Special Tomato Soup
I am not yet very creative in the kitchen to come up with my own recipes, so I like to share some of my favorite ones that I am using from cookbooks or from recipes online.
This time of the year, the fall, brings here in Canada already some colder weather. We had our first-night frost a few weeks ago. For me, it is the time of year to have some hearty foods like soup. This is my favorite tomato soup. It is a recipe from the book “Flavors of Health” by Dr. Ed Bauman and Chef Lizette Marx. I met them at a natural nutrition conference a few years ago in Tucson and bought their cookbook. It has a wealth of healthy and nutritious recipes. The miso, mirin and roasted garlic, and red bell peppers make this soup a very special and tasty version of a tomato soup.
The ingredients are:
1 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee (ghee is a variation of clarified butter that originated in India)
2 medium onion, chopped
4 stalks of celery, diced (I do not like celery at all and leave it out)
2 medium carrot, diced.
1 ½ tablespoon of minced fresh ginger
¾ cup of mirin (rice wine)
2 pounds or 1 kg of ripe tomatoes, chopped or 2 large cans of whole tomatoes
1 head of garlic (roasted)
2 red bell peppers, roasted and peeled
6 cups of vegetable broth
1 teaspoon black pepper to taste
2/3 cup of red miso
2 teaspoons of minced fresh ginger
½ cup of plain yogurt
3 green onions, very thinly sliced
First, how to get the roasted garlic:
Preheat oven to 375°C or 190°C.
Select a large bulb of garlic. Slice of the stem end (not the root end) of the garlic so that the garlic is slightly exposed. Layer a piece of foil with a piece of parchment paper and place the garlic bulb in the center. Drizzle about 2 to 3 teaspoons of olive oil on the exposed cloves. Wrap securely in the parchment-lined foil. Roast in the oven until cloves are very tender; about 1 hour. When done, the garlic cloves will be quite soft.
Allow to cool slightly, then squeeze out the garlic.
Now, how to get the roasted red bell pepper:
Preheat oven to 375°C or 190°C.
Cut the bell peppers in half and discard the stem, seeds, and white membrane. Place the peppers cut side down on a parchment-line baking sheet and bake in the oven until skins blister and loosen. Transfer the roasted peppers to a bowl and top with a plate, or place them in a paper bag and fold it closed. Set aside for about 10 minutes to further steam and loosen the skins. Then peel away the skins. Once the skins are removed, the peppers are ready to be sliced into the soup.
Ok, we are now ready to prepare the soup.
Heat a stockpot over medium heat and add the oil or ghee. Add the onions, celery, and carrots. Reduce the heat to low, cover and sweat the vegetables for about 15 minutes.
Do not allow the vegetables to brown. Add the ginger and stir for another few minutes.
Deglaze the pan with the mirin, and then add the tomatoes, roasted garlic, and red peppers. Sweat for another 15 minutes.
Add the vegetable broth, starting with 6 cups (with fresh tomatoes, I find that this is sufficient, but you can add more broth later if necessary). Bring to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes to an hour. Taste. If the tomato flavor is not strong enough, add a tablespoon or two of tomato paste. I have never had to do this. Season with pepper to taste.
Turn off the heat, using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. If the soup needs thinning, more stock can be added.
Pour a cup of soup into a bowl and whisk in the red miso until smoothly incorporated.
Pour the mixture back into the soup. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Combine the ginger with the yogurt. Garnish each serving of soup with a few slivers of green onion and the yogurt mixture.