American Farmhouse Style
THE CREAMIEST TOMATO SOUP WITHOUT ANY CREAM
The answer to the creamiest tomato soup? Skip the cream. From a distance, this seems counterintuitive, illogical, unbelievable. But the answer comes by way of two other ingredients that just happen to be dairy-free: cashews and onions.
Unlike almonds, cashews are soft enough that you don’t need to soak them overnight. And cashew cream just tastes creamy. And so do onions. If you puree cooked onions, you end up with a cream look-a-like, ready to take dinner by storm. By the time everything gets buzzed together, you achieve a vegan cream of tomato that’s even creamier and more savory than the original— though no one will quite know why.
SERVES 6 WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
• 1 1/3 cups (185g) raw cashews • 5 tablespoons (75ml) extra virgin olive oil
• 2 pounds (910g) yellow onions, halved and roughly chopped
• Kosher salt
• 1 (6-ounce/170g) can tomato paste • 2 (28-ounce/795g) cans whole peeled tomatoes and their juices
WHAT YOU’LL DO:
1. Pour the cashews and 1½ cups (360ml) water into a blender to soak while you start the soup.
2. Set a stockpot over medium heat and add 4 tablespoons (60ml) of the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 12 minutes, until the onions are translucent and soft— lower the heat as needed; we don’t want them to brown.
3. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, until the tomato paste is super fragrant and becomes a rustier, deeper shade of red. (This means bigger, better tomato flavor.)
4. Deglaze the pot with 1 cup (240ml) water, scraping the bottom to release any caramelized bits. Add the whole peeled tomatoes, their juices, and 2 teaspoons salt. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 40 minutes, until the soup has thickened a bit and tastes very flavorful. Turn off the heat and use an immersion blender to blend until smooth.
5. Blend the cashews and water until smooth, then pour into the soup.
Blend with the immersion blender again. Taste and adjust the salt if needed, and stir in more water if you want it thinner. This freezes beautifully.