Pantry Tomato Soup

Some nights coming home to cook a meal sounds like the absolute worst. And I really love to cook. But those kinder kids really wear me out and sometimes I come home just exhausted. So nights like tonight, I make a simple, but totally satisfying and comforting meal.

Odds are, you probably have these ingredients in your pantry already. If not, this soup costs about $3 to make, so pick up these items next time you head to the grocery and you’ll have a quick crowd-pleasing dinner.

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Grilled cheese is the obvious choice to pair with this soup- and I’ve got a trick for that. I love to make grilled cheese, but I burn them every time I try to make them. I just get too distracted and it never turns out the way I imagine it will. But, I have discovered a way that makes it not only easier but also way less hands on to make grilled cheese, so you can make a whole bunch all at the same time. I use a tasty bread sliced on the thicker side, I stuff it with some homemade vegan cheese (or a store bought vegan shred), and then smear both sides of the sandwich with vegan mayo (instead of butter, just trust me on this one!). I bake in a oven preheated to 450F for 6-7 minutes, then flip and continue baking for another 6-7 minutes, until golden brown. Once done, turn off the oven, and leave in the warm oven until ready to serve!

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Pantry Tomato Soup, serves 4-6

  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 2 28-ounce cans crushed tomato 
  • 4 cups vegetable broth or water 
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  •  salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 ounces coconut milk (about half a can) 
  1. Chop the onion and garlic and add to a large pot with a pinch of salt. Saute on medium high in a large pot until slightly browned, stirring often.
  2. Add a splash of the vegetable broth and stir to deglaze the bottom of the pot. Add in the remaining broth and the cans of crushed tomatoes. Turn heat down to medium, add in basil, salt, and pepper and allow to simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until heated through.
  3. Use an immersion blender to create a smooth soup consistency. Alternatively, you can add to a blender and blitz for a few minutes and then pour back into the pot. Add in the coconut milk and stir. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Nut-free Cheese Sauce

There are a million vegan cheese sauce recipes out there- and the key is to find a base that you like and make it your own based on your tastes. I have tried many cheese sauces over the years, and this recipe is basically a from memory mix up of every cheese recipe I have liked. So, thank you to all the vegan bloggers or recipe creators out there- you are my inspiration for this. 20190203_170950

This sauce is perfect for mac and cheese, or nachos, or baked potatoes. With that said, I will eat this cheese sauce on basically everything.

Let me know what you think of this recipe if you try it!

Nut-free Cheese Sauce

  • 1 medium yukon gold potato, peeled, quartered
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled, cut into three pieces
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast 
  • 1 tbsp spicy mustard
  • 1 tsp each of garlic powder and onion powder 
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric 
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar 
  • 1/2 tsp hot sauce
  • 1/4-1/2 cup unflavored, unsweetened plant milk (or water) 
  1. In a large pot of water, boil the potato and carrot until very tender. Remove from the water, and allow the vegetables to cool until you can handle them with bare hands.
  2. Add the first 9 ingredients into a high powered blender, along with 1/4 cup of the plant milk or water to start. Blitz together for 2 minutes adding more plant milk or water a tbsp at a time until the consistency you desire is achieved. If you are making cheese for nachos, you’ll want it thicker. If you are making mac and cheese, you’ll want it a little thinner. Taste the cheese sauce and adjust seasoning if needed. Add more nutritional yeast for more cheesy flavor, more mustard or hot sauce for more spice, etc.
  3. Pour cheese sauce into a pot and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes before serving.