In these dark January days as I trudge towards spring I long to taste summer in a bowl. This Thai Tomato Soup coaxes earthy summer sweetness from tinned tomatoes and hints at exotic lands where the warm winds lift your hair.
Under the ground, deep in the earth among the roots of the trees, the little root children were fast asleep all winter long. They didn’t feel the biting wind, the cold snow or the stinging hailstorms. They slept peacefully in their warm burrows. They were dreaming wonderful dreams, of the sunshine in which they had played all through the summer.
When at last winter came to an end, and the sun began to melt the snow, Mother Earth came along with her candle to wake them up.
-Sibylle von Olfer
A pile of freshly aired eiderdowns, soft as snow, blanketed our childhood winters. The New England wind blew through our unheated third floor apartment and we three girls entered a state of cozy known only to bears in dens and mice in straw piles.
In the frosty mornings our mother fed us hearty breakfasts at the dining-room table where our exhaled laughter steamed the air between bites of thick pancakes and sips of strong coffee. We’d walk off to our respective schools wearing our Salvation Army coats ready to slay the many dragons young children slay in their school days.
Arriving home in late afternoon as the sun slanted winter pink in the drifting snow we became again the root children (our true selves) snuggled in our burrow.
Mother Earth and my flaxen haired sister woke me in March each year on my birthday with lit candles, a song and the promise of winter’s end.
This soup is rich and yet delicate in flavor and comes together a snap for an easy yet sophisticated lunch. Serve it with slices of toasted bread or as i do with crackers or oven toasted roti. Topped with oven roasted cherry tomatoes it looks as bright as it tastes. This recipe can be easily doubled.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 whole onion diced
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 28 oz can ground tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups veggie broth
- 3 leaves Kaffir lime finely shredded
- 1 inch lemongrass stalk finely sliced
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves torn into small pieces
- pinch salt
- 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
- pepper to taste
Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the cherry tomatoes cut side down on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and pop in the heated oven for 20-25 minutes.
Sauté the diced onion in olive oil over low heat until soft and transparent. Add the garlic to the pan and stir a few times.
Pour the ground tinned tomatoes into the pan with the onions and garlic. Add veggie broth, Kaffir lime leaf and lemongrass and simmer over low heat 20 minutes.
Simmer over medium for 20 minutes. Stir in 3/4 of the basil and bring back to a simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in warmed non-dairy milk. Remove from heat.
Fill each warmed bowl with soup and grind some fresh black pepper over the top. Garnish with roasted cherry tomatoes and reserved basil.