2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large red onion, diced
Salt and pepper
1 quart low-sodium organic vegetable broth
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
One 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon fresh chopped tarragon (If tarragon is hard to find, use chervil, basil, or parsley.)
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a soup pot. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant — about 30 seconds to a minute. Add the onion and salt and pepper, and sauté until the onion is tender and translucent. Add the broth, tomatoes, and beans. Allow to simmer for about 20 minutes, then stir in the tarragon and remove the soup from the heat. Cool for 15 minutes, then puree with an immersion blender, adding a little more broth or water to thin as necessary. Reheat the soup and ladle into bowls.
Blending is what helps make the creamy tomato bean soup creamy, without adding milk. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can let the soup cool and blend in a regular blender. In either case, blend the soup to your preferred consistency. (We like having some texture in our soups.)
Be careful when blending hot liquids in a blender. Removing the pour spout from the lid, cover that hole with a clean kitchen towel, and blend; this will allow steam to escape via the pour spout without splashing hot liquid around the room.