Like a large number of people, I never considered soup a meal until I read the book ‘French Women Don’t Get Fat,’ where soup is mentioned as an important part of the classy, beret wearing French women’s diets.

This led to a goal to eat more soup on a regular basis. Thinking about it now, soup is one classy meal - how else can you fit a large variety of healthy fare into your day.

The beauty I soon discovered with soups is that there is really no limit to what you can make and it's so easy to freeze and eat later when time is not something you have spare.

If more people gave in to the wonder of soup I’m sure we’d all be happier and healthier for it, but that’s a discussion for another day.

This soup recipe has to be one of the easiest, quickest meals I make.

Truthfully, I never actually liked tomato soup prior to making this recipe, too much acidity and the strength of cooked tomato was a taste I didn’t like.

The roasted tomatoes with a combination of other softer tasting vegetables and added coconut milk makes this soup not your typical tomato soup, its smoother on the palate.

Roasted Tomato Soup with Coconut Sambal
Adapted from Bill Granger’s Bill’s Basic’s Book
Serves 8

Tomato Soup
1200g canned whole tomatoes
1 onion, roughly sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 bell pepper, preferably red, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon of fresh vegetable broth or 1 vegetable broth cube

Heat the oven to 200°C/390F. Drain the juice/sauce from the canned tomatoes and place on the baking tray.

Add the garlic, onion, bell pepper. Add the olive oil and salt, pepper.

Cover with aluminum foil and place carefully into the oven, ensuring not to rip it while sliding into the shelf.

One hour later:
Take the tray out of the oven and remove the aluminum foil off and reduce the oven heat to 180°C/355F. Place the tray back in oven for one more hour, ensuring the entire tray has the juices well spread out so nothing dries out.

Half hour later:
Take the vegetables out of the oven and set aside to cool.

Make the vegetable broth at this time. Once the broth and vegetables are cooled enough to blend, place in a food processor and mix until smooth.

Place the soup into a stovetop pot and heat slowly, once warm add the coconut milk. Stir to mix .

Cashew and Coconut Sambal

1/3 cup cashew and almond nuts
1/3 cup desiccated coconut
Handful of coriander

Finely chop the nuts and coriander and place into a saucepan, add the coconut. Heat on low until lightly golden.

Serve the tomato soup with a dash of the toasted Coconut Sambal on top.

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