There is nothing more comforting than tomato soup! I try to buy San Marzano canned tomatoes when they are on sale in the grocery store and keep them in the pantry when I get inspired to make this soup. However, regular canned tomatoes are fine. I like to leave a few chunks of tomato in my soup but blending it all smooth in texture is lovely as well.
2 tablespoons grape seed oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled, and chopped
1 large celery stalk, chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 28-ounce cans, whole tomatoes, San Marzano (if possible)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons golden brown sugar
2 cups water
1 carrot & celery stalk, cut in half horizontally
1 bay leaf
Salt (2 teaspoons) and pepper to taste
1/3—1/2 cup cashew cream or milk of choice
3 tablespoons basil or tarragon, chopped
¾ cup cashew pieces
2 cups and2/3 cup water,
Soak cashew pieces in 2 cups water, at room temperature, for 2 hours. Rinse cashews in a colander and place in blender. Add 2/3-cup water and salt. Blend until smooth. It will make more than you need for this recipe.
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; add onions, celery and carrot. Cook 5 minutes until soft. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add tomatoes, stirring occasionally for 5-6 minutes. Mix in canned tomatoes with their juices, tomato paste, and sugar. Add water, carrot, celery stalk and bay leaf. Cover and cook at a slow simmer over low heat for 45 minutes to develop flavors, stirring occasionally.
Cool tomato mixture slightly. Remove the two carrot and celery pieces and bay leaf. I take tongs and fish out tomato pieces, about 1-1.5 cups. Break them up if they are not little bite-size pieces. Puree in blender or food processor the rest of the soup. I have a handheld emulsifier that works great. Then add in the tomato pulp to give the soup some texture.
Add cashew cream or milk of choice. Add basil and cook until heated through.