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I'm always fascinated by the associations my brain makes with certain things. Tomato soup will forever trigger the memory of a food prep class back in college, and "Cream of Tomato Soup" was my midterm! (I passed, Yay!). It was one of the most memorable classes I've ever taken, half the class was spent in the kitchens mastering the perfect sauce or souffle, and we weren't even culinary majors. I think that might have been the reason why we felt no pressure, just really enjoyed ourselves. Ahh, the good 'ol days...
Over the years, my tomato soup has evolved away from the creamy aspect, mainly by eliminating the dairy component, and because I grew tired of that dairy after-taste. There has been so many variations, this particular version is pretty delicious and I have stuck with it for a couple of years now. I hope you try it and love it as much as we do.
I am a fan of Sunchokes a.k.a Jerusalem Artichokes. The fact is, they really have nothing to do with Jerusalem or with artichokes for that matter. I'm so curious to know how "they" name things, who's in charge of this?! Anyway, back to the soup. I thoroughly wash the sunchokes. Leaving the peel on, I halve them and drizzle about 2 tbsps of olive oil on and roast them for about 15-20 minutes at 375'F. In the meantime, peel and mince the garlic, roughly chop the onion and sautee with 1 tbsp of olive oil until soft, then add roasted diced tomatoes, water and bay leaf, cover and let simmer gently over low heat for 20 minutes. Once the sunchokes are done, remove pot from heat, add the roasted sunchokes, salt, pepper, turmeric, fresh basil, fresh greek oregano and tamarind paste. With an immersion blender, puree all ingredients together until creamy. Return to the heat for another 5 minutes. Serve with chunks of goat cheese on toasted bread or directly stir in the bowl.
Roasted Jerusalem Artichoke and Tomato Soup
3 cups roasted tomatoes, roughly chopped (or 28 oz roasted diced tomatoes)
1/2 lb Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes), washed and halved
1 cup water
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced (or about 1 tablespoon)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp fresh sweet basil leaves
1 tbsp fresh Greek oregano leaves
2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp tamarind paste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
Pinch of chili pepper (optional)