Back-to-School Tomato Soup, Southeast Asian Style

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Have a bumper crop of tomatoes?  Put them to use in this soup!

After a blissful ten days in the wilds of New England, I’m back in my little patch of Portland asphalt, facing the undeniable fact that school begins in 3 days.  Bring it on.  To quote one of my favorite Jerry Garcia Band songs: the quicker it opens, the sooner it closes… 

The theme of the hour for me and many of my patients seems to be easy, nourishing recipes that can be stored in tupperware to pull out of the freezer when the need arises.  Stocking your freezer with healthy choices is one good way to avoid the junk food trap.  I created this recipe for a recent dinner party, and it got rave reviews.  It’s a sweet, mildly spiced comfort food that kids will love, but sophisticated enough to serve to foodie snobs, should you so desire.

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The kernels sliced off an ear of grilled corn are a great addition to this soup.  Or you may be able to find frozen grilled corn.

 Southeast Asian Tomato Soup:

  • 6 large, ripe tomatoes
  • 3 red, yellow or orange bell peppers
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (I use the fire-roasted ones if I can find them)
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • few tablespoons coconut oil
  • 4 cups stock or bone broth (or water + one bouillon cube in a pinch!)
  • 1 cup almond (or whatever you like) milk
  • 3 inch piece ginger root
  • 10 oz (at least!) spinach or other dark green
  • as many cloves of garlic as you like
  • 1 tablespoon each ground cumin, coriander and turmeric (or 3 T curry powder)
  • chili powder or fresh jalapeno, diced — to taste — if you like spicy!
  • As much fresh cilantro, basil, and/or mint as you like — at least a few handfuls of whatever you can get your hands on …
  • OPTIONAL ADDITIONS:  1-2 cups frozen corn — or even better, the kernels sliced off several ears of grilled corn; diced zucchini (use up that late-summer glut!), canned or pre-cooked chickpeas; one block tofu, diced; cooked & shredded chicken or pork
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Invest in an immersion blender to make your life much easier!

Dice tomatoes, onion, garlic & ginger.  Saute the onions/garlic/ginger in coconut oil in a large, heavy bottomed stockpot until soft and slightly brown.  Add the tomatoes and cook until soft.  Meanwhile, roast your peppers.  (See previous post for instructions on how to do this if you need directions. https://doctorjenny.wordpress.com/2016/02/28/lickety-split-roasted-red-pepper-hummus/)  Set aside to cool.  Add the ground spices to tomato mixture and stir a few times.  Now add the canned tomatoes, coconut milk, stock and almond milk.  Remove stems and seeds from peppers, chop coarsely and throw in.  Blend in the pot with an immersion blender until fairly smooth. (You choose the texture!)  If you don’t have an immersion blender, this can be done in a regular blender, but it’s best to wait until the soup cools down a bit so it doesn’t come exploding out of the blender.  It’s definitely worth investing in a hand held immersion blender — they are cheap and oh-so-useful!  Last, put the spinach and chopped fresh herbs into the warm soup.  Add any other additions you want.  This makes a great dinner with plenty leftover to fill those tupperwares.

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The way to keep the freezer stocked: One bowl for now, one for later …

 

 

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