Creamy Tomato & Kale Bisque

Lately, my daydreaming revolves around soft, sweet smelling, fleece-enrobed cuddly newborns, (raw) sushi, and chunky-yet-creamy, perfectly seasoned tomato florentine soup. In just about 8 weeks (maybe 6? eeek! or 10?) I’ll be able to indulge in the first two. But for the last one, there is no good reason to wait. Except for the fact that I’ve never been totally satisfied with any homemade version of tomato soup I’ve tried, and normally resort to the boxed variety at Trader Joe’s, which I even find myself doctoring up just a bit.

Smooth or chunky? I wanted the best of both worlds. Summer fresh taste? Definitely splurged on some “better” canned organic tomatoes here. And what about that velvety, creamy texture? While I do eat dairy these days, I didn’t want it anywhere near my soup. I was going for something that felt more cleansing and satisfying, and dairy doesn’t always do that for me. I had a hunch that my roasted garlic cashew cream would be perfect.

In case you’re worried about dumping a whole bunch of cashews in your soup (it’s good fat, but let’s face it, still fat), fear not. A little goes a long way.

The only objection you (or the resident dish-doer, if you’re lucky enough to have that be someone else) might have is that I’m asking you to do a lot of blending, using two different devices, to be exact. But I promise the result – in both quality and quantity – is well worth it. This is a big batch of soup that will satisfy you for a while, if you can stand to keep it around.

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Creamy Tomato & Kale Bisque

Yield: 6 servings

Partly smooth, partly chunky tomato soup loaded with vibrant kale and a secret heart-healthy ingredient for a lusciously creamy base.

Note: only half of the roasted garlic cashew cream is needed to make the soup; save the rest for drizzling on roasted veggies.


Roasted Garlic Cashew Cream
1 head garlic
Olive oil cooking spray
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup water
1/4 cup lemon juice

Olive oil cooking spray
1 cup diced yellow onion
1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
2 28oz cans organic diced tomatoes, divided
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning blend
3/4 cup (about half batch) roasted garlic cashew cream
16oz package frozen chopped kale or spinach, thawed
kosher salt, to taste, if using salt-free tomatoes


Roasted Garlic Cashew Cream
Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Cut a small square of foil. Mist with olive oil cooking spray. Slice about 1/4" off the top of the garlic head, exposing the tops of the cloves. Place the garlic, cut side-up, on the foil and mist with more olive oil cooking spray. Wrap tightly and place on a baking sheet. Roast for 45-50 minutes. Remove and let cool.

In a high speed blender combine cashews and water and process until smooth. Unwrap the garlic and squeeze the cloves out, adding them to the blender. Add lemon juice and process again until smooth.

Heat a large soup pot over medium heat and mist with olive oil cooking spray. Cook the onion and carrot for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add 1 can of tomatoes, vegetable broth, water, crushed red pepper, and Italian seasoning. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes to blend flavors.

Uncover and turn off heat. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Blend in the cashew cream. Add remaining can of diced tomatoes, and chopped kale or spinach. Turn heat to medium, and simmer for about 10 minutes, until greens are tender and soup is heated through. Add salt to taste, if needed.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories 163.0
Total Fat 5.4 g
Saturated Fat 1.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 523.9 mg
Potassium 578.8 mg
Total Carbohydrate 20.1 g
Dietary Fiber 5.3 g
Sugars 7.9 g
Protein 6.2 g

Cara Lyons,

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20 Responses to “Creamy Tomato & Kale Bisque”

  1. 1

    Dara — January 13, 2013 @ 9:14 am Reply

    where is the recipe?

    • 1.1

      Cara — January 13, 2013 @ 9:28 am

      Sorry about that! There is a piece of code that inserts the recipe template and sometimes that gets lost by mistake. It is fixed now. Thanks for pointing that out!

  2. 2

    Andrea — January 13, 2013 @ 12:01 pm Reply

    How many cashews in the cashew cream?

    • 2.1

      Cara — January 13, 2013 @ 12:03 pm

      1 cup. So sorry about that! I swear I previewed this before posting, don’t know what happened!

  3. 3

    Veronica @ Veggie V's Vegan Adventure — January 13, 2013 @ 9:03 pm Reply

    Looks yum! I love the addition of the cashew cream.

  4. 4

    Joanne — January 13, 2013 @ 10:50 pm Reply

    I’ve made one tomato soup before that I LOVE but it’s not chunky like this and it doesn’t have kale in it…which is unfortunate! I love this version that you’ve created. The cashew cream sounds awesome!

  5. 5

    Dorothy at ShockinglyDelicious — January 14, 2013 @ 12:15 am Reply

    Love tomato soup, and your version with kale looks fantastic!

  6. 6

    Cut `n Clean Greens — January 14, 2013 @ 12:17 am Reply

    We LOVE a good tomato soup, and yours with kale looks even better! How simple, nutritious and perfectly easy! We’re going to feature this on our Facebook page and link here so people can see how you made it, and your lovely photography. If you wish, come LIKE us on Facebook for more recipes and tips on super healthy greens like kale, chard, beet, mustard, turnip, collard, escarole, dandelion and other green leafies.

    –Your friendly Southern California farmers at Cut `n Clean Greens

  7. 7

    Hallie @ Daily Bites — January 14, 2013 @ 9:01 am Reply

    This looks like the perfect warming soup for frigid January days, Cara! Love the cashew cream incorporated into this. 🙂

  8. 8

    Ellen Allard (Gluten Free Diva) — January 14, 2013 @ 9:53 am Reply

    Cara – you continue to amaze me with your beautiful creations! When you make this next, will you invite me over to try it? Actually, perhaps you’d like me to come over EVERY TIME you blog! I will be your happy taste tester anytime.

  9. 9

    Vera Zecevic-Cupcakes Garden — January 14, 2013 @ 10:36 am Reply

    I like soups and this one look so tasty

  10. 10

    grace — January 14, 2013 @ 3:16 pm Reply

    roasted garlic cashew cream sounds like something from my dreams, no doubt–what a creation! it’d add a lot to this already-flavorful soup, too. nice one, cara!

  11. 11

    Jeanette — January 14, 2013 @ 4:46 pm Reply

    What a hearty healthy soup – sounds so filling, but oh so good!

  12. 12

    Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) — January 15, 2013 @ 8:25 am Reply

    There is nothing sweeter than the smell of a newborn. They should bottle that scent! This soup looks perfect for these rainy gloomy days lately! I’m on a serious comfort food kick lately too. All I want to do is curl up on the couch and just relax…hopefully soon.

  13. 13

    Jessica — January 15, 2013 @ 2:22 pm Reply

    Could you use fresh tomatoes instead of canned? I have an abundance at the moment. I just started eating (and cooking) tomatoes and am just not sure what the conversion would be from canned to fresh.

    • 13.1

      Cara — January 15, 2013 @ 2:25 pm

      You could certainly try. A 28oz can of diced tomatoes contains about 3 cups diced tomatoes + juice. So you would need 6 cups total. You will probably need some salt, so just taste the soup and add enough to your liking. Good luck!

  14. 14

    Jessica — January 19, 2013 @ 2:08 pm Reply

    Thanks!!!! I made this with fresh tomatoes and kale, and it was absolutely phenomenal. I also added a little nutritional yeast to the cashew cream, and my own toppings, including green onions. Thank you for this recipe, I am just thrilled to have found it!

    • 14.1

      Cara — January 20, 2013 @ 9:19 am

      Those sound like great additions – glad you liked it!

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