Many of us love creamy soup but some of us don’t want the fat from the cream & or we don’t consume dairy (sadly, I fall into neither group). Cream helps make a soup, thick & rich. And so do white beans: Navy, Great Northern, white kidney & borlotti beans, will all give the soup body & creaminess when blended. So instead of a cup of cream in the recipe, I used a can of navy beans. The results, at the risk of sounded repetitive – rich & creamy tomato soup.
I had cream with my berries for breakfast this morning so I don’t abhor cream, it’s just nice to have an alternative. Not to mention all that extra fiber you unwittingly consume by adding beans – a good way to get children to eat more fiber. And if you didn’t tell anyone, they’d never know you used beans instead of cream.
This is a no-fuss recipe – simple & easy to make, using canned tomatoes & sun-dried tomatoes for extra depth of flavor so it can be ready in less than 40 minutes.
It’s a cold & dreary night here in my little mid western US town. A moment ago it was snowing. The absolute perfect night to slurp on a bowl of hot soup & if I’m lucky enough, maybe some toasted cheese sandwiches for dunking.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons harissa (or sambal olek – both are chili pastes)
- 3/4 cup dry vermouth
- 28 oz (794g) can peeled whole tomatoes, undrained
- 2/3 cup sundried tomatoes in oil, drained
- 3 cups vegetable (or chicken) broth
- 14 oz (398ml) can navy beans (or other white beans), rinsed & drained
- salt & freshly ground pepper
- pinch sugar, optional
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
- Heat oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion & cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until softened. Add garlic & cook for 3 minutes or until softened & fragrant. Add harissa & stir to combine.
- Add vermouth & cook until it’s reduced by about half.
- Add canned tomatoes, breaking them into chunks with a wooden spoon. Stir in sundried tomatoes, broth, beans, a good pinch of salt & pepper & a pinch of sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low heat. Cook, covered, for 15 minutes.
- Add basil & stir to combine. Remove from heat & carefully spoon into a blender in batches; blitz until smooth. Or use a good wand blender. Return to same pot & stir to heat.