Creamy tasty tomato soup

When it’s damp, cold and grey outside, nothing beats a hot bowl of homemade tomato soup. Completely plant-based, this hearty soup bursts with flavour. The texture is also fabulous. Adding grilled aubergine and processing the cooked ingredients in a blender give this soup a rich and creamy texture.

When you cook with aubergine, make sure to keep the peels on. Those deep purple peels are not only good looking, they are also good for you. Aubergine peels contain some interesting disease fighting compounds, such as chlorogenic acid and nasunin, the latter of which gives eggplant its purple colour. In this recipe, the peels enhance the flavour, texture and colour of the soup.

The same goes with the fresh tomatoes — keep those peels on! Don’t blanch them and don’t peel them! Tomato peels contain lycopene, a special compound that plays a key role in keeping you healthy and preventing chronic disease. After processing the ingredients in your blender, you won’t even notice the peels and you will end up with a more wholesome and better tasting tomato soup!

Creamy tasty tomato soup

Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • 1 big red bell pepper, quartered
  • 1 small (150 grams) aubergine with peel, sliced in big chunks
  • 2 medium-size cooking onions, sliced fine
  • 2-4 garlic buds, sliced fine
  • 7 ripe medium-large size tomatoes with peels, sliced in cubes (6 cups of cubed tomatoes)
  • A dash of mixed Italian herbs (fresh and/or dry)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups vegetable bouillon (homemade –or- bouillon cube + water)
  • Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
  • A pinch of hot pepper flakes (option).
  • Topping (options): roasted pine nuts, micro-greens and/or dill weed

Procedure

Oven: 230°C / 450°F (standard oven) 220°C / 430°F (fan oven)

Put pepper and aubergine slices in a bowl and drizzle some olive oil. Toss the veggies to coat them with the oil. Sprinkle some salt. Spread aubergine and pepper pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment and put in oven. Grill for about 10-15 minutes or until charred with black marks. Turn over once with tongs.

Meanwhile, in a soup pot, heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sauté the onions and garlic until golden and soft, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes with their juices and sauté on medium heat. Add the Italian herbs and balsamic vinegar and toss. Add the grilled aubergine and pepper and toss. Reduce heat, cover and cook for 5 minutes on medium-low, tossing a few times.

Add the bouillon and simmer covered on low heat for another 20 minutes. Transfer to a blender or food processor and blend the soup until it is very creamy. Pour back into the pot and season with salt, pepper and hot pepper flakes. Cover and let the soup settle for 10 minutes off the heat. Serve. Garnish as desired.

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Julie Zimmer

Julie has extensive experience in nursing practice and education in a wide range of fields from intensive/coronary care, to medical-surgical to community and public health. Julie has Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Nursing, and a Master’s Degree in Community Health Nursing Education. She has taught in faculties of nursing and in various communities in Toronto, Canada and in Geneva, Switzerland, and is a consultant to the International Council of Nurses (ICN). Julie also has years of experience teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in addition to coordinating an English department in a Swiss private school.

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