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  • Writer's pictureKelly

Tomato "Bisque" (AKA Creamy Tomato Soup) (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Sugar-Free)

Updated: Apr 14, 2023

This soup is a vegan take on tomato bisque, but isn't a true bisque because bisques are specifically made with shellfish stock (shellfish broth) and dairy cream. In this recipe, I substituted these two ingredients with vegetable stock and full-fat coconut milk. This soup is very hardy, creamy, flavorful, and it literally warms the soul. You'll probably want to curl up under a blanket next to the fireplace after having this soup. Legit. If you're looking for a comforting side dish that is perfect for the transition from summer into fall and is healthy, this is the recipe to go with.



Guys! This is my first savory dish and side dish on The Dimpled Date!! Not surprisingly I still used my go-to ingredient in baking in this recipe even though this soup is savory and is not a dessert/baked-good. You guessed it, I used dates. I used date paste instead of sugar to cut the acidity of the tomatoes, and honestly I can't even taste the date paste in here and it effectively balances the acidity while boosting this recipe's nutrition. You will probably be seeing me use date paste a lot in savory recipes to balance flavors/acidity, as I found that it works in this soup.


One of the good parts, besides flavor, about this soup? It can be enjoyed year-round! It is light enough that it can be eaten on its own in the spring/summer time, but hardy and comforting enough that it can paired with rice and/or extra veggies and warm you right up during the fall/winter time. Plus, this recipe calls for puréed tomatoes (crushed tomatoes) which are available in stores in all seasons, unlike fresh, home-grown tomatoes, which are typically only available in the summertime. To make things easier, I used canned crushed tomatoes here rather than using fresh tomatoes to make crushed tomatoes.



Nutritional Profile of Tomato "Bisque"


Olive oil- olive oil contains healthy fats including monounsaturated fat, which is known to lower cholesterol levels and promote heart health. Healthy fats are also good for your brain, skin, and hair. Additionally, olive oil contains antioxidants and some vitamins. Moreover, olive oil has anti-inflammatory properties.


Vegan butter- vegan butter (such as Earth Balance) is often made using vegetable oils which are loaded with healthy fats. Healthy fats benefit everything from your cardiovascular system & nervous system to your skin & hair health.


Tomatoes- tomatoes (and thus, tomato purée/crushed tomatoes) have multiple health benefits despite having a bad rep for causing inflammation in arthritis patients (which is an urban myth). Thanks to their high lycopene, fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and beta-carotene content, this fruit (or vegetable, or whatever you consider it) is good for digestion, heart health, and skin health & protecting against sunburn (courtesy of their high lycopene content). Tomatoes are also believed to help prevent certain types of cancer due to their high amounts of lycopene and other carotenoids.


Carrots- carrots are rich in beta carotene (which your body turns into vitamin A), fiber, biotin, potassium, and beneficial plant compounds such as lycopene and lutein. These nutrients are good for eye health, digestive health, heart health, hair, skin, and nail health, and blood pressure levels and help prevent certain kinds of cancer.


Garlic- garlic is an excellent source of antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds including allicin, and it promotes heart health (by reducing LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels and lowering blood pressure) and may help prevent degenerative diseases of the brain, like Alzheimer's. (Tip: Add fresh garlic to your meal after the heat has been turned off and then serve immediately. When garlic is cooked for too long, even at low heat, its beneficial compounds break down and you can't reap the same health benefits as you would from raw garlic. I know in this recipe it says to cook the garlic, but when making, say, fresh vegetables like sautéed spinach, add the fresh garlic after the heat is turned off.)


Onion- onions are chock-full of potassium, fiber, and vitamin C. These nutrients are good for immune health, heart health, and digestive health. Also, onions may help regulate blood sugar.




Sea salt- sea salt nourishes the adrenal glands, balances electrolytes, and provides the body with micronutrients. Try purchasing Himalayan pink sea salt.


Basil- basil is a great source of antioxidants, vitamins A and K, and iron. These nutrients are good for immune health, blood health, and help fight free radical damage. Basil is also believed to lower blood pressure & reduce cholesterol levels and regulate blood sugar.


Oregano- oregano is filled with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.


Turmeric- turmeric is excellent at reducing inflammation (thanks to its main active ingredient: curcumin, which is a powerful antioxidant) and also has mild anti-fungal properties. Turmeric is good for heart health and may prevent certain types of cancer and degenerative diseases. (Tip: Curcumin is very poorly absorbed by the body, so when using turmeric in a recipe, also add some black pepper, as the black pepper can improve your body's absorption of curcumin by 2,000%).


Paprika- paprika is rich in fiber, vitamin A, vitamin E, iron, and antioxidants. Paprika benefits eye health, reduces inflammation, lowers LDL ("bad") cholesterol and boosts HDL ("good") cholesterol, and helps in the formation and the functioning of red blood cells.


Red pepper flakes/cayenne pepper- red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper come from the same group of chili peppers and are rich in capsaicin (the active ingredient in chilies that makes them hot). Capsaicin boosts your metabolism and may lower blood pressure.


Black pepper- black pepper is full of antioxidants, fights inflammation, and helps with the absorption of other nutrients and compounds, like curcumin, which is found in turmeric.


Dates- dates (and thus, date paste which is puréed whole dates and water) are packed with antioxidants, fiber, protein, and iron. These nutrients are great for your digestive tract, heart health, muscles, and blood cell health and fight disease-causing free radicals.


Full-fat coconut milk- full-fat coconut milk provides healthy fats (including plant-based saturated fats, which are believed to actually have health benefits), fiber, protein, and trace minerals. These nutrients are good for digestive health, heart health, brain health, muscular health, and skin & hair health.



Substitutions


You can substitute any kind of healthy vegetable oil for the olive oil (i.e. avocado oil, grapeseed oil, etc.) or you can substitute the oil with additional vegan butter. I wouldn't recommend omitting the vegan butter, as it adds to the richness of this soup, but you can swap in additional oil for it. If you have a recipe for homemade crushed tomatoes using fresh tomatoes, then you can use the same amount of homemade crushed tomatoes in place of the canned crushed/puréed tomatoes.


The carrots in this soup boost the nutrition and add to the flavor, but you can swap the 2 carrots this recipe calls for with 2 stalks of fresh celery. The garlic and the onion really make this soup taste good, but if you can't do them on your diet or don't have them on hand, try leaving them out or adding garlic powder and/or onion powder, to taste. You can sub table salt for the sea salt. You can substitute dried basil, to taste for the fresh basil leaves.


The spices you can use in here can be customized, I just used the spices in the amounts I used because I found this recipe tastes best that way. The oregano can be substituted with Italian seasoning. The turmeric is difficult to substitute, but you don't have to use it if you don't want it in your soup (although, all the spices I used in this recipe combine perfectly). The paprika can be swapped with smoked paprika and you can use either red pepper flakes OR ground cayenne pepper. You may omit the black pepper, but I recommend using it.


You can substitute any kind of vegan, gluten-free stock/broth for the vegetable stock or make a homemade vegetable broth. You can substitute 1 tsp of white sugar (if you can do sugar on your diet) for the date paste. Lastly, the full-fat coconut milk is what gives this "bisque" its richness and creaminess but if you need a substitute, you could try using unsweetened plain almond milk or any kind of unsweetened plain plant milk (the creamier the better).



By the Way...

There are two ways to blend this soup to get it to a creamy consistency:


1. Blend the soup in a high-speed blender until smooth & creamy (scoop out the soup in batches and blend parts of it at a time)


OR


2. While the soup is still in the pot, use an immersion blender (stick blender) to purée the ingredients together until all of the ingredients are blended together and the soup is uniform & creamy



I hope you guys enjoy this recipe and Happy (almost) Fall!


Enjoy,

-K.



Tomato "Bisque" (AKA Creamy Tomato Soup) (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Sugar-Free)



Prep Time: 0 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes to 1 hour

Total Time: 50 minutes to 1 hour

Serves: 10 to 12 servings


Ingredients:


-1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (can sub oil of choice)

-1 Tbsp vegan butter (like Earth Balance)

-2 medium carrots, sliced into rounds

-1 small yellow or white onion, diced

-1/2 tsp sea salt

-1 1/2 Tbsp finely sliced fresh basil leaves

-pinch dried oregano

-pinch ground turmeric

-1/4 tsp paprika

-pinch red pepper flakes OR cayenne pepper

-1/8 tsp ground black pepper

-3 1/2 cloves minced garlic

-3 1/2 cups vegetable stock/broth

-1/2 tsp date paste

-29 oz tomato purée or crushed tomatoes (free of added sugar)

-1 cup full-fat coconut milk, stirred


For garnish (optional):


-Chopped carrot greens (the green tops of whole carrots)

-Freeze-dried chives

-Additional full-fat coconut milk

-Sprinkle of vegan parmesan cheese

-Sprinkle of paprika


Directions:


1. In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, melt the vegan butter and olive oil together.


2. Turn the heat back to medium to medium-low and add the carrots, onion, sea salt, basil, oregano, turmeric, paprika, red pepper flakes/cayenne pepper, and black pepper and sauté (stirring occasionally) until the onions are softened and translucent, 5 to 10 minutes.


3. Add the garlic and sauté (stirring frequently) until browned and fragrant, about 1 minute.


4. Add the vegetable broth, crushed tomatoes/tomato purée, and the date paste and stir.


5. Turn the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.


6. Next, once it's done simmering, blend the soup. You can either scoop out the soup from the pot in small portions at a time and blend in a high-speed blender in batches until all of the soup is blended OR use an immersion blender (stick blender) while the soup is still in the pot, and in a circular motion, blend the soup until smooth & creamy (while looking out for stray chunks of onion and carrot that should be incorporated). (I made this soup using an immersion blender (stick blender)).


7. Turn the heat off and stir in the full-fat coconut milk.


8. Serve with chopped carrot greens, freeze-dried chives, additional full-fat coconut milk, a sprinkle of vegan parmesan cheese, and/or a pinch of paprika and enjoy!


Store leftover soup in an air-tight container with a lid in the fridge for up to one week.

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