Roasted Green Tomato- Basil Soup


Many times I feel like I have hit a dead end with blogging. I don’t feel motivated enough to write a post. Once in a while the clouds clear and I feel I must force myself to at least document what new discoveries I discovered, just for myself.

Today is one such day. Hope there will be many more days like these.

We( my husband and I) decided to try a week of soup for dinner. Everyday a new Soup. Last week it was a week of Salads. I must say that was fun. Our New Years resolution has been to stay healthy. This was a start.

So I found some lovely unripe green tomatoes at my local Indian grocery store. I found a recipe for a Roasted Green Tomato soup in Food and Wine magazine.

Turns out that I like The tartness of the green tomatoes much better than the sweetness of the ripe tomatoes in soup. It’s a nice mild tartness that goes perfectly well with the heavenly Basil flavor.

Here is the original recipe from Food and Wine magazine.

I used the original ingredients and recipe. Okay, I skipped the garlic, substituted olive oil for butter and did not have thyme, but it still tasted absolutely delightful.

I served it with some homemade Foccacia bread, as I did not have sourdough.


INGREDIENTS

2 pounds ripe green tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon unsalted butter(skipped)

1 yellow onion, about 1 cup, coarsely chopped

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

3 vegetable stock

3/4 cup fresh basil leaves, packed

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

To Make-

Preheat the oven to 400°. Toss together 2 pounds of green tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400°. Toss together 2 pounds of green tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes.

In an eight-quart stockpot over medium heat, add the onions with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook until the onions have slightly caramelized, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle in the crushed red pepper flakes and stir to combine, about 1 minute. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes and stock to the pot and bring to a boil. When soup comes to a full boil, toss in the fresh basil leaves and wilt over medium heat and simmer for about 8 minutes. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth, ensuring that the basil leaves are entirely pureed into soup. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.

Serve hot with warm bread



Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Cashew Cream

IMG_8939

Its -8 Degrees outside and the most perfect day to have a hot bowl of soup for dinner with some homemade bread. Bell Peppers of any kind are my Husband’s favorite salad Vegetable. He absolutely loves them in any form, actually.

The first time I heard of Red Pepper soup was from a recipe I found in Madhur Jaffrey’s book- “World Vegetarian”.  While that recipe was okay, I thought I could try tweaking it and making it a little more spicy with a couple of Indian spices. Though the spices do add flavor, they do not take away from the sweetness of the Bell peppers, which makes this recipe a keeper.

Ingredients:

  1. Red Bell Peppers- 4, quartered
  2. Olive oil- 4 Tablespoons
  3. Celery- 2 Sticks, diced small
  4. 1 small red Onion- diced
  5. 2 carrots- Peeled and chopped
  6. Salt
  7. Black Pepper powder
  8. Tomato Paste- 1 Tablespoon
  9. Red wine Vinegar( Optional)- 1 Tablespoon( Substitute Lime Juice)
  10. Water

For the Cashew Cream: Grind all the ingredients below to make a thick cream.

  1. 1/4 cup of Cashews- Soaked in 1 Cup of boiled and cooled water for about an hour
  2. Cumin Powder- 1/2 Tsp
  3. Garam Masala Powder- 1/2 Tsp

Method:

Place the cut Bell peppers on a Silpat Sheet and drizzle with some olive oil. Place the sheet in a 400 Degree Fahrenheit oven for about 30 minutes, till the bell pepper skin starts getting dark and charred. Remove from the oven and cover with an Aluminum foil till the Bell pepper cools completely( About 10 minutes). The peel comes off easily when the bell peppers are cool. Peel all the bell pepper pieces, using a knife if necessary.

IMG_8934

In another pan, take 2 TBSP of Olive oil. Saute the onions till they are translucent, add the chopped celery and carrots and saute for a few more minutes. Add some salt and 2 cups of water. Cook the vegetables till they are soft. Add the roasted and peeled bell peppers. Puree the mixture in a blender and strain it though a sieve to make it smooth.

Add the Cashew cream to the soup and add a little more water if needed to adjust the thickness. Add the Tomato paste also. Check for Salt. Add some black pepper powder and the red wine vinegar. Bring to a boil and serve hot with Bread or croutons.

I have tried using store brought Vegetable broth in the past and did not really like the flavors it brought to the soup. This way, we could taste the sweetness of the Bell peppers and it just tasted much better.

Chilled Cucumber soup

Its getting hot in our part of the world and the time for everything cool and soothing.  I am constantly looking for simple recipes that can be made in a snap and does not need me to be in front of the stove at all. This is one recipe that fits the bill completely.  I found this on the Food Network website. I have tweaked it a little, because I did not have some of the ingredients. It tasted wonderful and is a most definitely going to be a summer regular at our place.

Ingredients( To serve 4)

  •  Cucumbers- 3 Nos, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • Dill- 1 sprig
  • Cilantro- 2 sprigs
  • Mint- 10 leaves
  • Spring onions- 2, chopped
  • Jalapeno pepper- 1, seeded
  • Low Fat Sour cream- 1/2 cup
  • Low Fat Yogurt- 1 cup
  • Black Pepper powder- 1/2 Tsp
  • Red Chili Powder- 1/4 Tsp
  • Salt- To taste
  • A few Ice cubes- optional

Put all the ingredients in a Food processor and run the machine till it becomes a smooth puree.  Chill the soup in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before serving. OR Add a couple of ice cubes to the soup right before serving. Garnish with a sprig of mint.