Monday, October 11, 2010

Creme of Tomato and Brown Rice Soup

I have been fascinated recently with the stats section of the dashboard. Do any of you monitor which posts are most popular on your blog and how many page views you get? I just started paying attention to this and it is rather fascinating. I am a little sad to say the most popular post overall, by far in the one for my homemade vegan mayo. While this is a great recipe and very much like that refrigerated product that costs a lot it is not very healthy. It makes me just a little sad that this is the post that is most popular. However the second most popular is the baked falafel post that also talks about soy protein isolates so that is great news since it is a relatively new post. Let’s hear it for a big group of healthy readers. Woo hoo! ;-)

Okay enough nonsense back to the regularly scheduled blog. Can you tell I am in a goofball mood today? I am in a very weird mood for some unknown reason. Do you ever find yourself in those odd moods and don’t know why?

Sunday Lunch:

Cream of tomato soup with brown basmati rice was what I made for the mid day meal with my parents. I was still cold from our morning trip to the market four hours after we got home so the only thing I was in the mood for was hot food. Dan suggested tomato soup with rice and I thought that was a great idea since would be a very low involvement meal. When I make a soup like this I prefer to cook the rice separately from the soup. By cooking the rice separately you ensure the rice doesn’t end up overcooked. I started the rice so it would be done 30 minutes before my parents were expecting to eat.

Next I made the soup base using the Vitamix. If the soup was just for Dan and I could have made the base entirely in the Vitamix but I needed more than the container would hold so I started it in the blender and finished it on the stove. Here is what I did:

Crème of Tomato Soup with Brown Basmati Rice
Serves 5


1 cup brown basmati rice, raw
2 cups water
1 red onion, peeled and diced (allow to stand 10 minutes before adding to the blender)
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced (allow to stand 10 minutes before adding to the blender)
10 cups tomatoes, peeled
1 cup raw cashews
nutritional yeast to taste to mimic butter (I used approximately 3 tablespoons)
Italian seasoning to taste (I used about 1 ½ tablespoons)
black pepper to taste


Combine the rice and water and cook until tender. You want the rice to have time to cool and then sit undisturbed for 10 or 15 minutes before you are ready to serve. The final 10 minutes off the heat makes a difference in the final texture of the rice.

To make the soup combine some of the tomatoes and the onion and garlic in your blender and process until smooth. Pour this into a soup pot. Combine add tomatoes and the cashews and process until completely smooth and add that to the soup pot. Heat the soup until it begins to bubble then simmer on low until you have cooked out the raw onion and garlic flavor. Add the nutritional yeast, Italian seasoning and black pepper to taste.

To serve place the cooked brown rice in the pot and stir to combine or place the rice in the base of the bowl and top with soup. You can garnish the soup with fresh minced parsley, walnut parmesan, dehydrated leeks, a dollop of cashew crème fraiche or keep it simple and add only freshly ground black pepper.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 344.66
Calories From Fat (27%) - 91.52

Total Fat - 10.28g
Saturated Fat - 1.81g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 27.49mg
Potassium - 1078.56mg
Total Carbohydrates - 52.25g
Fiber - 6.93g
Sugar - 10.94g
Protein - 10.15g


This is a version of my standard crème of tomato soup. You can flavor it many different ways. I tend to stick with Italian seasonings since that is my favorite cuisine. Gee I wonder why, LOL. This soup is very simple to make but it was enjoyed by both the vegans and omnivores in this family. If you need a quick hot meal this makes a good one.


Eating with my parents at 3 pm typically means we often skip dinner on the weekends. This was one of those days. Dan and I decided to have green smoothies like I typically make for breakfast. They included: frozen banana, kale, cinnamon, ginger, water, chia or ground flax and walnuts for Dan.


No big surprise Dan thought he “needed” to have strawberry banana soft serve before he went to bed. I keep telling you guys he could eat this every night and that is not an exaggeration. I had two spoons that I scraped out of the container once I made his serving of soft serve. Then I made myself a double green tea with powdered ascorbate C.


Even though we were still awake long after midnight last night the alarm still went off early this morning. I really am not a morning person. *sigh* No doubt my lack of loving morning has to do with the fact that I don’t go bed early enough. In most cases we are all our own worst enemies.


I did make a huge batch of fresh veggie and fruit juice so that Dan had a liter of juice for in his lunch and I had two cups for my breakfast with a handful of walnuts. I used the same basic combination as I outlined here.

Dan had his usual oatmeal with wild blueberries, walnuts, flaxseeds, cinnamon, and ginger. I tried to encourage him to try the savory oatmeal but he wanted to stick with fruit. Courtney I said you would be disappointed but that didn’t work though he did suggest I was pulling out all the stops to get him to try it. I haven’t given up yet.

Mid morning:

My dad has some appointments today which meant I needed to be available in case my mom needed anything. Thankfully everything was quiet but this did mean I had to stay very close to home in case I was needed. For some reason my parents are only capable of calling my landline though I have had the same cell number for a decade. *shakes head*

It was a shame to be stuck inside today since the weather was absolutely amazing today. Our temperatures were in the upper 80’s today which is completely crazy given that it is the second week in October. I did take the opportunity to open up the house and get it aired out.


Since I am still trying to reduce my freezer inventory I defrosted a piece of eggplant parmesan/lasagna for my lunch. Freezing this didn’t seem to alter the taste or the texture so that was a good experiment. It was not as “pretty” though so I used the original photograph. I wouldn’t serve it to company (because of the look) but it was fine for lunch. I use a Foodsaver bag to get the air out when freezing food. Freezing things is a little bit of the process since I also don’t want the food to be in contact with the plastic. I accomplish this by freezing individual portions until they are solid. Then I wrap the serving with parchment or waxed paper and slide that into a Foodsaver bag and vacuum seal it. My technique is a bit of pain but it works.


I ended up having a bowl of leftover red lentil and barley soup in a big mug for my afternoon nosh. The flavor of this soup has really improved while sitting. I love it when soup does that. Too bad it is almost gone now.


I am not really sure what got into me today but I ended up rearranging the furniture in the family room. Rearranging furniture always feels like a government make work project. Why do I do this to myself? I was chatting with a friend today who said she does the same thing so maybe it is a girl thing. Hopefully tomorrow I will actually tackle something on my to-do rather than finding new things to add to the list.

Here is Mr. Binky giving me a dirty look because I had just moved the chair across the room that he was sleeping on. He didn’t even pick up his head but he did open his eyes and shoot me a look. Who spoiled these cats? It must be Dan it couldn’t possibly be my fault, LOL. Okay so maybe I played a small part in it. Good thing I love these little fur balls.


Since I spent (wasted) so much time rearranging furniture I didn’t do any cooking today. Shocking to hear that I know. That actually worked out fine today since my refrigerator is stuffed. There was a bit of room after using so much produce to make fresh juice this morning but that only made enough room to get a little air circulation. I actually rather like knowing we will be eating fresh produce this evening in the form of a salad instead of cooked food. My body seems to operate best when I am eating at least 50% raw. Having a cooked lunch and snack left me feeling a little full and sluggish if that makes sense.

Our salad tonight consisted of: romaine, avocado, salsa, thinly sliced cucumber, Roma tomatoes, dehydrated leeks and raw sunflower seeds. It was a nice light salad perfect for two people who would be spending the time before bed relaxing.

Signing out:

Dan is busy catching up on sci fi he DVR’d while I put the post together. I have a few things I would like to get to before it is time to turn in meaning it is time to stop writing now. ;-)

There should be cooking taking place at our house tomorrow since I need to make food to include in Dan’s lunch on Wednesday. I will be back soon to let you know what I dream up. I hope everyone had a good start to the week. Talk to you again soon.


  1. lol binky didnt move while you wre moving his "roost" how funny! thats neat that you can see which posts we viewed most often. i get what you are saying about wishing it was a healthier recipe that people were looking for, but i think its really great! i mean its healthier than the original! and while people are here looking for that recipe they probably look at all the other fun vegan/healthy recipes.

  2. Loving all the soup recipes right now. Though, it's still too warm here to really enjoy them. I've been wanting tomato soup with a grilled "cheese" sandwich lately.

  3. The soup sounds yummy! And thanks for the link to the mayo recipe. I don't eat it much but my husband does. I saw a jar (it was a large-ish jar) of vegan mayo for over $10!! Sorry, too rich for my blood (pun intended).

    Have a great day!

  4. Michelle,

    Binky is a bit spoiled, LOL. All he did was open his eyes and give me a look.

    You can see which posts are more popular on your blog too. Go to the stats tab which is the last on the right when you are on the dashboard.

    Great point about maybe people look at the healthier recipes while they are here. I like the way you think. ;-)


  5. Heather,

    There will probably be another soup recipe later today. I packed the end of the lentil and barley soup in Dan's lunch this morning. It was upper 80's yesterday so it was a bit warm for soup, but I love soup so I don't mind. ;-)

    I bet you could use the white bean cheese or a thicker version of the vegan queso for a grilled cheese sandwich. I agree that is perfect with tomato soup. It was my favorite lunch for growing up.


  6. Neca,

    I worked on that vegan mayo for weeks to get it "right" and that was just before I gave up oil. It figures right, LOL.

    You should try to make the mayo for your hubby, I was shocked by how well it actually turned out in the end. My early experiments were not so successful. ;-) I think the taste and texture of the final version is exactly like mayo made traditionally with egg.


  7. Haha--I won't give up on Dan yet either then! I am sure he'll come around if you continue to enjoy and rave about the savory oatmeal :-)


  8. Courtney,

    I will be reminding him that he said he would try the savory oats. Men! *rolls eyes*

    I think he picked a green smoothie today because he was in a hurry this morning.


  9. Hi Ali,
    Great idea with the cashews to make the soup creamy. If I wanted to try roasted tomatoes in the soup, do you have a method (time/temperature)for roasting? I know I've seen it in your blog but I can't remember where. Thanks so much for the ideas!

  10. Jill,

    Roasted tomatoes would be good here, as would smoked tomaotes. To roast your tomatoes you have a few options. You can roast them low (250) and slow (at least an hour) and then finish them under the broiler to mimic a fire roasted flavor. Alternately you can roast them at 350 for about 1/2 the amount of time but you will need to check on them more often so they don't get too dried out.

    Let me know if you need more info.


  11. Hi Ali,
    Thanks for the reminder re: your falafel/ soy isolate post. I will give that a read later today. Hope you're having a nice afternoon!

  12. Aimee,

    Glad I could help. ;-) Processed soy is so scary to me and it is in most processed foods. I noticed a few weeks ago it is now listed in all the whole wheat flat breads I used to buy. *sigh*

    I am having a great day I hope the same is happening at your place.


  13. Your tomato soup looks delish! I've never been a fan of tomato soups, but that was before I became a vegan. I will have to try yours out. It sounds like a good one to start with! :o)
    I did't know you could check the status of what was getting viewed most often. I will have to check that out!

  14. Michelle,

    I grew up on cream of tomato soup and grilled cheese sanwiches. This was probably because my mother has always hated to cook. For years I avoided tomato soup because I was sick of it. However recently I have been craving it again. It doesn't hurt that I can make it in 5 minutes in my Vitamix either, LOL.

    Check out the stats tab on your dashboard. It is fascinating I think. But I am a numbers geek so it might not be as interesting to everyone. ;-)


  15. Interesting, I have not checked out the stats on blogger. I rarely post my blog entries on twitter, but that one got the most hits so far.

    Your soup snack looks good. I typically eat leftovers for lunch, but oftentimes in reheating them they become overcooked. Soup seems to be exempt from that problem, though. Like you mentioned, it just gets better.

  16. Jessica,

    I noticed the same thing that my posts which I also included on twitter got more hits. Fascinating info isn't it?

    Soup does reheat beautifully. That is one of its many charms I think. You are right not everything is as good reheated. That is one reason you see so much soup on my blog. ;-)

    I hope you are having a good Tuesday,

  17. Aren't salads the absolute best? I just feel so good after eating a big salad.

    So funny about Binky not moving. I am dying to change my furniture around, but have an old, sick little Pomeranian who is very set in her ways and routines and don't dare risk her getting confused or upset.

    The tomato soup looks awesome. I haven't started eating any rices or quinoa or anything yet. I am a little afraid that if I do, I will go overboard, so am waiting until more weight is lost. Right now I have an occassional whole wheat pita, but almost all veggies, fruits, beans, nuts, etc.

    Thanks for another great post!!


  18. Lolly,

    I completely agree with you on salads I just love them. I was chatting with my vegan dietitian friend a few minutes ago and we were discussing our mutual salad love. If I don't eat salad everyday I don't feel right now. LOL

    If I had any old fur babies I wouldn't be moving things around either. Poor baby. Old pets are so easily confused.

    It is great that you know what your trigger foods are. For me it is bread so I don't keep it in the house. As long as those things aren't here I can't indulge or in my case probably over indulge. ;-)

    I hope your finger is healing quickly,

  19. Hi Ali,
    Thanks so much for the tip on roasting the tomatoes. I can taste the firey roasted tomato soup now!

  20. Jill,

    You are very welcome. Glad I could help. :-)



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