February 14, 2021

Recipe: Tomato-Basil Soup with Shrimp

A rich, creamy, savory and non-dairy soup

A pan of tomato-basil soup with shrimp

There’s a favorite culinary trick for making creamy, comforting soups without dairy. You simply substitute cashews for heavy cream or butter in your recipes.


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Cashews are mild in flavor and lend a creaminess that you can’t get from other nuts. They also happen to be quite hypoallergenic, which is helpful for those with tree nut allergies. Just be sure to always check with your doctor before eating.


1 cup raw cashews
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 celery rib, diced
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 (28-ounce) can tomato puree
1 1⁄2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1⁄4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄4 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves, plus extra chopped basil for garnish
Freshly ground black pepper
20 large shrimp, cooked and peeled


  1. Place the cashews in a small, heat-proof bowl and cover with 2 cups of boiling water. Cover the bowl and allow the cashews to sit for 15 minutes, then drain and reserve the nuts.
  2. While the cashews are soaking, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, celery and bay leaf to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for two more minutes. Add the tomato puree, chicken stock, almond milk, cashews and salt. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the bay leaf and transfer the hot soup to a blender, and very carefully puree the soup starting on low speed, making sure to vent the lid* (see note below). Once soup is pureed, add the basil and give it a quick final pulse in the blender.
  5. Divide the shrimp among four soup bowls and ladle the soup into each bowl. Sprinkle a pinch of black pepper over each bowl of soup, garnish with chopped basil, and serve.

*Always be careful when pureeing hot liquids in a blender. The heat from the liquid can cause the pressure in the blender to build up under the lid, and when the blender is turned on, the top can blow off. Keep the lid vented by removing the small window insert from the middle of the blender lid and hold a towel over the open window to prevent splattering. Always start on the lowest speed possible.


Nutrition information

Serves 4

Each serving contains:

Calories 360
Fat 21g
Saturated fat 3.5g
Cholesterol 55mg
Fiber 6g
Protein 16g
Carbohydrates 32g
Sodium 490mg


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