As someone who loves a good meal, cooking one, came to me as a natural passion. I belong to a family where meal times consisted of not just food, but also noisy conversation centered around the events of the day and discussing the menu for the next. (ah yes, we are a greedy lot! )

For the most part of my life so far, my contribution in the kitchen was assisting mom and my duties were limited, to chopping veggies and laying the table. Then along came the great Indian wedding, and I was suddenly the queen of my very own kingdom. My curiosity about this magical world, coupled with an enthusiastic sous-chef (my husband, Vineet), led me to take on the challenge of preparing meals on a daily basis, and not succumbing to the convenience of hiring a cook.

This blog is a product of my experiments with food (not all are life threatening :D) for my fellow culinary enthusiasts - especially the newly weds and hungry bachelors and is dedicated to the women who've inspired me in the kitchen;
Aji (s),Ma and Nigella Lawson.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Herb-Roasted Tomato & Basil Soup

Its Tuesday. Saturday is THREE whole days away. Work has been slightly busy since I have a presentation coming up at the end of this week, and I wanted to keep dinner as simple as possible, and in sync with our on-going resolution to eat healthy (excuse the chocolate mousse, but we have our weak moments!)
Soups are the easiest and healthiest route to a filling, delicious dinner for Vineet and me. The large batch of tomatoes stashed in the fridge (that were beginning to go soft!), made our decision much easier. This is a slight twist on a traditional tomato soup. Its loaded with the goodness of carrots, celery and (ofcourse!) tomatoes with the fresh basil giving it a beautiful peppery flavour. Enjoy!

This recipe is quantified to make 4 medium or 3 large bowls of Soup.

- 5 nos. medium Tomatoes
- 2-3 cloves Garlic,sliced
- 1 large Onion, diced
- 1/2 cup Celery, diced
- 1/2 cup Carrots, diced
- 10-12 fresh Basil leaves, chopped
- 1 -1/2 tbsp Extra-virgin Olive oil
- 1-1/2 tbsp Olive oil (to sautee veggies)
- 1 tbsp Dried Thyme
- Cracked Black pepper &
- Salt to taste

1.) Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg C. Take 4 of the tomatoes. Cut into quarters. Lay out onto a baking tray. Drizzle the extra-virgin olive oil over the tomato. Dust the tomato wedges with the dried thyme. Roast in the oven for about 40 mins.

2.) Meanwhile, Heat the Olive oil in a saucepan. Saute the chopped Garlic and Onions till soft. Add the Celery and carrots and saute. Cover the pan with a lid and let the veggies "sweat" and cook in their own steam.

3.) Chop the 5th tomato into chunks. Discard seeds. Chop the basil leaves. Add the chopped tomato and basil leaves to the saucepan and replace the lid. Cover and cook till the carrots are soft enough to mash with the back of a spoon. Switch off the heat.

4.) Dissolve the soup cube in 1/2 a cup of hot water. Transfer the Sauteed veggies to a blender. Puree on pulse mode. Add the dissolved soup cube & water, and the roasted tomato wedges. Add a little more water (another 1/2 cup) and blend till the soup is thick and smooth.

5.) Transfer the blended soup back into the saucepan. Drizzle an additional 1 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil on top if you like (i do!). Pour the milk into the soup and bring to a full boil.

6.) Garnish with a sprig of basil leaves and enjoy with some toasted bread! :)

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