Our number one mission is to create a culture around plant-based eating. It’s not a fleeting diet or food trend (or, contrary to my family’s early predictions, it’s not just a phase that I’m going through). It’s a way of life. It’s here to stay.
Food and culture fascinate me (which is why Michael Pollan is my hero). The traditions behind food are what anchor it in our lives, whether we realize it or not. For example, did you know the tradition of celebrating birthdays with a cake is thought to date back to the ancient Greeks? They adorned sweet breads with candles so that the smoke could carry their prayers up to the Gods. This is why we make a wish when we blow out our candles! Compare this to the food fads that litter the diet industry today. Eating clean, Fiber One bars and Splenda-sweetened desserts are hardly cultural dishes- at least not part of a culture with staying power. By sucking the deeper meaning out of our food, we’ve frankly forgotten how to feed ourselves.
For foodways to become tied to our culture, they need staying power. What gives them staying power? A deeper meaning beyond “this will make me skinny” or “this tastes good”. Our meals need to hold memories. Our meals need to represent something foundational about who we are. Our meals need to nourish us both physically and emotionally. For food to become part of our culture, it should make you feel more connected to your community, your loved ones, and yourself. This is my mission. Step one: transform the dishes that are part of our current lukewarm food culture into meals that nourishes instead of meals that make us unhealthy and sick.
Most Americans have some memory attached to a steamy bowl of tomato soup (likely of the Campbell’s canned variety). Strangely, my strongest memory connected to tomato soup is eating it at summer camp as a kid. This version is a fresh take on our Creamy Vegan Tomato Soup, and tastes infinitely better than the canned version. It’s an opportunity to redefine a cultural staple and to appreciate the season’s peppers and tomatoes before they are gone. If you want to dip, I highly suggest pairing this spicy soup with a few wedges of our Easy Yamadillas.
- 10 ounces cherry tomatoes, sliced into halves
- Red bell pepper, sliced into strips or rings
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for roasting cherry tomatoes and bell pepper
- 1 medium onion, roughly diced
- ½ cup raw cashews
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
- 14.5-oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (more or less, depending on your heat preference)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375F
- Toss sliced tomatoes and bell pepper with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt.
- Spread in a single layer onto a baking sheet.
- Roast in preheated oven for 45 minutes.
- Heat olive oil in a soup pot over medium. When hot, add diced onion and sauté until translucent.
- While onion is cooking, make cashew cream. In a high-speed blender, blend cashews and garlic cloves with 1 cup water until completely smooth.
- Add cashew cream, 2 cups of water, canned diced tomatoes, , canned fire-roasted tomatoes, and roasted tomatoes/peppers to the soup pot.
- Taste and add a pinch of salt and pepper if needed.
- Bring soup to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Puree soup until smooth using an immersion blender or by transferring soup into a regular blender.
Have you signed up for our 7-day Plant-based Challenge? Get your meal plan, recipes, and grocery list– the challenge starts on Monday the 14th!