Dairy-Free Creamy Tomato Soup

*Disclaimer: I get chatty, it’s true. I always have so much that I want to share! So, if you want to skip the rambling and just get on to the recipe I won’t be mad at you for scrolling down to the part where I actually tell you how to make the soup. Also, if aren’t all fired-up about the ingredient list of prepared foods, feel free to substitute with any brand you like. I won’t be mad about that either.)

Another note: I have a cute kid story at the end of this post about soup.

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I am a die-hard soup girl all the way. Just ask my husband. We could be in the middle of a heat wave and I’ll still be in my kitchen stirring a big ol’ pot of hot soup. I could use the old stand by that it’s one of my ‘comfort foods’ but I like to think it’s more than that.

Something spiritual maybe.

Anyway, before I started this detox my favorite tomato soup was a fire-roasted variety that included cream, butter and sugar and I’ve been hesitant to recreate it without those ingredients. I could obviously just eliminate them, but that’s kind of like cake without frosting. I mean, what’s the point? Those are the special things that make it so yummy!

I’ve left the cream out in the past when I’ve forgotten to buy it, so that wasn’t TOO hard to let go. The butter… that was a little tricky. I usually use 1/2 EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) and 1/2 butter to sautee the onions for a nice rich flavor, but since I’m using regular olive oil now I thought the taste might not be too far off. Eliminating the sugar really had me worried. Without sugar to balance the acidity of those tomatoes… ick! I didn’t want a bowl of tomato soup that takes like an aluminum can. (Pipe down, Campbell’s fans.) And THEN I remembered the Pomi tomatoes I used to buy before I put myself on a grocery budget. They come in a box and have no citric acid added to them. Ta-da! I had a plan.

A soup plan. Because I’m a nerd.

Before I brag about my recipe, though, let’s look at the ‘other’ brand (cough, cough.) I ate Campbell’s tomato soup as a kid and LOVED it. We dipped peanut butter sandwiches into it, which I thought was perfectly normal till I met other people. Now I really can’t stand the stuff. It tastes like metal to me. And look what’s in it. What is half that stuff even for?

campbells-tomato-soup2

My soup has 6 ingredients: olive oil, vegetable broth, strained tomatoes, garlic, onion and salt.

Instead of Swanson or store brand broth, I used Pacific Organic Vegetable Broth. Here’s the label…

broth 1

Pretty pure and tasty sounding. Swanson’s vegetable broth has: water and the concentrated juices of carrots, celery, celeriac, onions, cabbage), contains less than 2% of: salt, sugar, vegetables (carrots, onions, celery), yeast extract, dextrose, potato flour, citric acid, natural flavoring, dehydrated carrots. If you didn’t know, dextrose is another form of sugar, so you get a double-dose here, and natural flavoring is probably more chemical than natural. Flour and yeast extract?

Here’s Pomi’s tomato label…

tomatoes1

First of all, you gotta love the ingredient list: tomatoes. They are stored in a BPA-free container, have no artificial anything, no water, no citric acid and are GMO free.

By contrast, Hunt’s canned tomato sauce contains: tomato puree (water, tomato paste), water, less than 2% of: salt, citric acid, spice, tomato fiber, natural flavor.

Now, while I will admit, my original soup recipe is still a tad better, this is a good and healthy replacement that even my teenage son said was delicious. (He’s my soup kid. He makes me feel like I’m not alone in the summer months.)

Dairy-Free Creamy Tomato Soup

soup 1

You need:

  • olive oil (NOT extra-virgin)
  • 1 box of Pomi strained tomatoes
  • 32 oz. Pacific vegetable broth
  • 1 large sweet onion, finely chopped (Vidalia is the best)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • kosher salt to taste

Heat a large soup pot over medium heat and give it 2 quick swirls of olive oil. When hot, add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes till they’re nice and soft but not browned. Add the garlic and cook about 1 minute more being careful to not let them burn.

Stir in the vegetable broth, tomatoes and desired amount of salt. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer UNCOVERED for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally

(“But, Val!” you might say. “My stove will get splattered with tomato sauce!” Well, it could happen have your heat too high. Keep the flame as low as you can while still maintaining a simmer. Also, make sure you’re using a large pot and not a sauce pan. If you cover the pot the soup won’t get that nice, rich flavor. Trust me. I wouldn’t lie about soup.)

After the simmering time,  ladle the soup in batches into a blender and blend well. I usually do 3 batches, transferring the blended soup to a large bowl. You want to make sure sure all the onion and garlic have been obliterated and that lots of air has been whipped into it. That’s what makes it creamy. PLEASE be super careful blending hot liquids. Crack the blender lid just a tiny bit so steam can escape, hold the lid with a pot holder and start with a quick little pulse before you switch it to a full blend. It’s very easy to end up with hot tomato sauce splattered on  your arm. And counter. And walls.

I may or may not have experience in this area.

Make any salt adjustments and serve! The Mr. loves grilled cheese sandwiches with his, but the kids prefer baked potatoes with butter and sour cream and maybe some cheese. My sandwich/potato substitute was a couple pieces of fried polenta placed right on top and drizzled with EVOO.  It was scrumptious. (This picture is terrible. I was too hungry to mess around with my camera settings.

soup 2

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Ok, here’s the story. I think of this EVERY TIME I make tomato soup. I was play UNO with my then 10-year-old son and mentioned to him that the red cards me think of tomato soup. He examined one then said, “They make me think of tomato soup, too.” My 6 year-old-daughter pipes up, “They make me think of the blood of Christ.” Umm… ok then.

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Dairy-Free Creamy Tomato Soup

    1. I find them at Meijer in the canned tomato aisle but NOT right next to them. They’re a little further down and on one of the lower shelves. I haven’t searched at Kroger yet, but they’re usually better about carrying some of these more unique products.

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