I like this recipe all three ways:
1. Tomato Bisque
2. Chunky Tomato (vegan)
3. Smooth Tomato (vegan)
To make Chunky Tomato, skip the blender and the cream. To make Smooth Tomato, just skip the cream. Soup 3 ways – simple!
2 Tbs olive oil
1 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp plus 1/4 tsp sea salt
2 Tbs double concentrated tomato paste
4 15 oz cans diced tomatoes
1 cup vegetable stock
2 Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1 sprig thyme
about 16 medium basil leaves
1/2 to 1 cup heavy cream, heated (you could probably use milk, but likely get a looser soup)
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat, add carrots and onions. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, stirring frequently. When the onions begin to soften, stir in 2 cloves minced garlic. Cook garlic 2 minutes then add tomato paste. Stir and cook an additional 2 minutes.
Add tomatoes, stock, 2 teaspoons salt, pepper, sugar and thyme sprig. Using half of your basil leaves, (eight, saving eight for later) tear in half then add. Mix very well.
Cook uncovered over medium-high heat until it begins to bubble. Cover with a tight fitting lid and reduce heat to medium low, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes. Remove lid and reduce heat to low, cook an additional 20 minutes on low. Remove thyme sprig. [Stop here for Chunky tomato soup.]
Place cooked ingredients into a food processor or blender and purée until smooth. [Stop here for Smooth tomato soup.]
After the soup is puréed, add heavy cream, which should previously heated. Use anywhere from 1/2 to 1 cup, depending on how creamy you want your soup. Put your blender to the lowest setting and add cream while blending. Return to the pot and cook an additional 10 minutes over medium heat to thicken the cream. Cut remaining basil leaves into ribbons, then add to completed soup.
Sprinkle a little Parmesan or Romano cheese on top if you like – I do!