I can still taste the buttered bread from the grilled cheese sandwiches we used to have once a week at sleep-away camp. Grilled cheese day was also tomato soup day (there is definitely a law somewhere that states these two must be served together). I was never a big fan of tomato soup, but somehow the sweetness of the tomatoes balanced out the plastic-y cheese that had melted to the edges of my sandwich, making each bite absolutely perfect.
My tastebuds have evolved, as has my diet (though if I could eat grilled American cheese on white bread daily with no repercussions, I probably would). This soup is bursting with flavor and doesn’t even need the help of a buttery sandwich to make it more appealing. It is also Whole30 and Paleo-friendly (without the chickpeas), thanks to the use of coconut milk instead of cream. This recipe made 4 medium servings – and if you’re watching your budget, came in at whopping $9 total (that’s about $2 per serving).
28 oz of canned plum tomatoes (do not drain)
1 cup of chopped fresh basil
1 sweet onion
1 cup of reduced fat coconut milk (canned)
Salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne
Optional: can of chickpeas (drained and rinsed), 1 tsp of agave for added sweetness
Turn on your oven’s broiler.
Dice the sweet onion.
Place a pot over medium heat and add 1 tsp of coconut oil. Once melted, add in your onion and saute until glassy. Pour the contents of your tomato can into the pot, then add in the chopped basil. Stir with a few shakes of salt and pepper, and turn heat on low, allowing the liquid to simmer.
Watch the pot and stir occasionally, letting simmer for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, dump the chickpeas into a baking sheet. Add in 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil and shake the pan so the beans are evenly covered in oil.
Add in a few shakes of salt, pepper, cumin and cayenne pepper, then shake once more so the spices disperse. Place pan under the broiler for 20 or so minutes, or until the chickpeas begin to brown. Remove and let cool.
When your tomatoes have finished simmering, either pour the mixture into a blender or use an immersion blender to thoroughly blend everything until an even, thick liquid forms.
Place back into the pot over low heat and stir in a cup of coconut milk. Simmer on low for a few minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with basil and chickpea garnish.