Basil-roasted Tomato Soup

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I love the smell of tomatoes roasting or braising. Although I do not particularly like raw tomatoes, I like the raw heirloom ones, the ones that are organically grown. It is a riot of flavors in them – sweet, sour, tangy, everything together. As south Indian, the only way I would probably be expected to use tomatoes is in Rasam. But I do make quite a number of soups to complement my meals.

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While roasted tomatoes itself sounds tempting, I could only imagine how interesting the soup would be. I used dry basil here, but you could use fresh basil paste if you like; it may work well too, but with much lesser roasting time. And you could skin the tomatoes; I did not, because I like all the fibre. I just blended the tomatoes for a longer time.

1. 300 gm Fresh, juicy tomatoes, cut in halves

2. 50 gm dry sweet basil

3. 1 tbspn Sumac

4. Extra virgin olive oil

5. Fresh ground black pepper

6. Salt

        

–        In a large tray, drizzle oil till the whole tray is coated well. Sprinkle the sweet basil and mix thoroughly with a fork, or with your fingers.

–        Place the tomatoes cut-side down in the tray. Move them around that way so that the oil and the basil get on to the cut side. After about a min or two, turn them around and move them around again so that they are coated well on the other side too.

–        Meanwhile, heat a non-stick pan on the stove on high heat first, and then turn to medium heat when you want to roast the tomatoes.

–        Place the tomatoes cut-side down on the non-stick pan, and fry them till they are lightly scorched.

–        Take them off the heat, and blend them thoroughly with the sumac. Season. 

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