Just as my hubby was recovering from the common cold, I got it this week. Arrgghh..
So, as you probably know, chicken soup is the Jewish natural medicine for cold (and just about everything), but since we already ate enough chicken soup last week to cure my husband, I was getting sick (sicker) and tired of it.
Well, I’m not such a chicken soup person to begin with. So, I now wish to establish a new sick food tradition: the tomato soup.
And why not? it has plenty of vitamins, it’s not heavy on my poor stomach, it’s nice, hot, comfy food and really easy to make. Just what I needed.
Oh yeah, tomato soup is the new chicken soup.
Grilled Tomatoes and Red Peppers soup
- 5 tomatoes (I only had 3 fresh tomatoes so I used some canned tomatoes.)
- 2 red peppers
- 2 carrots
- 1 onion
- 2 celery sticks
- Tomato paste
- Water (or chicken or vegetables stock)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: garlic, spices: paprika, turmeric, etc.
Optional garnishing: hard cheese and fresh herbs (hyssop, basil, thyme, etc.)
The eggplant in the photo is used in the next recipe
Start with grilling the tomatoes and peppers, just like in my Escalivada recipe here: drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle coarse sea salt and ground pepper and put in the oven, on grill, on high heat for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the soup:
Saute the onion in a dash of olive oil together with the carrots and celery (and whatever else you’ve decided to add in), pour some of the water in and leave to boil.
After the tomatoes and red peppers have cooled down a bit, peel them and take out the pepper seeds, coarsely rip them up and add to the soup.
Add the tomato paste, the spices and the rest of the water just enough to cover everything up.
Leave on high heat until begins to boil, then lower the heat and cover. Cook for about 45 minutes, or until all the vegetables are soft and ready.
Turn off the heat and grind everything up for a smooth soup (with a hand-held or in a regular blender.)
Garnish with fresh herbs and cheese. You may also add in some cooked pasta.
Now, you’re asking what’s with the weird eggplant in the first photo?
You know how you’re sometimes trying to get from point A to B, but along the way you suddenly find yourself in point C and decide it’s actually much better?
So, I was trying to make croutons for the soup out of pita bread, and they turned out great, just not so great with the soup, but very tasty on their own.
While the soup was cooking I was getting hungry and couldn’t stop eating the “croutons”, and then I ate them with the eggplant and then I added some cheese, and then, as usual, I started playing with my food and came up with the following recipe, which I thought was worth sharing.
Oh, and the eggplant, my husband bought this Zebra eggplant in the supermarket out of curiousity and, out of the same scientific curiousity I wanted to try it out, so I grilled it with the rest of the vegetables for the soup and made an eggplant salad out of it. It tastes just like regular eggplant, perheps it had a bit more seeds in it, but it wasn’t bitter. Maybe I don’t have such refined taste buds, but I couldn’t tell a big difference. Of course, you may just as well use the regular eggplant.
Eggplants and Labane Cheese in Pita Bread
- 1 medium eggplant
- 2 pita breads, I used what we call a “Lafa”, which is a big flat pita bread without the pocket, looks much like a tortilla.
- Olive oil
- Fresh herbs: hyssop, basil..
- Labane cheese (soft yogurt cheese)
- Grill the eggplant just like in the previous tomato soup recipe and the Escalivada recipe, allow it to cool down and then peel it.
- Chop the eggplant and put in a bowl, add some olive oil, salt and pepper and fresh herbs.
- Lower the heat in the oven to about 200 deg. Celsius, leave on grill.
- Coarsely rip the pita bread into large pieces, put on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil (be generous with that olive oil) and sprinkle sumac on top of the pita slices.
- Place in the oven for about 10 minutes until nice and brown.
- Assemble the whole thing together: place a grilled pita slice on a plate, then add the eggplant salad, then add a layer of Labane cheese, and so on,
until you get a beautiful tower like so:
Doesn’t it look like something you eat in a restaurant? so fancy and tasty, and it’s just the basic eggplant, cheese and pita.
All the best, and be healthy!