We went to lunch at this cute restaurant called Breakfast At Tifiny's for grandma's 91st birthday. No kids, so I didn't have to worry about gluten and cross contamination. Just enjoyed a yummy French inspired meal...well, except for my soup, which was most definitely Italian inspired. Normally I like my tomato soup smooth and pureed, but the version I enjoyed at lunch that day wasn't. So I recreated the tomato basil soup a few days later for the kids.
Tomato basil has always been a favorite, plus it's so simple to make and very versatile, naturally gluten free, and easily made dairy free as well. We like it with some salad and gluten free bread all on it's own one night, take the left overs and add some meat and veggies using it as a base for stew the next, or toss in some gluten free noodles and call it goulash. This is our favorite gluten free pasta.
To make a dairy free heavy cream alternative you can choose from a couple options.
1- Take a can of full fat coconut milk and sit it in the fridge while you're preparing everything else. Don't shake it or turn it upside down as you're getting it out because when you open it there should be a thick layer of coconut cream that's separated from the water. Scoop that out and add it to the soup as a dairy free heavy cream alternative.
2- Take a can of low sodium white beans and puree them in a food processor until smooth. This will not only add a creamy consistency that will thicken the soup, but will also add some extra fiber and protein. You could also use garbanzo bean or fava flour.
Tomato Basil Soup
2 tbsp. olive oil, ghee, or organic butter
1 onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 cloves, minced
2 cans stewed tomatoes
3-4 cups chicken stock (homemade bottled stock)
8 oz. tomato paste
1 cup dairy free heavy cream alternative
1 bay leaf
12-14 fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
Sea salt or pink salt and black pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the garlic, onion, and celery. Cook vegetables until they begin to caramelize then add in the tomatoes, paste, and stock. Stir everything together until the paste is incorporated then add in your cream alternative of choice, bay leaf, and basil. Stir it up, turn it to low, and put a lid on it. You can let it simmer on low in a slow cooker for 2-4 hours or at least 20-30 minutes on the stove. You can eat as is, or blend until smooth. Remove the bay leaf before serving.