I’ve been wanting to share this recipe for a while now. Don’t let the apparently weird combination of flavours put you off- trust me, it works! It’s a staple in my what-to-cook-for-dinner repertoire and it’s been well received by everybody who’s tasted it, including my brother who isn’t the biggest fan of soup!
This soup is inspired by Chef John’s Tomato Bisque recipe, which you can find here. His video recipes are really informative and humorous, and provide me with lots of inspiration whenever I’m out of ideas of what to cook next. (Yes, incredibly, that does happen!)
The most interesting thing about this recipe is its thickener. Most soups use roux (a flour and butter paste) or flour as thickener to make the soup creamy and well, thick. In the case of a chowder, mashed potatoes are sometimes used. But like Chef John says, these thickeners can make a soup quite stodgy, which isn’t very nice sometimes. To make the soup a little lighter he used rice instead, and I cannot pretend that I didn’t borrow his idea here.
The vegetables are also roasted before being added to the soup. Personally, I prefer this step because the roasting process adds more sweetness and a depth of flavour. But if you’re in a hurry, as I sometimes am, this step is completely optional. You can chuck the raw tomato and pepper straight in the saucepan and still end up with a delicious-tasting soup. No worries!
I love this soup because it’s filling but not so heavy that it sits in your stomach for two hours after you’ve eaten it. What’s more, the coconut-tomato flavour combo is a great change of scenery if you’re getting tired of your jar of ‘Italian Mixed Herbs’. It’s creamy, fragrant, slightly sweet and very satisfying, especially if you eat it with freshly made croutons.
I’ve just had this soup for lunch with some baked sweet potato and sautéed cabbage. It’s such a satisfying meal to add to such a beautiful day. And I might be sounding a little cliché, but these little things and little moments remind me of just how happy and thankful I should be. And I am.
Coconut Tomato Soup Recipe
Inspired by Food Wishes
1 pound ripe tomatoes (about 6 or 7)
1/2 red bell pepper
3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 + 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon rice (or 2 tablespoons cooked rice)
1/2 cup coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste
fresh or dried basil (optional)
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Cut tomato into quarters. Cut red bell pepper into pieces of similar size. Toss with garlic, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and a large pinch each of salt and pepper. Transfer to a roasting pan and roast for 15 minutes.
- In a saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium heat. Sauté onion until the edges turn brown, about 5 minutes.
- Peel the roasted garlic and add to the saucepan together with the tomato, bell pepper, and any juices accumulated in the roasting pan. Stir in water and rice. Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.
- Transfer to blender and blend until smooth. Return to the pan on low heat and stir in coconut milk.
(If needed, adjust the consistency of the soup by adding more water.)
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Take it off the heat when it begins to bubble.
- Serve with a generous sprinkle of basil and a handful of croutons. Enjoy!