We had a lovely quiet Christmas here at Sideways Cottage with a scrumptious feast on Christmas Eve of our usual vegan tourtiere with all the fixins.
We awoke on Christmas Day to gently falling snow, so spent a cozy day eating leftovers. Our neighbours came by (bearing rum balls!) in the afternoon for a doggy play date and a neighbourly glass of bubbly.
We finished up the festivities in the evening with what James calls “The Denman Trifecta”: a sauna, a cooling off period in front of the outdoor woodstove, and an outside bubble bath (which was particularly lovely in the gently falling snow!).
But now it’s been snowing for days and all I want to do is sit in front of the fire…preferably with a big bowl of soup in front of me. As it happens, an America’s Test Kitchen recipe for the “Ultimate Cream of Tomato Soup” popped up in my mailbox, so what could I do but create a vegan version of it!
The result is absolutely sumptuous–so velvety smooth and tasty! And my substitutions aren’t even particularly drastic: I replaced the butter with vegan butter, chicken broth with chickenLESS broth, and heavy cream with coconut cream (which, surprisingly, does not add a coconutty taste!).
Ultimate Vegan Cream of Tomato Soup
2 (28 ounce) cans whole tomatoes (not packed in puree) drained, 3 cups juice reserved, tomatoes seeded
1 ½ TBS brown sugar
1/4 cup vegan butter/margarine
4 large shallots, minced
1 TBS tomato paste
a pinch of ground allspice
2 TBS unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ¾ cups chickenLESS broth
½ cup coconut cream
2 TBS brandy or dry sherry
a pinch of cayenne
salt (to taste)
Heat oven to 450 degrees and line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spread tomatoes in single layer on cookie sheet, and sprinkle evenly with brown sugar. Bake until all liquid has evaporated and tomatoes begin to colour (about thirty minutes). Let tomatoes cool.
Meanwhile, heat vegan butter over medium heat in a largish saucepan until melted; add shallots, tomato paste, and allspice. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are softened (7 to 10 minutes). Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, until thoroughly combined (about 30 seconds). Whisking constantly, gradually add broth; stir in reserved tomato juice and roasted tomatoes. Cover, increase heat to medium, and bring to boil; reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally (about 10 minutes).
Pour soup into Vitamix and blend until completely smooth.
Return soup to saucepan. Stir in coconut cream and heat over low heat until hot (about 3 minutes). Turn off heat and stir in brandy. Season with salt and cayenne to taste.
Serve with a freshly baked baguette (or a vegan grilled cheese sammie!).
And the song of the day is Jason Isbell’s “If We Were Vampires” because it’s just such a sweet song: