Do you view cooking as drudgery, art, or something in between? My Turkish friend Aslı is a creative cook and culinary genius. She inspires me to pursue fun and adventure in the kitchen. Aslı uses a recipe as a starting point. She changes and adds ingredients based on her mood and what she has in the fridge. I learned from her how to make roasted tomato soup.
Cooler fall temperatures put my family and me in the mood for soup, our favorite comfort food. This simple but delicious recipe is a great one to try in October, while you can still find relatively decent tomatoes at the grocery store. Here’s my best attempt to capture Aslı’s great soup in writing:
Easy Roasted Tomato Soup
6 or 7 medium tomatoes
1 medium to large onion, peeled
1-2 sweet red peppers
4-6 cloves garlic
2 TBSP olive oil
1-1 ½ cups water or chicken broth
½ tsp. basil
1 tsp sugar
Salt to taste
1/8 tsp. black pepper
Step 1: Cut the tomatoes and onion into thick slices. Seed and cut the peppers in halves. Peel the garlic. Place everything in a large roasting pan and drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables.
Cook on the middle rack of your oven for 20-25 minutes at 425° F (210° C), until the vegetables are cooked and lightly browned in spots.
Step 2: This step is probably easier if you have time to let the tomatoes cool a bit in the roasting pan first, but I never do! Put the roasted tomatoes, peppers, onions and garlic into a blender. Make sure you don’t leave out the pan juices. Add some of the water or chicken broth if necessary, and blend until the vegetables are pureed.
Step 3: Transfer the puree to a pot and thin it with rest of the water or chicken broth. Add the seasonings. Bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes before serving.
This makes 4-6 servings. Happy cooking to you. My friend Aslı would say, “Afiyet olsun!” That’s Turkish for “Bon apetit!”
So, is cooking drudgery or art for you? What kind of soup do you and your family like best?