Smoky Tomato Soup with Crumbled Tempeh

Something came over me as I drove home this evening, and I found myself saying aloud, “I’m going to change my life!” I am pleased with my life, but some aspects need dusting off – some polish if you will.

Clearly, any change will not start with this blog post as I offer up yet another recipe involving the new-to-me tempeh. This time, it’s Smoky Tomato Soup with Crumbled Tempeh. I am not all that sure of the overwhelming brilliance of making a warm soup as a hot summer day looms, but let’s say we treat it like gazpacho and enjoy it cold.

The original recipe – titled Smoky Tomatoes, Roasted Plantains, and Crumbled Tempeh – comes from The Inspired Vegan. I really like that this cookbook organizes its recipes by season. Unfortunately, the cookbook did not read itself aloud to alarm me to the fact that this particular recipe is meant for the autumn.

Smoky Tomato Soup with Crumbled Tempeh

The fact that I purchased tomatoes at the Farmer’s Market this weekend makes me feel better about warm tomato soup in the summer since the main ingredient is, after all, in season. But when fresh tomatoes are out of season, canned tomatoes will do.

If you are not sure about tempeh but would like to try it, this soup is a good place to start. The tempeh gives the soup some substance, but it could easily be mistaken for something as common as rice. When you are feeling more adventurous, you can move on to Tempeh Picatta or Jerk Tempeh (the cilantro lime rice is not to be missed).

The Inspired Vegan suggests serving this dish with another recipe from within its pages, coconut quinoa. I thought it was great alone, but if you are hungry, you can never go wrong with tomato soup and grilled cheese. Even in the summer. Enjoy!

Smoky Tomato Soup with Crumbled Tempeh

Crumbled Tempeh in Smoky Tomato Soup
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, separated
  • 1 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 chipotle in adobo
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 5 medium to large tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1, 8-ounce package tempeh, crumbled
  • 1½ teaspoons salt, separated
  • 2 plantains, cubed
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  1. Heat two tablespoons of the olive oil, the red onions, and the chipotle in a large saucepan over high heat for two minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Lower the heat to low and continue to cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the garlic and cook an additional five minutes.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a blender, add the tomatoes, and puree until smooth.
  5. Return the mixture back to the saucepan, add the bay leaves, and stir over medium heat about 10 minutes to cook down.
  6. Stir in the stock, crumbled tempeh, and the salt.
  7. Cover the pot, lower the heat to low, and simmer 45 minutes.
  8. While the soup simmers, toss the cubed plantains with the remaining tablespoon olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt.
  9. Place the plantains on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes. Stir the plantains on the baking sheet every ten minutes to ensure even baking.
  10. After the soup has simmered for 45 minutes, add the roasted plantains and the cilantro.
  11. Simmer an additional five minutes before enjoying.
The original recipe called for 3¼ pounds fresh tomatoes or one, 28-ounce can whole tomatoes (drained).

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