Happy National Homemade Soup Day!

I am a fan of homemade soup.  I used to make complex soups from scratch on the regular... Seriously, I used to post about soup all the freakin time when I still lived in NYC.  Not so much lately.  Warmer climate maybe?  Still though, during our six or so weeks of winter I do enjoy a nice hot soup.

One of the great things about soup is that it can be extremely complex, but it can also be utterly simple.  If you want to spend hours, go ahead.  If you want dinner in twenty minutes, easy as pie.  Or anyway, easy as soup.  I always keep some stock and some bullion on hand for when I have an urge to throw something together.

Below is one of my favorite somewhat fancy but also fairly easy soup recipes from the days of yore - according to notes it is modified from La Dolce Vegan.  It's extra great because you don't need fresh tomatoes - which of course we know don't come into season for another few months.  It also strongly reminds me of the (very non-vegan) tomato basil soup at La Madaline, for any of you who at times crave such a thing.  Happy souping y'all.

Tomato and Basil Cream Soup!

  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup stock
  • 1 (one) 14oz. can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 cup tofutti cream cheese
  • 1 cup Blue Diamond unsweetened almond milk, original flavor
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped or torn (but not too early!)
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • Shock of shocks, you'll start by caramelizing your onion (in the amount of oil that you see fit, dernit).
  • Add your stock, tomatoes, salt, and pepper.
  • Bring up to a "boil", though since it's quite thick I don't know that it boils per se, and then reduce to a simmer; simmer for five or so minutes. Stir frequently to prevent sticking / burning.
  • Use this simmering time to chop or tear your basil; in doing so beforehand you'll lose a ton of flavor.
  • After your five-or-so-minute-simmer, quickly stir in your cream cheese until it reaches an even consistency.
  • Immediately add the milk, basil, and syrup. Bring back up to a simmer (not a boil), then turn off heat. (Yup, really.)
  • Let sit for five at least minutes before serving.

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