Friday, March 28, 2014

Sun Dried Tomato Soup

Sun-dried tomatoes are one of my favorite foods, and this soup did not disappoint. While scouting my regular food blogs that I follow, I stumbled on this gem from Love and Lemons.

So on one of my last days in Saigon, I was trying to return our rented motorbike downtown by myself. Nick and Cate had gone on a tour of the Mekong Delta for the day. Of course the place was not open at its designated hour because this is Vietnam and things happen at their own pace. Usually I can deal with it, but the day was getting steadily hotter (it has been in the 100s this past week). Mostly, I was being impatient. I was also thirsty but I couldn't leave the bike. All of the sudden, a lady at a stand next to me pours half her fruit drink into a glass of  ice and offers it to me. These little gestures happen all the time and the generosity of the people here make it so easy to love this country. Just like that, my day turned around. A random guy showed up, told me the woman I was looking for was still sleeping, and miraculously produced our security deposit. There was a substantial amount of cash, so he went out of his way to make sure I got into a taxi safely. The next couple days went perfectly since (surprise!) my dad as well as my friend Cate came to visit. We celebrated my birthday with tons of delicious Vietnamese food and lots of cousins. My grandma was also very happy that this was the first birthday she got to celebrate with me! That's the last of the updates on Vietnam since we're now in Bali. More on that in the next post...

1 red onion, roughly chopped
 5 cloves of garlic, smashed
1/2 cup white wine
4 cups veggie broth
1 can coconut milk (reserve a couple spoonfuls of the cream for garnish)
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes in oil (found perfect size at Trader Joe's)
pinch red pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons dried Tuscan herbs
2 teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon maple syrup
salt & pepper

Strain the sundried tomatoes from the oil, reserving both. In a soup pot, heat the reserved oil and saute the onions until almost translucent. This should take about 5 minutes. Then add the garlic and stir for another minute.
Add the white wine and let alcohol evaporate for a couple minutes. Then add the rest of the ingredients including the sundried tomatoes set aside.
Bring to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes until tomatoes are completely softened. Turn off heat and use an immersion blender to blend the soup well. Dish into bowls and garnish with coconut cream, extra sundried tomatoes, olive oil, fresh basil, or all of the above.

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