ROASTED TOMATO BASIL SOUP
1.360 kg plum, or any other tomatoes
¼ cup + 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 and ½ tsp black pepper powder
1 cup chopped onion
¼ cup mince garlic
2 tbsp unsalted butter
½ tsp red pepper flakes
1 (280 oz.) canned plum tomato with juice
4 cups fresh basil leaves
1 tsp dried thyme
1 litre chicken stock
Preheat oven to 200°C. Toss salt and pepper together with tomatoes and drizzle olive oil to mix well. Spread the tomatoes in one layer on a baking tray and roast for 45 minutes. In a stock pot, over medium heat, sauté onions and garlic with 2 tbsp olive oil and butter till the onion gets brown. Sprinkle red pepper flakes.
Add canned tomatoes, basil, thyme and chicken stock. Add oven roasted tomatoes.
Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes.
Pass through a food mill fitted with the coarsest blade. Taste for seasoning. Serve hot.
CREAMY ROASTED PUMPKIN SOUP
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1½ kg pumpkin, cut into thick slices
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp mince garlic
Sea salt to taste
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
Cayenne pepper, a dash
Black pepper, a pinch
4 cups vegetable broth
½ cup coconut milk, or heavy cream
2 tbsp honey (optional)
¼ cup pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
Preheat oven to 250°C. Roast sliced pumpkin with 1 tablespoon olive oil for 35 minutes or till tender. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoon olive oil in a soup pot. Add onion, garlic and salt, keep stirring for 7 to 8 minutes. Add roasted pumpkin, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, cayenne and black pepper. Break pumpkin. Pour in vegetable broth, stir and let boil for 15 minutes. Roast pepitas (if using) separately.
When pumpkin mixture is done, stir in milk and honey. Remove soup pot from heat. Blend soup and transfer pureed soup to a serving bowl. Taste and adjust.
Ladle soup into individual bowls and sprinkle with roasted pepitas (if using) and celery leaves.
EASY SPLIT PEA SOUP
2 tbsp butter, ½ cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped carrots
1kg beef bones, or ½ litre chicken stock
1 tsp dried marjoram
2 cups green peas, split
8 cups water
Melt butter in a large, heavy pot. Add onion, celery and carrot; sauté until vegetable begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Add beef bones and marjoram, sauté for a minute, add peas and water. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour.
Transfer beef to a bowl. Puree vegetables in batches in the blender. Return to pot.
Cut beef off bones. Dice beef and return to soup. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.
If using chicken stock, after the vegetables are softened, add the stock, peas, marjoram and water, and bring the mixture to boil. Simmer for half an hour and puree in a batch. Serve hot, drizzled with heavy cream. You can also use boiled egg as a side.
Photo: Shaheda Yesmin