This soup can be whipped up (well, blended, technically) in under 15 minutes and you’ll never believe that its creaminess comes from beans! Serve with a simple grilled cheese, or improve your chances at a second date by adding homemade pesto and serving an extra-special sandwich. I am sure you will be able to pull it off without making it sound too cheesy...or should I say “cheezy”?
- Creamy Tomato Soup:
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed (or one full head of roasted garlic, see notes below)
- 1 (28oz) can whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 (15oz) can white beans (navy, cannellini or butter beans)
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth or water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Extra-Special Grilled Cheese Sandwich:
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 2 portobello mushrooms, sliced
- 4 slices vegan cheese (I love Chao)
- 2-3 Tbsp pesto (store bought or see recipe below)
- 4 slices of your favorite blend (gluten-free, if necessary)
- 2 Tbsp vegan margarine or coconut oil
- Optional: Homemade pesto
- Quick Pesto:
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves (as many as you can jam into one cup measure!)
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 cup walnuts (pine nuts, hemp hearts or sunflower seeds also work)
- Juice from half a lemon, 1-2 Tbsp
- 1 tsp of salt
Creamy Tomato Soup:
In a pot over medium-high heat, sauté onions in olive oil until softened. 5-6 minutes.
Add garlic and stir for an additional minute. Add tomatoes, stir to incorporate and turn down heat to medium.
Add beans and broth (or water) and let simmer for 5 minutes.
Carefully transfer the soup to a blender (do this in batches if you have a small blender, do not fill you blender more than 2/3 full!) and blend until smooth. An immersion blender can also be used.
Return the soup to medium-low heat and season with salt and pepper.
Extra-Special Grilled Cheese Sandwich:
In a pan over medium-high heat, sauté onions in olive until softened. 5-6 minutes.
Add sliced mushrooms and sauté for an additional 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and place onions and mushrooms into a bowl.
Lay out bread and spread a thin layer of pesto on all four slices. Assemble the 2 sandwiches by placing half of the onion and mushroom mixture to each sandwich and topping with 2 slices of vegan cheese. Top with remaining slice of bread.
Spread an even layer of margarine or coconut oil on the top of each sandwich. Heat a pan over medium heat and carefully flip each sandwich into the pan so that the margarine/oil side is down (you may need to cook them one at a time, depending on pan size). Oil the other side of the sandwich once it is in the pan, being careful not to burn yourself!
Cook the sandwich until bread is evenly browned, usually around 2 minutes, flip and repeat on other side. Remove from heat, slice in half and serve with a bowl of your creamy tomato soup.
Add ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth. Can be made in advance and will keep 3-4 days sealed in the fridge.
To roast garlic:
Slice the top of an entire head of garlic off, so that the top of all the cloves are exposed.
Place the head in tin foil, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and wrap in foil.
Place on a baking tray and bake at 400F for 30 to 35 minutes.
Let cool and then squeeze the cloves out of the skin. This can be done in advance, and will leave your kitchen smelling incredible!