious. Tesco’s Everyday Value Italian Style Hard Cheese is now vegetarian, and perfect for any recipe that calls for Parmesan. Yay to Tesco.
Sainsbury’s Basic Italian Style Hard Cheese used to be vegetarian, but isn’t any more. Boo to Sainsbury’s. (Update: Sainsbury’s Basic Italian Style Hard Cheese is once again vegetarian, hurrah!)
The original recipe from The Bread Machine Book has sun-dried tomatoes, but I used black olives instead.
Basil, vegetarian Parmesan and black olive bread (makes 1lb loaf)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp dried basil
25g grated vegetarian Parmesan-style cheese
350g bread flour
2 tsp yeast
40g black olives, chopped
- All all ingredients except olives in the order suggested by the bread machine instructions. Set machine for white bread, medium crust. Press start.
- Add the olives to the dough after the first kneading, or when the beeper indicates it is time to add fruit.
Ok, so introducing food slowly back into my diet probably doesn’t mean pour olive oil over an aubergine then melt half a block of mozzarella on top, but The Meat Eater was proud of the aubergine he’d grown and had requested it for dinner, so how could I resist? You must make this, it’s so quick and simple and totally gorgeous.
1 block of mozzarella, sliced
2 tomatoes, sliced
salt and pepper
Cut the aubergine in half lengthways
Score the flesh and drizzle over some olive oil
Bake in the oven for 25 minutes at 200c
Layer on the tomatoes and mozzarella, season and bake for another 5 minutes
Scatter over the basil leaves