Coconut Cream Tomato Basil Soup

Served at a Dialog Dinner, June 30, 2010.

Serves 12, 2 cups per person (or 6 quarts, or 1.5 gallons).

Time:  This recipe requires a bit of planning and a bit of time b/c it has some prep work and a couple of stages Cutting, cooking, cooling and processing: Cutting and deseeding the 10 lbs of toms takes a bit of time (10 or more minutes, perhaps?), then oven roasting the toms for 30 minutes, then the toms need to cool before removing the skins, then you need to put the toms and the rest of the ingredients in a food processor (in batches). It all takes time, yet allows you to do other things in between the stages. (I worked in prepping the other dishes in between these stages.)

I wanted to serve this soup chilled, so I made it early on and put it in the freezer (and stirred it often) in order for it to cool down by dinner time.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Sucanat, or Rapadura, or 10 Medjool dates (soaked in 1 cup water for 3 hours or overnight and then blended to make a syrup), or other low-processed sugar (see my “sugar substitute” list, to be posted soon). I used Sucanat, see image.

    A minimally processed brown sugar, cooked with the roasted tomatoes.

  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground is best
  • 10 lbs. Roma tomatoes, quartered and seeds removed
  • the retained broth
  • 20 sun-dried tomatoes plus soaking liquid (soak for at least 3 hours in enough water to cover the toms; no need to soak the toms if you buy them in the jar soaked in olive oil)
  • 10 roasted garlic cloves (I roasted the garlic – still in it’s ‘paper’ and bathed in olive oil – in the oven on a small dish at the same time as roasting the tomatoes)
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbls dried basil
  • 2 Thai Young Coconuts, water and meat

Directions

1. Turn oven on to 425 degrees.

2. In large mixing bowl, mix well:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Sucanat, or Rapadura, or 10 Medjool dates (soaked in 1 cup water for 3 hours or overnight and then blended to make a syrup), or other low-processed sugar (see my “sugar substitute” list, to be posted soon). I used Sucanat, see image.

    A minimally processed brown sugar, used with roasted the tomatoes.

  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground is best

3. Then add and toss well:

  • 10 lbs. Roma tomatoes, quartered and seeds removed

4. Put the tomato mixture in a large deep pan lined with parchment paper, and roast for 20 – 30 minutes (stir/flip the tomatoes once or twice so that all the tomatoes are cooked evenly).

5. Remove from the oven and allow the tomatoes to cool, best to drain the liquid – be sure to retain the liquid b/c you’ll want to use this very sweet and tasty broth when you puree the tomatoes.

6. Remove the skins when the tomatoes are cool.

Tip:

The thin skin of the roasted tomatoes should remove easily, if quite a bit of tomato pulp remains on the skin, then they didn’t cook long enough. Best thing to do at this point is to skip removing the skins and blend all the tomatoes and then put’m through a sieve (strainer) to separate the skins from the pulp. Some people will think blending and straining is an easier step than removing the skins. For me – I prefer to blend and then strain in order to use all of the edible pulp.

7. Blend the skinless roasted tomatoes in batches along with these ingredients in a high-speed blender:

  • the retained broth
  • 20 sun-dried tomatoes plus soaking liquid (soak for at least 3 hours in enough water to cover the toms; no need to soak the toms if you buy them in the jar soaked in olive oil)
  • 10 roasted garlic cloves (I roasted the garlic – still in it’s ‘paper’ and bathed in olive oil – in the oven on a small dish at the same time as roasting the tomatoes)
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbls dried basil
  • 2 Thai Young Coconuts, water and meat

Tip:

I have a Blendtec, a high-speed blender – it does a wonderful job of blending, so, it chops, minces, purees very very very well …. I didn’t have to mince the sun-dried toms. It even cuts the dried basil flakes to basically being invisible. (A food processor will work if you don’t have a high-speed blender.)

8. Chill, or serve warm.

9. Garnish with:

  • a dollop of tamarind paste (I used this to give it a sweet/sour taste – everyone loved it)
  • fresh basil, minced