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.