Sunday, March 30, 2014

Creamy Spicy Roasted Tomato Soup

Tomato Soup

Tomato Soup is just a comforting food. My first introduction to tomato soup was believe it or not in India. I had it in an ashram, where whenever it was served it was a favorite. Soup was a staple at dinner in the ashram together with with a curried vegetable and chapatis. It was always served in the afternoon, as it was believed that the last meal of the day should be a very light one.

But one my favorite versions of tomato soup in India was at a wedding I attended while there. Guests were served tomato soup in small tea cups as an appetizer. It was rich and spicy and honesty I fell in love with it. I just savored every warm flavor packed sip. It was divine.

The other time I had soup in India that I truly loved, I was able to ask the cook what was the secret. He told me he added the leaf of the cinnamon tree. His soup had this delicious spicy warm undertone from the use of this leaf.

The tomato soup in india though had indian spices as well, making them quite unique and delicious. For my version, I was a bit lazy to go get cumin and other spices and chunkay them, so this is more of the western version of tomato soup. I roasted the tomatoes in the oven to make them sweeter.

My favorite accompaniment to tomato soup would be grilled cheese. It's obvious and traditional but the richness of the cheese and the tanginess of the tomatoes, wow! It's a match made in heaven. While this is really not anything you will see in a traditional Trinidadian menu, it does remind me a bit of tomato choka. I ate my soup with toasted bread drizzled with olive oil.

Cuisine:       International
Good for:     Lunch, Dinner      
Time:           1½ hour
Serves:        3
Skill:             Medium
Suitable:       Vegetarian

20           medium tomatoes
¼ c         olive oil
1 tsp       salt
7             unpeeled garlic cloves
1             onion cur in quarters
½ c         milk or ¼ c heavy cream
½ tsp      basil dried
1tb          sugar
½ tsp      red pepper flakes
½ tsp      black pepper
3             oregano leaves minced
               hot water as needed

  1. Put tomatoes, onions and garlic still in skins into a sheet pan, douse with olive oil and sprinkle with pepper.
  1. Put in 400° oven for 40 minutes turning twice.
  1. When done take out oven and let cool. Take off the tomato skins. And squeeze garlic out of skins.
  1. Add tomatoes, with onions and garlic to a blender and whiz to liquefy completely.
  1. Pour the tomato mixture into a pot, and use 1c water to wash out the blender and pour into tomato mixture. Bring to boil and then lower to a simmer for about 10 minutes.
  1. Add sugar and milk and dried basil.
  1. Taste at this point, and if its too acidic add more sugar to taste.
  1. Add more salt if it needs and the black pepper.
  1. Take off heat. Add 3 leaves minced fine fresh oregano if have. 
  1. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil.
 
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