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When the weather is cold outside, tomato soup and grilled cheese always hit the right spot. The flavors are located somewhere between our favorite childhood memory and the most comforting meal we crave as adults.
Growing up, tomato soup was often made from our home-canned concentrate. I still can the concentrate each year, but I also love to make a quick, fresh soup. The ingredients are simple and almost always what we have in the pantry.
To make this creamy without the heaviness of actual cream, I added white beans. Once the whole soup is blended, the beans become creamy and give just the right texture. It’s an easy swap-out that makes this a dairy-free recipe!
The ingredients that make up this tomato soup
- Butter is the fat used to sauté and is essential to a well-rounded tomato soup. The richness of the butter balances out the acidity of tomatoes.
- Celery, onion, and carrot are the unusual players in this soup. Instead of only tomatoes, these vegetables add an underlyingly full vegetal flavor to enhance the tomatoes. No one will guess they’re in the soup, but will love the flavor.
- Tomato paste is not often found in tomato soup. The paste is condensed tomato and has a concentrated flavor accompanied with some sweetness. This turns the tomato flavor up a notch without adding too much liquid.
- Canned diced tomatoes are tomatoes picked while ripe and instantly canned to retain all of their flavor and freshness. The fresh tomatoes at the grocery store in the off-season are tasteless. These canned tomatoes are always in season.
- White beans are the secret component that makes this a creamy but dairy-free soup. Everyone loves a creamy tomato soup, but the added fat and rich cream can drown out the other flavors. White beans are almost tasteless and provide the best texture.
Tomato soup is oftentimes an afterthought. This recipe brings it back to the forefront of your meal list! The best part is how easy and quick it is to make. While it’s cooking, you can get the grilled cheese ready and soon you’ll have a perfect comforting meal.
Watch how to make this creamy tomato soup
Dairy-Free Creamy Tomato Soup
- 2 tbsp butter (or oil)
- ¾ cup diced celery
- ¾ cup diced carrot
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 6-oz can tomato paste
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- ½ tsp celery seed
- 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 15-oz can white beans drained
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup water (as needed)
- Melt butter (or oil) in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the celery, carrot, onion, salt, and pepper. Stir and cover to allow the vegetable to soften but not brown, 4-5 minutes.2 tbsp butter (or oil), ¾ cup diced celery, ¾ cup diced carrot, 1 cup diced onion, 1 ½ tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper
- Once the vegetables have softened and released some liquid, add the garlic and tomato paste. Cook the tomato paste until it has darkened and wants to coat the bottom of the saucepan, 2-3 minutes.2 cloves garlic, 1 6-oz can tomato paste
- Add the chili flakes and celery seed and stir. Pour in the tomatoes, white beans, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally until the carrots are fully soft, 15-20 minutes.1 tsp chili flakes, ½ tsp celery seed, 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes, 1 15-oz can white beans, 1 cup water (as needed)
- Once the carrots are fully soft, remove the soup from the heat and add the apple cider vinegar. Pour the soup into a blender canister. Leave the vent on the lid open and cover with a dishcloth to allow the steam to escape. Blend until smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes. Return to the saucepan and keep warm until ready to serve.1 tbsp apple cider vinegar