strawberry tomato basil soup
I bought a flat of strawberries today. I couldn’t help it. It was unseasonably hot, 27 degrees in early May is unthinkable up here in the deep north. They weren’t organic strawberries, they weren’t even local (it is much too early for that yet), but the weather and the low, price of $7/flat made them irresistible. I had stopped in the store to pick up tomatoes for the soup I had planned, and ended up with the giant flat of strawberries as well.
I brought them home and painstakingly washed them. There were so many strawberries, and I hadn’t cooked with them for such a long time. After my initial idea of strawberry ice-cream (maybe I will post about that later) I was still left with a huge bowl of the plump little darlings. Then it hit me: I had already planned on making soup, why not use them in it? I had heard of strawberry bruschetta and strawberry gazpacho – it didn’t seem completely insane to make a warm soup. It was risky, but I went with it. I’m going to go ahead and say it was a HUGE success. Probably the best soup I’ve ever made (I make a lot of soup) and since I still have a lot of strawberries left, I may just have to whip up another batch.
strawberry tomato basil soup
2 cups strawberries, washed well with stems removed
1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
2 kg tomatoes, seeds removed – I used half roma and half hot house (on the vine)
4 bulbs garlic
1 tsp olive oil
1 red bell pepper
1 small red hot pepper (no idea what kind this was – I picked it up at the farmer’s market last weekend and needed to use it up)
1 yellow onion
2/3 cup light coconut milk (one of the small size cans)
1 cup water
1 vegetable bouillon
1 oz fresh basil (and about 1 tsp dried)
1 tsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp salt (or to taste)
fresh ground pepper to taste
1. cut tomatoes and remove seeds, place on parchment lined pan. repeat for peppers and leek (light parts)- sprinkle with dried basil (about one teaspoon) and fresh ground pepper
2. cut tops off garlic and place on plan. Add a small amount of olive oil to each bulb (I used about a drop)
3. halve strawberries and drizzle with balsamic vinegar place in another pan
4. roast all in oven (I started with the oven on broil at about 400 for ten minutes, then baked at 400 until everything was roasted)
5. meanwhile, roughly chop onion. heat about 1 tsp of olive oil in a large pot (dutch oven, whatever) on medium heat. add onions and sauté lightly.
6. add coconut milk and water. sprinkle in salt, bouillon and nutritional yeast.
7. dump in vegetables and add basil
8. puree with immersion blender (or use a blender. if transferring soup to blender, ensure that it is cool enough that you do not burn yourself. i’m too lazy for all that, so having an immersion blender is great – less dishes less mess)
9. garnish with a basil leaf and serve with biscuits (the vegan pumpkin biscuits I made were particularly good.
10. prepare yourself for a flavour explosion
I know it seems like I’m exaggerating… so let me I assure you that I am not. The tomato and strawberry pair beautifully and compliment, rather than compete, with each other. The coconut milk adds creaminess while the nutritional yeast adds a cheese like zip. If you don’t have nutritional yeast (and aren’t vegan) parmesan should work nicely.
makes 11 1 cup servings
calories – 65
carbs – 10g
protein – 3g
fat – 2g
fibre – 4g