Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Creamy Vegan Tomato Soup with Roasted Chickpea Croutons

One word: Yum! Seriously, I kid you not, this soup is tasty. I found the original recipe in Angela Liddon's vegan cookbook, Oh She Glows, which I ever so slightly adapted to fit my on-hand ingredients. Like everything I've tried of hers, it was a winner! 

Now, if you aren't vegan and want to use chicken broth in lieu of vegetable, go for it, but with as creamy as this soup is, I highly doubt you will need to top it off with any sort of dairy (i.e. sour cream, Greek yogurt or cheese).

BTW: even if you aren't in the mood for tomato soup, don't wait to try the italian chickpea croutons. You won't be sorry. I enjoy many variations of these because they are as tasty as they are nutrient dense, making them a perfect pick-me-up snack. 

Ingredient for croutons:
•1-15oz can chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans)
•1-2 teaspoon oil (I used the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes)
•1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
•1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
•1 teaspoon garlic powder or granules
•1/4 teaspoon onion powder
•3/4 teaspoon sea salt (I used Celtic)

1) Heat oven to 425°. 
2) Drain chickpeas and blot excesss moisture with paper towels
3) Toss chickpeas with ingredients until evenly coated 
4) Transfer chickpeas to a baking sheet lined with tinfoil; then spread chickpeas in an even layer
5) Bake 15 minutes and then gently lift chickpeas with a spatula and bake for another 15-20 minutes until lightly charred and/or golden in color
6) Let cool 5 minutes; they'll become crisper as they cool

Ingredients for tomato soup:
•1 tablespoon oil (I used avocado)
•1-medium yellow onion, diced (1-1/2 to 2 cups)
•2 large garlic cloves, minced
•Half cup raw cashews, soaked for 3-4 hours up to 24)
•2 cups vegetable broth
•1-28oz can whole peeled tomatoes with juices
•1/4 cup oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
•3 to 4 tablespoons tomato paste
•1 teaspoon dried oregano
•1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (I use a tablespoon of fresh)

1) Sauté onions and garlic in a large saucepan until the onions become translucent, about 5 to 6 minutes; remove from heat
2) In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add remaining ingredients minus the salt and pepper 
3) In a blender, I used Vitamix, blend broth and soaked cashews drained of soaking water on high until creamy and smooth
4) With the blender turned off, add the sautéed garlic-onion and tomato mixture, and blend on high until smooth 
5) Pour the tomato mixture back into the large saucepan that sautéed the onions and garlic
6) Simmer uncovered over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes to allow flavors to meld together
7) Ladle hot soup into bowls and top with 1/3 to 1/2 cup chickpea croutons, salt and pepper to taste. 

*Optional garnishing may include a splash of olive oil and/or fresh minced basil leaves