Sunday, August 10, 2008

Tomato-Basil Soup with Grilled Veggies

I spent a couple of hours playing with the charcoal grill in the front yard last night, and ended up with a big mess of flame-grilled and roasted vegetables. This tomato-basil soup features fire-roasted tomatoes, and roasted onions and garlic that I cooked in a covered grill pan.
The tomatoes were coated with just a little olive oil, and cooked directly on the grill over hot coals. They were over the flames for about 15 minutes, turned frequently since the skin chars pretty fast. They ended up with nice grill marks and great flavor. All of the other vegetables - carrots, potatoes, eggplant, onions, and garlic - were roasted for over an hour in the foil-covered grill pan shown here. The roasting brings out the sugars in the vegetables, which lends a warm, sweet flavor to the soup.
3 large fire-roasted tomatoes
1/2 cup roasted onion
4 cloves roasted garlic
1 cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp. Earth Balance vegan margarine
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/4 cup soymilk (sweetened or unsweetened - a little sweetness is fine)
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
fresh ground black pepper
a few extra basil leaves, in chiffonade cuts, for garnish

1. Start by making a roux in your soup pot. This is a little easier in a non-stick pot, but by no means is non-stick necessary. On a medium flame, melt the Earth Balance margarine and olive oil. Add flour, and stir constantly. A thick, creamy gravy-paste will emerge as the flour cooks and dissolves in the oil. Add the thyme, oregano, and salt. Add soymilk and vegetable broth, and continue stirring frequently for about five minutes over medium-low heat. It looks something like this.
2. After making the roux, this soup is a snap. Add tomatoes, garlic, and onions. Since they're already cooked, I just re-heated them in the soup. Remove from heat, and let the soup cool until you're comfortable to put it all in a blender or food processor. This means different things for different people, so use your judgement, you know?

3. Blend the soup thoroughly in your appliance of choice. Return blended contents to soup pot, and add the cup of basil leaves. Keep cooking on medium just until the soup is hot and the leaves have begun to wilt. Overcooking the basil causes them to lose some flavor and texture.

4. Serve topped with a little ground pepper and garnished with those pretty little chiffonade basil leaves.

1 comment:

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

The soup and fire roasted tomatoes look delicious! I'm a slacker and don't tend to grill. I think ours is dust covered and in the basement. So I'm impressed!