By Jennifer Provenza at Good Food From The Heart
Whole food plant based, oil free, sugar free, soy free
This Plant-Based Tomato Soup contains fresh from the vine tomatoes and hearty whole wheat sourdough bread. With avocado pesto topping and no oil or dairy, this soup will stick to your ribs on a cold winter night.
Winter is Coming!
Well, sort of! But, the nights are chilly now and this soup is one of my favorites for the cold weather. I adapted this from a traditional papa al pomodoro recipe (or tomato bread soup) which is basically a Tuscan tomato soup recipe. However, I have put a California San Francisco inspired spin on it by using sourdough bread. The first time I tried this soup with sourdough, Ian and I were blown away. It’s so good. So, so good. And, then, of course, I had to go and make it all healthy and stuff by using whole wheat sourdough and eliminating the oil. I solved the need for a little fat and extra flavor by replacing the olive oil with an avocado basil topping. It tasted absolutely wonderful and I didn’t miss the olive oil one bit! Win!
This whole food plant based tomato bread soup is a favorite to enjoy after a day out in the cold. It’s become kind of a family tradition to have it for dinner after going to the pumpkin patch or cutting down a Christmas tree. (Hint: it’s so great served with baked apples for dessert!) My kids are, as usual, so excited about Halloween and the pumpkin patch is one of our favorite yearly traditions. This year, I’m also letting C host a Halloween party in the backyard. We are even going to decorate our little pine tree with Halloween decorations. So fun!
Q and A
Do I have to use sourdough bread? What if I can’t find whole wheat sourdough? No, you don’t! You can definitely use another rustic whole wheat loaf. I just think it tastes extra delicious with sourdough. It can be tricky to find whole wheat sourdough. I find it locally at Nugget market. I’ve also made homemade whole wheat sourdough and it was even more delicious!
Do I have to use fresh tomatoes? How about heirloom tomatoes? You really do want to use fresh tomatoes for this recipe. Canned would work, but the flavor won’t be the same at all. I’ve used heirloom or vine ripened tomatoes and both work great. I would not use pink grocery store tomatoes though.
Can I skip the topping? You can, but it really adds to the flavor! You can also just top with some fresh chopped basil, but I do love the extra fat provided by the avocado and nuts. You could also use an already prepared pesto if you have one on hand.
Do I really have to stir it the whole time? Yes! It cooks really quickly, but it will stick and burn if you don’t stir it.
Can I freeze this? Yes! It freezes great.
What should I serve this with? This soup is perfect served with a green salad. (I love one with green apple and pecans.) Baked apples or a fruit crisp would make a delicious dessert. You could also serve it as a first course to an Italian meal. You really won’t need a carb on the side, though, because the soup is already full of bread!
How to Make This Plant Based Tomato Soup
Luckily, this soup is super simple and comes together really fast. Because it is so simple, though, it is really dependent on the quality of your ingredients. Make sure to get the best whole wheat sourdough bread you can find (or make it yourself). The same goes for the quality of the tomatoes.
To begin with, remove the crusts from the loaf of bread and chop the bread into one inch cubes. It doesn’t have to be exact. If the bread is a little stale, you want to put it in a bowl and sprinkle it with water to refresh it. Let it sit for fifteen minutes or so. If your bread is nice and fresh, you can skip this step.
After that, you will want to cut the tomatoes into large chunks and put in a high speed blender or a food processor. Process until totally liquified.
Next, crush the garlic and cook it over medium heat with a few tablespoons of red wine (or water). This is just to keep it from sticking, although the red wine adds a nice flavor. Once the garlic is cooked, add the bread cubes and stir, then top with the tomato mixture and the water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the bread has all disintigrated and you have a thick soup consistancy. Remove from the heat.
To make the topping, simply add all ingredients to a food processor and process until you have a thick paste. Top the plant-based tomato soup with a generous helping of avocado pesto. Enjoy your vegan tomato basil soup with some Sugar Free Plant Based Mixed Berry Pie for dessert. You may also enjoy my Vegan Vegetable Noodle Soup.
Plant Based Tomato Bread Soup
- blender or food processor
- Large pot
- 1/2 pound whole wheat sourdough bread crust removed and discarded
- 2 pounds fresh vine ripened tomatoes
- 1-3 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons red wine or water
- 2 cups water
For the Avocado Pesto Topping
- 1/2 avocado
- large bunch basil leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup walnuts or other nut
To Make the Soup
- Cut the crust from the loaf of bread and chop the bread into one inch square pieces.
- If the bread is dry or not very fresh, sprinkle with water and let sit for about fifteen minutes. If you use nice fresh bread you can skip this step.
- Cut the stems from the tomatoes (along with the very top of the tomato), then chop into fourths. Blend the tomatoes in a high speed blender or a food processor.
- Crush the garlic and cook it with the wine or water (to keep it from sticking) in a large pot.
- After 3-5 minutes, add the bread and stir it around, then pour the tomato puree over the bread and add the water. Over medium heat, cook, stirring constantly to keep the mixture from sticking or scorching.
- When the bread has completely disintegrated into a soup like texture, it is done. Remove from the heat and cover.
To Make the Avocado Pesto Topping
- Place ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Top the soup with a generous helping of the topping and enjoy.
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Really tasty. My grandma used to make a similar soup and I never knew how to make it.