I’m always telling everybody at every opportunity that I’m not a salad or soup lover. Though, eating raw vegetables is not something I enjoy. Soups are just not favourite food. The other day, a friend and I chatting about how growing older seemed connected to changed food choices. She agreed that the older we got the more willing we seemed to try foods on our “don’t like” lists. That seems the case with this Roasted Tomato Soup With Basil Cream.
I still do not like aubergine/ eggplant very much but can take in small doses if cooked in a certain way. Cooked salads, pasta salads and raw salads with fruit and nuts are acceptable. And a couple of weeks back, I actually felt like having soup!
It could have been because I wasn’t feeling to well. I think I am slowly developing a taste for certain soups. This time I had caught a bad respiratory infection. All I wanted to something warm to drink, at regular intervals, to sooth my irritated throat. I love tea but there is only so much tea that one can drink in a day, so I needed something else. A cousin suggested rum (and coke) but I don’t drink alcohol. So the other option that came to mind was soup.
The vegetables in my fridge were down to a minimume. The vegetable bin yielded some tomatoes, carrots and red bell pepper. So that decided what was going into my soup. A search on the ever resourceful net led me to this recipe which I adapted to my taste. This isn’t really a soup which one can throw together at one’s whim. The vegetables need to oven roasted, but it is one which cooks up without too much effort.
I made it in slightly larger quantities, refrigerated it to warm up whenever I wanted some hot soup. If you plan to do this, it would be better to leave out the milk and substitute it with more stock (or water). This thick soup is a nice balance of very slightly sweet and spicy flavours with a faint tang from the orange juice.
Basil Cream – I made the above soup to sooth an irritated throat. You can to serve it as part of a regular meal and also make a Basil Cream to serve with it. All this cream needs is some fresh basil and some cream. The Basil Cream really does add that “special” something to the soup. The leftover Basil Cream can be refrigerate for a couple of days. It makes an excellent dip as well.
There used to be a time, when I used to have not just green thumbs but green fingers too. In the past couple of years though, I have had a tough time just trying to get a few potted herbs growing.
I plant the seeds or cuttings, they sprout a few leaves only to invariably die on me. It looks like the green is creeping back into my thumbs again. I have, for the first time in ages, managed to grow some semblance of an herb garden. Right now, my herb garden consists of only 3 types of basil, some mint and curry leaves but it’s a beginning.
Roasted Tomato And Carrot Soup With Basil Cream (GF)
For the Soup :
- 2 onions medium
- 8 to 10 tomatoes medium
- 5 carrots big
- 1 red bell pepper big (capsicum)
- 1 cup orange juice , sweetened
- 1 cup milk
- 11/2 tbsps olive oil
- 1/2 tsp garlic paste
- 1 1/2 tsps cumin powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes (adjust to taste)
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups vegetable stock (or water)
- to taste salt
For the Basil Cream :
- 200 ml cream (I used 25% fat)
- 15 to 20 basil fresh leaves
- 1/4 tsp salt
- For the soup start by preparing the vegetables for roasting. Quarter the onions, cut the carrots into 1/2u201d rounds, the bell pepper into large pieces and put them all together. Quarter the tomatoes and remove the seeds and pulp. This ensures that there isnu2019t too much liquid when the tomatoes are roasting.
- Lightly oil two baking sheets. Add about 1/2 tbsp oil (out of the 1 tbsp) each to both the chopped tomatoes and to the other vegetables. Toss them so they are well coated with the oil. Now spread the tomatoes out on one baking sheet and the other vegetables on the other, ensuring they are in a single layer.
- Bake them at 200C (400F) for about 45 to 50 minutes or till the vegetables are well roasted. Let them cool and then purxe9e the roasted vegetables in the blender, adding the orange juice, till smooth. Then add the milk and blend till well mixed.
- In a large saucepan, heat the remaining 1/2 tbsp oil and sautxe9 the garlic paste in it. Turn down the heat and then add the cumin powder and garam masala. Do not allow it to burn.
- Now add the purxe9ed vegetables. Mix well and add as much of the vegetable stock as needed to thin the soup to required consistency. Add salt and chili flakes to taste, bring the soup to a boil and then turn down the heat. Allow the soup to simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Take the soup off the heat and serve warm with the basil cream (recipe below).
- For the Basil Cream, Put the cream in a small pan and slowly bring to a boil. Add the salt and basil leaves, keep stirring and cook till the basil leaves wilt. This should take under 10 seconds.
- Allow the mixture to cool for about 10 minutes and then purxe9e it in a blender till smooth. Pour the cream back into the pan and warm slightly just before serving.