Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Cream of Tomato Soup

This soup is thick and rich and creamy and perfect for a soup and sandwich lunch on a cold winter's day.  It does take a little time to make, but the flavour and the texture that comes from reducing all the ingredients down is well worth the wait.

- 2 cups chopped cherry tomatoes (or plum tomatoes)
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 stems of fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup diced carrot
- 1/4 cup red lentils
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 can light coconut milk
- salt and pepper to taste

1. Make a tomato paste: Place chopped cherry tomatoes in a small saucepan.  Bring to bubbling over medium heat and cook, uncovered, for 10-12 mins, until thickened and tomatoes have broken down.  Mash with a spoon as they cook.
2. Use a spoon to push the tomato mixture through a fine sieve until just the skins and seeds are left behind.  It will yield about 3/4 cup.
3. While tomatoes are cooking, sauté onions with a large pinch of salt over medium heat in a large pot for 5-7 mins, until softened.  Add garlic, thyme, carrot, and lentils and sauté for 2 mins more.
4. Add stock, canned tomatoes (juice and all), and the cherry tomato paste.  Bring to bubbling over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and cook uncovered for about 40 mins, or until liquid has reduced by a third and veggies are barely covered.  REMOVE THYME STEMS.
5. Blend with an immersion blender, or in batches in a blender, until very smooth.  Return to heat and add coconut milk.  Mix well.  Heat through, and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve.