It is DAY 20 of "I LOVE Vitamix" and we have had an overwhelming response to our Vitamix 5200 blender giveaway. 

Today I am celebrating one of my favourite people in the whole world - Scott's mum, Sandra. She is one of the smartest, most interesting people I have ever met, and I absolutely adore her! She is a wonderful cook and I love spending time in the kitchen with her. We had a fantastic time cooking together for Thanksgiving, and even more fun whipping up treats with my mum for Christmas. Every time we cook together, she turns to me (just as I was thinking the same thing) and says, "This is SO much fun!" 

This roasted tomato and basil soup is one her favourite recipes, and it has quickly become one of mine! Hopefully it will become a staple in your "delicious soup repertoire" too. I have been meaning to feature this incredible soup for a really long time, and thought it only fitting that we celebrate it this month. After all, it is "soup season". I wanted to make it with Sandra at Thanksgiving and Christmas. But we had too many other delectable things to make. After I told her I would wait until next Thanksgiving to post the recipe, she cried out in protest, "No! I want that soup on your website!"

So, here it is! Vitamix Recipe #20: Sandra's Vegan Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup. 

I will say right out of the chute, that I HAVE modified Sandra's original recipe to suit my own preferences. She and I are always having a friendly spirited debate about the virtues of chunky soups versus blended soups. My flag is firmly planted in the blended soup pot. She, on the other hand, is a fan of chunky "partially blended" soups. We have agreed to break bread together over a bowl of each, and agree that there is room at the table for both varieties.

I DO post some non blended soups, try the garlic potato soup, and the coconut red lentil soup that was featured in a special edition Taste Book from Epicurious. Oh, I don't think I have made these soups for Sandra! But then again, those chunky soups are so delicious, that experience would not have helped my argument! LOL! 

Anyway, back to the virtrues of THIS soup! Sandra's original recipe is partially blended with a stick blender and left rustic and chunky, which is incredibly flavourful and looks gorgeous. Feel free to enjoy it this way. Leave out the macadamias if you do this. I like my tomato soup blended so that I get a uniform taste with every spoonful. The secret to any great tomato soup is using different kinds of tomatoes - roasted and tinned. Now, I am not normally a fan of using canned products. But I make an exception in this case, because as we all know, unless you are a gifted gardener and grow your own fabulous kind of tomatoes, tomatoes vary greatly in quality and depth of flavour. To make sure we all end up with a similar tasting soup, tinned tomatoes are great for leveling the playing field! I also added some sundried tomatoes for an extra punch. Finally, I added a touch of maple syrup to heighten the sweetness of the tomatoes and the sweet red pepper, and to round out the flavours a little. You can leave out the sweetener. 

**Just a note about the macadamias. I like to add them into the blend for a bit of added creaminess and to take the edge of the acidity of the tomatos. But this is also optional. If you don't have any, or are accommodating nut allergies, feel free to leave them out. Similarly, if you are serving this to children, you could omit the red chilli pepper flakes. 

**If you want your soup to turn out exactly like mine - I use Massel vegetable broth in all of my soup recipes. Stocks /broths taste very different. You don't have to use Massel stock. But I just thought I would mention it as a note. I like it because it is gluten free, vegan, and free from MSG.

Either way, this soup is blendsational. Thanks Sandra. I love you.

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Sandra’s Rock-Your-World Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup

  • 8 -10 medium ripe tomatoes seeded cut into quarters
  • 1 large sweet red pepper cut in large chunks
  • 2 15-oz cans organic diced tomatoes including the juice
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (I use Massel)
  • 2 cups organic yellow onions, chopped (about 2 medium onions)
  • 1 cup firmly packed finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh garlic (about 8 large cloves)
  • 1/4 cup raw macadamias (optional - see note in post)
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp maple syrup to taste (optional - see note in post. Omit if alkaline)
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves (I use lemon thyme)
  • 2 tsp Celtic sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp crushed dried red chilli pepper flakes 
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 200 / 400 degrees. 
  2. Toss together the sweet peppers, tomato halves, 1/4 C of the olive oil, 1 tsp of the salt and a sprinkle of cracked pepper.
  3. Spread in single layer on a baking sheet and roast for about an hour.
  4. Give them a good toss a couple of times during the cooking time to get an even roast.
  5. In a large pot, saute the onions and garlic in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tsp of the sea salt and the red pepper flakes for about 10 minutes just until the onions just start to brown.
  6. Add in the canned tomatoes with all of their juices, the basil, thyme and vegetable broth. 
  7. Add in the oven-roasted peppers and tomatoes with all of their juices and the sun dried tomatoes.
  8. Bring this mixture to a boil and simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes. 
  9. Place the mixture in your Vitamix in batches with the macadamias and the agave until smooth and creamy.
  10. Season to taste and serve with crusty bread or a scoop of your favourite grain. YUMMO!
  11. Serves 6-8 


selecting great tomatoes

Tomatoes are very hard to transport when they are ripened as they get damaged very easily. So most tomatoes are picked green and then sprayed with ethylene gas (yuk) to make them red. They are also covered with a wax coating to prolong their shelf life. To avoid this “freak fruit” try to purchase organic tomatoes from local farmers that are allowed to ripen on the vine naturally. Look for tomatoes that have a rich red uniform colour and are firm and heavy. These tomatoes have the best flavour and the most lycopenes and nutritional value. If you must purchase conventional tomatoes peek the skin off before using.

Hey Tess,
Thanks for featuring my tomato basil soup recipe on your fantastic website! 
Only thing that could have made it more fun is if we had been able to make it together.
Hope everyone tries it and loves it.


Oh Sandra!
It is absolutely MY pleasure!
This soup is SO incredible I cannot believe I didn’t post it sooner so we could have all been enjoying it all this time!
Yes….the only improvement would have been if we had made it together…
But LOTS of time for that!
Love you!!!!

Its certainly not traditional soup weather in Australia (35 degrees Celsius today) but that hasn’t changed my desire to want to make this tonight!
One question… Can this, and your other soup and juice recipes be frozen? I love to make a few meals in advance for my fiancé and its great to have them ready to go.
PS. Thanks to you and Sandra!


Hey Kerry,
Yes! I have been watching the weather on the news and feeling homesick for a wonderful Aussie Summer.
All of my soups freeze really well.
I often make large batches and freeze portions for use later.
Let me know how you go!

Go Sandra! I loved this!!! This is one of these great all year round soups that I would never get tired of!!!!!! It’s not too rich but still bursts flavor… Yum, the chilli flakes are cheeky - You could even add more to make it a little naughtier if you wanted to! ;-) Thanks!!!


Yes! Thankyou again Sandra!
This soup ROCKS!

This soup was just perfect! Just what I needed on a chilly evening. Smooth and Creamy packed with a big tomato punch. Too good! Make sure you have some bread standing by (maybe one of Tess’s GF breads) to mop up   every drop. Don’t let it go to waste…trust me :-)


So glad you enjoyed the soup.
I really love this recipe :)

Making this now-but I don’t see where the macadamea nuts agave nectar are used, could someone helpppppp???? Please


I am glad we connected by email!
Sorry for any confusion.
You blend the raw macadamias and agave in at the very end.

Thanks so much for your help the other night Tess!!! Ummmm, duh…the info was on the 2nd page of the recipe I printed! lol This soup is so souper yummy, may not add as much chili flakes next time as my Hubby & son thought it was too spicy. After all my hard work, my son had the nerve to say that he liked the other tomato soup better, ya know the canned kind. lol I am a new vegan, so may be a little while for them to jump on board with my cooking!


LOL! OH Wendy, you make me laugh!
I am glad you emailed me and caught me checking my emails on my phone at an event!
It was lucky timing and all meant to be.
I was glad I could give you the information you needed at just the right time!
Glad you enjoyed the soup.
Yes, it tastes just as good without the chilli flakes!

Rita Biteme Tess :-) - Mar 17, 2012 at 06:27am #

I made a version of this yesterday. I had some roasted veggies ( tomatoes, broccoli, onions, carrots and a little kale)  left over from the night before. I liked the addition of the can of tomatoes. I also added more spices/herbs and crimini mushrooms to the raw onions and garlic as I was sautéing them. Borrowed my moms vitamix and it was an amazingly smooth cream consistent texture, no need for the nuts. Thanks Blender Girl and Scott’s mom for the recipe.


Oh YUM! Your blend sounds DELICIOUS!
Thanks for sharing :)

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