An attempt was made at homemade tomato soup

MINDY MALONE | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

MINDY MALONE, Evergreen columnist

Easy Vegan Tomato Basil Soup

  • Gluten-free, nut-free, vegan

Serving size: 4 bowls

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 head onion chopped

25 ounces pureed tomatoes

10 ounces water

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground pepper

3 cups cooked organic gluten-free fusilli

3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Directions:

  1. Fry the chopped onions in the olive oil for a few minutes until they turn light brown.
  2. Add all the ingredients to a small soup pot. Stir and cover.
  3. Cook for 25-30 minutes. Taste while cooking.
  4. Optional: use a hand blender to make the soup extra smooth and creamy.
  5. Add the fusilli pasta and top with fresh basil.

 

In light of my New Year’s resolution to eat vegan as often as possible, I planned to find a recipe free of common dietary restrictions. I can’t comment on the sodium levels, or guarantee this is kosher, but this recipe is certifiably gluten-free, nut-free and vegan.

The snow has made driving to the grocery store somewhat dangerous, so I opted to take this recipe one step further and used ingredients found exclusively on campus.

Instead of 25 ounces of pureed tomatoes, I used four six-ounce cans of tomato paste. I have the means to puree tomatoes, but I didn’t want to assume everyone who wants to try this recipe does. Pureed tomatoes can never be substituted for tomato paste, but with enough water I figured I could substitute paste for puree in a pinch.

The original recipe calls for tortellini, but that’s tied with spaghetti for my least favorite type of pasta, and the Northside Market has bags of fusilli pasta made in a “dedicated facility free of milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts and gluten”.

The Northside Market doesn’t sell garlic or fresh basil, but olive oil, fresh onions and dried basil, thyme and garlic are all available. Feel free to season to taste, rather than measure the exact amounts listed. It tastes better that way.

When I was placing everything in the soup pot, I realized part of this recipe’s prepping includes cooking the pasta beforehand, which I’d forgotten to do. To save time, I put about half the bag of fusilli into two quarts of water and cooked it on a low boil for seven minutes before draining it. Then I moved the al dente fusilli into the soup pot to continue cooking with the rest of the soup.

I added 24 ounces of water to the pot instead of 10 ounces, in an attempt to thin out the tomato paste. In the end, my soup had the consistency of a runny tomato sauce, so if you choose to use tomato paste instead of puree, I advise adding another cup of water. Since the Northside Market sells tomatoes on the vine, if you have the means to puree, I recommend you do.

Most important of all: make sure the lid is on tightly before turning the burner on. This soup is happy to bubble and cover your stove and counter in tomato sauce if you’re not careful.