Creamy Tomato Soup: Never Eat Condensed Soup Again!

Sometimes I create a recipe that is so good we are completely surprised. I’m a pretty good cook, but I don’t expect to be able to recreate some foods, especially with all of the food sensitivities in our house.

Unlike the big name condensed soups (you know who I’m talking about) that use tomato paste, corn syrup, wheat and plenty of chemicals, this recipe uses only real vegetables. I am in love with this vegan, gluten-free, and sodium-free Creamy Tomato Soup. I have a feeling you will probably love it too.creamy tomato soup It is perfect for spring and summer time when you can get garden fresh tomatoes AND it doesn’t require the use of a stove! I made this with the help of my Crock-Pot and my Blendtec! Easiest. Soup. Ever! If you are not in the mood for a warm soup you can also drink this cold! creamy tomato soup

Creamy Tomato Soup

Vegan and Gluten-Free

Ingredients

  • 9 tomatoes (these were vine ripened tomatoes and between Roma and Beefsteak tomatoes in size)
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 ribs of celery
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 to 2 cups of water

Do

  1. Wash all produce well and remove and discard any leafy ends.
  2. Put all veggies in a Crock-Pot. Veggies can be cut if needed. I cut the celery, carrots and onions so they would fit better but left the tomatoes whole. My Crock-Pot was almost overflowing.
  3. Cook on low all day.
  4. Allow to cool slightly then blend in a Blendtec or high-powered blender. I let mine cool all the way. Don’t burn yourself. 🙂
  5. Add salt if needed.

Serve The soup is perfect as is or with a light dusting of salt. You could eat it with crackers, toast or a grilled Faux Cheesy Snack. I also love it cold! It’s a perfect quick snack that I can drink easily in a cup when I’m on the go and it tastes a lot like V-8.

A few months ago we bought a Blendtec and have been loving it! It has made a lot of new recipes possible like my Green Chili White Bean Dip and my Creamy Italian Salad Dressing. I recently became a Blendtec affiliate! Did you know you can get $100 Off + Free Shipping on Blendtec Factory Recertified Blenders

TIP! I store this soup in a pitcher so I can easily pour it into a bowl or a cup and it takes up less room in the fridge than a bowl.

Do you love Tomato Soup? Next time I’m going to make a spicy version!

This post contains affiliate links.

Healthy Cravings February Recap: A 5 Course Italian Meal

I almost forgot to share all of the deliciousness that happened at the last Healthy Cravings.

I admit that I was a little nervous, I didn’t know if everyone would like their favorite Italian comfort foods adapted into healthy plant-based versions. I didn’t want to create recipes that were merely “less toxic” than the originals, I wanted them to be truly nourishing. I’ve shared most of the recipes previously and I have a few more I’ll share in the coming weeks.

I want to mention that almost everything was gluten-free. I have several gluten-free ladies who typically attend but if gluten isn’t an issue for you whole grain noodles could easily be substituted. Also I forgot to take pictures of everything before we ate but I got a few leftover shots.

HC Feb 009

We started the evening with Bruschetta. Half was served on toasted French Baguette and the other half on gluten-free crackers.

HC Feb 011

Next was soup and salad. This is my new favorite salad by the way! I used a variety of lettuces and greens, pepperoncini’s , olives, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and red onion. I don’t even need a dressing with this, but I served a homemade oil-free dressing that everyone loved. Can you believe I can’t find the recipe? It’s true, I remember what’s in it but not the amounts so I’ll make it again today and post it soon.

Minestrone Soup

I served Minestrone Soup that was glorious, it may have been the favorite of the evening. I’ve always gotten good reviews from it. I bought new Italian seasoning and I have to say it has a bit more “kick” than my previous seasoning. I may have used less had I known it’s potency.

HC Feb 005Before

HC Feb 007After

Everyone LOVED the Lasagna! One friend wasn’t able to attend that night but has since made it for her family and they really enjoyed it. Initially she was skeptical and is a self-proclaimed snob when it comes to Italian food but she was pleasantly surprised and plans to add it to her meal rotation.

Mac & Faux Cheese

This isn’t your typical Mac & Faux Cheese. Yes it is still carbalicious but I’m not afraid of carbs. It has potatoes and cauliflower that add veggies and creaminess without the dairy or oil you would typically get in Mac & Cheese. I added a little too much potato the night of Healthy Cravings and it really muted the cheesiness of the nutritional yeast, I should have added more but I didn’t. The reviewers didn’t love this dish as much as the lasagna. My 2 year old couldn’t get enough. Most of the attenders are still eating dairy and haven’t completely transitioned to a plant-based diet. As I warn in the recipe this is better for dairy-free people. If you are used to eating dairy or boxed Mac & Cheese this will not tantalize your taste buds the same way. If you are plant-based I think you will like it, feel free to dress it up or add other vegetables.

alfredoI didn’t serve this with peas or mushrooms at Healthy Cravings but you get the idea.

We also had Happy Herbivore’s Fettuccine Alfredo. I have made this numerous times and it has always been fantastic. Until the night of Healthy Cravings. I couldn’t find the kind of tofu I normally use so I tried a different brand and it was a bust. I’m sure it scared everyone away from vegan alfredo. We don’t normally use tofu or soy, maybe a few times a year but this alfredo is (usually) worth it. Maybe that is a good lesson, you can’t let one bad experience scare you away from something.

We finished off the evening by enjoying coffee and dessert. I have to thank my Dad for giving me a Keurig for Christmas, everyone loved the coffee, especially trying the So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer in original and French Vanilla. They also loved the gluten-free Biscotti I made. It wasn’t as crisp as traditional biscotti but the flavor was great. I plan to give it another go and share the recipe soon.

Now you can imagine you were here with us! Next months food theme is Breakfast! I’ll also pay a little more attention to breakfast on the blog for the month of March.

Meal Plan Monday: Soup Week

I don’t know about you but there is something about eating soup that really helps me feel nourished. I think it is because I eat a much better variety of veggies in soup that I wouldn’t eat if they were all cooked separately.

In January of 2012 I proclaimed a Soup Week. I’m really looking forward to this one because I have a few more recipes in my tool belt. I plan to make large pots of soup each night so I can have a nice selection in my freezer.

I won’t post a whole meal plan but you can get Breakfast Ideas here. You can also click on the Meal Plan Monday in the Categories section on the right. It will bring up past meal plans you can browse.

I know I always brag about living in Arizona where the weather is wonderful and it is; however lately I’ve been cold. Not the same kind of cold everyone else is experiencing but I’m a little spoiled so I’m having a hard time handling it. My answer: sweaters, coffee, and soup.

veggie broth mix

If you use canned broth or bullion these soups will be more expensive for you and possibly less healthy. I’d like to encourage you to give the Dry Broth Mix a try. It is so good and inexpensive. It takes minutes to mix up a batch in your food processor and it lasts for a long time.

Minestrone SoupMinestrone Soup! I made this last week for Healthy Cravings and we enjoyed the leftovers all weekend. We had a tense moment yesterday when we realized it was almost gone. We shared the last few cups of it then I made the next soup.

Green Chili Cilantro & Lime SOup

Green Chili Cilantro & Lime Soup! This soup is amazing! Truly. I’ll be sharing the recipe this week. I made a large pot last night. My boys didn’t love it but my husband and I did. We both had two large bowls and he took it to work for lunch. I also put some in the freezer. I have yet to get a good picture but I don’t want to wait to share this recipe.

Potato Soup

Slow Cooker Potato Soup! This is one of the easiest recipe ever! I may switch it to a busier day but I’ve really been craving potato soup. I’ll be adding more veggies to it though and perhaps more nutritional yeast. I get a look of feedback about this soup everyone seems to love it although you may want to add more seasonings especially if you attempt to make this without nutritional yeast. An immersion blender would make it smooth and creamy.

Taco Soup (2)Taco Soup! Very similar to the Enchilada Soup so you could take your pick. This soup is my favorite, I love it. If someone made this for me I’d become their best friend. It is also full of veggies and beans so you feel immensely satisfied.

Chickpea noodle soup Chickpea Noodle Soup! This is a new favorite in our house. I’ll be adding extra veggies this time depending on what is leftover. I use gluten-free noodles, I like these little shells or macaroni instead of long noodles because my boys can handle these easier but you can use any noodles you like.

Do you have a favorite soup? I love using fresh ingredients in my soup but some days I’m happy when I can throw a bunch of canned or frozen goods together and create a warm, delicious, and filling soup. Share your favorite soup in the comments!

Meal Plan Monday: Spending Less to Eat More

People always ask me what we eat; my answer is usually, “Real Food” or something similar depending on who is asking. I don’t have to read a long ingredient list because most of what we eat is pretty simple, but that doesn’t mean plain.  I buy whole ingredients that fit into my budget, some weeks we spend more than others and I stock up when our favorites are discounted.

This weeks meal plan will focus on low-cost, high quality meals. Depending on where you live you may not have access to the same food at the same prices. Tomorrow I’ll talk  more about eating plant-based on a budget. All of the items I talk about today are regular ingredients that we keep on hand. If you are new to plant-based eating it may cost a little more while you stock your pantry. You don’t have to do this overnight; we slowly bought new things as our budget allowed.

Nutty Apple Cinnamon oatmeal

Meal Plan

Breakfast can be the least expensive meal of the day. Oatmeal is easy to prepare, but sometimes takes a little practice. Cook your oats and add your favorite toppings. I like ground flax, chia seeds, and dried cranberries or raisins. Homemade granola is another easy option especially when paired with fruit. Baked Sweet Potatoes with a little bit of cinnamon is a sweet yet filling breakfast. Check out this post for more Breakfast Ideas.

Veggie Stuffed Pita

Lunch is a great time for a really big salad. I like spinach, tomatoes, peppers, beans, onions, carrots, and whatever other veggies I have. I prefer to eat it in a wrap with hummus. Most days we eat leftovers for lunch; including my husband who always takes his lunch. Soups are one of my favorite’s for lunch; Slow Cooker Potato Soup, Taco Soup, or Minestone help me warm up and fill me with fuel. Soups can also be taken to work in a thermos and kept warm. Baked Potatoes are also inexpensive yet filling, especially when combined with steamed or raw broccoli, raw veggies or any of the other lunch items mentioned. We do have our fair share of sandwiches (me and the kids) but they aren’t as inexpensive or nutritious.

apple slices with almond butter

Snacks are a great way to add an extra serving of fruit or veggies to your day. Sliced apples dipped in nut butter or veggies dipped in hummus are a favorite with my boys. Sometimes I make green smoothies too. If you have an early lunch and late dinner you may need a more substantial snack. Homemade granola or granola bars are much less expensive than sore brought and can be customized to your preferences.

Mexican Rice and Bean Casserole

Dinner is typically the biggest meal of the day at our house. The other meals are reactions while dinner is (usually) planned. We’ve been adding more salads to our dinner. I also try to have beans or a bean dominate dish. Beans are cheap and versatile. This Mexican Casserole has received rave reviews from adults and kids and is made with pantry staples. This Broccoli and Brown Rice Casserole is also a crowd pleaser and made with fresh or frozen broccoli. Our teenage daughter requested this once a week for months. Bean Burgers, Lentil Tacos, or Quinoa Tacos are easily mixed and matched for extra meals and make a great topping on top of a Taco Salad.

You’ll notice that these recipes are gluten-free, unprocessed, inexpensive and easy. Tomorrow I’ll talk more about how to eat a plant-based diet while eating inexpensively.

What are you eating this week? Any My Plant-Based Family recipes?

Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful

Ok, it isn’t exactly frightful here in Arizona but I am cold. Give me 100° F and I am alright, 60° F and we might have a problem. Truthfully, I am thankful to live in such a warm climate; since I am acclimated I spend the “winter” bundled up in sweatshirts (I don’t have a warm coat, it’s Arizona after all).

Chances are you live somewhere much colder; this week’s high is 72° F and the low is 36° F. So if you really need to warm up may I offer you a few suggestions?

The Best Chili Ever

This Very Vegan Chili is Texas style and very satisfying. I eat it plain or as a Baked Potato topping.

taco soupMake a double batch of this Taco Soup because you will not be able to stop eating it. It’s easily customizable and perfect to serve guests. If the Taco Soup had a cousin it would be this Enchilada Soup.

Minestrone SoupIf you are craving a bowl full of veggie goodness then look no further. This Minestrone Soup is truly amazing. You will love it and love me. 🙂 It is easily made gluten-free by using rice pasta.

Potato Soup

If you’d like to pull out a slow cooker and let dinner make itself you must try this Potato Soup. Feel free to add other veggies as well.

Do you have a favorite soup to keep you warm in the winter? If not try any one of these easy, frugal, gluten-free soups. They are all full of fiber that will keep you full and fueled. You wont be sorry. If you decided to name you next child after me I’ll understand. 🙂

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