Soups

Roasted Tomato & Coconut Milk Soup with Chilli Lime Roasted Chickpeas

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Is there anything more comforting than a bowl of warm & creamy tomato soup, sprouted pita bread, crunchy & spicy chickpeas & a cup of tea? I don’t know about you, but that spells “ultimate comfort” to me. The (only) other most comforting thing is when your soup is made from scratch & you know down to a science what’s in every spoonful. Tomato soup has always been a cherished cold-weather staple to yours truly over here. Ever since I came to Canada as a (way too young) university student, I used to drink up my soup during the bitterly cold winter months. I loved creamy soups & toasted, buttery bagels. Sound familiar?

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After I graduated university, I would come home from work ravenously hungry to my teeny, tiny matchbox apartment in midtown Toronto. I would warm up some soup up on the stove, some water in my kettle for sweet tea, feed my cat, change into comfortable stretchy pants & turn my TV on to the Food Network. Yes, there was once a cat. I guess I was the quintessential “cat lady” way before my time. His name was Tiger & I miss him dearly. He looked like a Tiger, too. Nice broad stripes everywhere on that tabby. After a 10-hour work day, this was the closest to heaven on earth. I would drink my soup (ever so slowly), trying to capture this brief moment of mindless leisure. But I was always at a loss for why such a “healthy meal” would never result in me losing a few unwanted pounds- if it’s so light and “low in calories” as advertised on the box. Unbeknownst to me was the fact I was loading up on soup that was extremely high in salt (sodium) and full of heavy cream, flour (for thickening) modified milk ingredients, sugar & a whole bunch of other unpronounceable stuff that would not help my cause.  I wistfully tell myself: “If only I knew then what I know now….”

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This soup recipe is great on two levels; you see- it tastes nothing short of amazing & it’s dairy & refined-sugar free. That’s my goal with every single recipe I share with you guys, to bring you food that tastes great & does your body good, too. It’s healthier because:

  • instead of heavy cream, we substitute with organic, full-fat coconut milk.
  • instead of buttery, salty croutons we use roasted chickpeas which are naturally gluten free and add a nice touch of protein to the meal.
  • instead of using white, refined sugar (like in most tomato soups) to take away some of the acidity, we use pure maple syrup, which works wonderfully well.
  • I give you the option of using either grass fed butter or extra virgin olive oil
  • there’s no flour or thickeners.
  • it’s made from scratch- no canned tomatoes in here, but in the easiest way possible!

Now let’s get to the recipe!

Tomato Soup with Coconut Milk & Roasted Chickpeas

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Time: 50 mins
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Ingredients:

  • 8 large ripe tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil (to roast the vegetables)
  • sea salt (to taste)
  • pinch of ground pepper (to taste)
  • 4 garlic cloves, fully peeled (don’t mince them)
  • 2 white or yellow onions fully peeled & cut into 4 pieces. I used white, sweet spanish onions for a nice touch
  • 3/4 cup of full-fat coconut milk
  • 1-2 tbsp of pure maple syrup
  • 3 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 4 tablespoons of grass fed butter or extra virgin olive oil for dairy free options. (no hormones, just goodness)
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • a large handful of chopped basil leaves
  • a pinch of oregano (optional)
  • good quality aged parmesan (grated) I don’t consume dairy myself, but my kids & husband love this touch!

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Instructions

  1. Turn the oven on to 400 F
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  3. Place the tomatoes, onions (sliced in half) & garlic on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper.
  4. Bake for about 30 minutes or until fully roasted. Roasting vegetables really brings out the flavor!
  5. Right before the veggies are done roasting, in a large stock pot, add the low sodium chicken or vegetable broth, coconut milk, butter, basil, & bay leaves. Stir well and bring to a boil.
  6. Once it boils, add the roasted tomatoes, garlic, onions & tomato paste.
  7. Use a handheld blender (immersion blender) to puree the veggies into the stock. If you don’t have a handheld blender, use a regular blender. Put the veggies into the blender fresh out of the oven & then pour a 1/2 cup of broth into your blender. Add the remaining broth and ingredients to the stock pot (see step 5). For a regular blender, do a pulse setting for about 10 seconds. Don’t over liquify it, I’m a believer in soup with texture! Add the pureed veggies to the stock pot.
  8. Bring everything to a boil & add the maple syrup & stir well. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 mins, stirring often. Maple takes away some of the acidity away from the tomatoes (without having to add white, refined sugar) & the soup does not taste overly sweet.
  9. Serve with sprouted pita bread or crusty sourdough bread- top with roasted chickpeas. I bought mine from a local health store- but the next frontier is to roast a huge batch myself. A much healthier & gluten-free alternative to croutons!
  10. For a nice touch, I drizzled a bit of coconut milk fat on top. If you consume dairy, the grated parmesan will complement this soup nicely! Enjoy.

P.S. the roasted tomato, garlic, & onion recipe is the base for many things in my kitchen: pizza sauce, pasta sauce, amazing tomato soup, minestrone soup etc. So versatile & the smell throughout the house as these veggies are roasting is hea-ven-ly!