One of my most special food memories is a tomato soup served at a hotel I stayed at ten years ago in the Tuscan countryside not far from the beautiful city of Sienna, in Italy. It was absolutely perfect in its rustic simplicity. But this was before my vegan and gluten free journey began and it did contain both white bread and parmesan cheese.I am pleased to have come up with an ultra-healthy alternative, that also happens to be very easy and quick to make. Not to mention cheap, with the main ingredient being canned tomatoes (try to find good quality ones though!). It is creamy from cauliflower and nutritional yeast, and flavoured with thyme and basil, and just like that soup I had in Tuscany it contains bread, but the healthier and gluten-free kind. Do give this one a try – I am sure you’ll like it!
- THE SOUP
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tsp thyme
- A handful cauliflower florets, chopped
- ⅓ cup white wine
- A pinch of salt, more to taste
- 2 cans tomatoes (of good quality)
- ½ tbsp maple syrup or other sweetener
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast (if not vegan, you can use parmesan cheese)
- ¼ cup gluten free bread crumbs
- A very small handful of fresh basil
- A little freshly cracked black pepper
- THE TOPPING
- A couple of slices of gluten free bread, crumbled
- 1 small handful of fresh basil
- ½ tsp sea salt
- A little freshly cracked pepper
- Bring a frying pan to medium heat and add the chopped onion. Dry-sauté for about seven minutes while stirring, until the onions start to go translucent. Then add the garlic, the thyme and the cauliflower. Sauté for another half a minute while stirring - do not burn! - and then add the white wine to deglaze, followed after half a minute with the canned tomatoes, the salt and the maple syrup/sweetener. Bring to a boil.
- After about a minute, remove the pan from the stove and add the nutritional yeast, the breadcrumbs, the basil and a little pepper. Move it all into a food processor and blend thoroughly for a minute or two until completely smooth. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if needed.
- Now quickly move on to prepare the topping. Crumble the gluten free bread and finely chop the basil. Combine the two and add salt and pepper.
- Pour the soup into serving bowls and top with the bread/basil mix.