* Sea salt
* 4 Tb Earth Balance or vegan margarine
* 1 onion, chopped
* 1 carrot, chopped
* 1 stalk celery, chopped
* 3 cloves garlic, smashed
* 2 Tb unbleached all-purpose flour
* 5 cups faux chicken stock ( try Better than Bouillon brand )
* 1 ( 28 ounce ) can whole fire-roasted tomatoes, juice included
* 1 Tb minced fresh parsley
* Leaves from 2 fresh thyme sprigs
* 1 bay leaf
* Freshly ground black pepper
* 1 1/2 cups regular Cashew Cream or Soy Creamer
* Parsley for garnish
1. Place a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the Earth Balance and stir until melted, being careful not to let it burn.
2. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and continue cooking and stirring for 2 minutes.
4. Add the stock, tomatoes with juice, parsley, thyme and bay leaf.
5. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
6. Season with freshly ground black pepper (add a little salt if you wish but the "chicken" stock is already high in sodium, so only add if you think it's really necessary ), then add the Cashew Cream. Continue to simmer ( do not boil ) for 10 minutes.
7. Remove the bay leaf. Working in batches, pour the soup into a blender, cover the lid with a towel ( the hot liquid tends to erupt ), and blend on high for several minutes, until very smooth. Pour the soup through a fine-mesh sieve. Ladle into bowls and garnish with parsley.