Smoky Tomato Soup with Coconut Milk (vegan & plant-based)

Yield: 4-6 servings

All the veg we need without all the moaning and groaning from the veg-phobic…like my beloved spouse!

Created as an antidote to restaurant meals and other “fancy” cooking for our Starlight Supper Club and a happy hour this week while my cousin, Earl, is visiting from Houston, I loaded this recipe up with camouflaged vegetables so that Bob was none the wiser and he loved it! The guys enjoyed it with a plant-based grilled cheese sandwich for dipping, natch, but I thought it was perfectly satisfying unaccompanied. Note: If smokey isn’t your jam, use regular canned diced tomatoes.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced (approximately 1 cup)
1 carrot, diced (approximately 1/2 cup)
1 stalk celery, diced (approximately 1/2 cup)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch slivers
Pinch salt
Pinch black pepper
2 to 3 large cloves garlic, halved
2 teaspoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons vegetable base or 1 large bouillon cube
1 teaspoon dried basil
2-15 ounce cans diced fire roasted tomatoes
1-15 ounce can coconut milk ( I use lite, but you do you!)
Optional garnish: drizzle olive oil and/or vegan sour cream thinned with water or non-dairy milk, fresh minced parsley or basil

In large skillet, heat olive oil over medium. Add fresh vegetables, except garlic, with pinch salt and pepper, and saute, stirring occasionally, until tender. Add garlic and saute 1 minute longer. Transfer to bowl of large food processor and process until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Add tomato paste, vegetable base, basil, and 1 can tomatoes, and puree again until smooth. Add remaining can tomatoes and coconut milk and puree a final time. Return to skillet and heat until bubbly. Serve warm, garnished as desired.

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