Creamy Vegan Tomato Soup sort of sounds like an oxymoron. I was pretty skeptical myself, but then when I saw it was a recipe from J. Kenji López-Alt at Serious Eats, I changed my opinion. Kenji has never let me down with his recipes before. I didn’t have any cream at home and so finding something tasty to go with some grilled cheese sandwiches was a must.
Kenji’s recipe utilizes some white bread and while you blend the soup, you drizzle in olive oil, to almost create an emulsion, making the soup more creamy. The recipe suggests throwing it into a blender and slowly pouring in olive oil, but my blender doesn’t have this option. Instead you can try a food processor. It still came out delicious.
(I made half of this version, which was enough for 4 large mugs of soup)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, grated on a microplane grater
1 small onion, finely sliced (about 1 cup)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 slices white bread, crusts removed, torn into rough 1/2-inch pieces
2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes packed in juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Minced chives, basil, or parsley as garnish
Toasted bread or grilled cheese for serving
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat until shimmering. Add garlic, onions, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring frequently until onions are softened but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add bread and tomatoes. Roughly mash tomatoes with a whisk or a potato masher. Add 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes.
Transfer half of soup to the jar of a blender (or food processor). Blend soup, starting at low speed and gradually increasing to high (be careful starting up, it can shoot out the top of the blender—open the vent and hold a kitchen towel over the lid to prevent blowout). With blender running on high, gradually trickle in half of remaining olive oil. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large bowl and repeat with remaining half of soup and olive oil. Ladle into individual serving bowls, top with minced herbs, drizzle with more olive oil, and serve with toast or grilled cheese.