Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or large soup pot.
Saute the garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, and sugar to the pot and stir. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, blend the raw cashews with the water in a high-speed blender until completely smooth. (If your blender isn't high-speed, soak the cashews in advance to soften, then drain before blending.)
Once the soup is hot and simmering, slowly pour the cashew mixture into the soup while stirring.
Stir in the basil and allow the soup to return to a simmer.
Taste, add salt as needed, and enjoy!
This recipe is adapted from The Pinning Mama's Copycat Panera Creamy Tomato Basil Soup Recipe.Leftover soup can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.If you plan to freeze the soup, leave out the cashew mixture. Instead add it after reheating the soup.Tips for freezing/reheating:
Wait for the soup to cool before freezing it.
Leave about an inch of space at the top of the container before adding the lid.
Do not add the cashew mixture or the basil leaves until later when you reheat the soup.
Allow the soup to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating it on the stove.
For a nut-free version, try substituting pureed silken tofu, white beans, or cooked potatoes or cauliflower. You will need to experiment to see which replacement you like the best.