Our chihuahua is not well. He spent some time at the critical care clinic on Saturday. He’s home now but the prognosis is ultimately rather grim. Comet is an older gentleman and I know these kinds of problems are only to be expected but… But every sentence of this entry could begin with a “but.” He seemed fine on Sunday and I spent the afternoon attempting to reconcile the truth about what is happening inside his little 4 lb. body with the contented chihuahua I was watching snooze in a sunny spot of grass.
The fact remains that there is a balance of things which must be done in situations like this. Your ability to care for an animal who depends on you must fit with your ability to remain somewhat sane and care for yourself. Yesterday Comet wasn’t having a good day and I found it nearly impossible to just get something done. I was worried and distracted but knew if I spent the whole day sitting on the couch, I’d feel even worse. I opted for a doubly beneficial roasted tomato soup. It served as an activity to focus on and a perfect comfort food.
If you have an oven and a blender, this soup can be yours. I roasted up some tomatoes, garlic, a leek, and bell pepper with a bit of rosemary before taking to the blender with fresh basil, vegetable stock and some whole milk. This soup contains just enough milk to cut the acidity of the tomatoes but doesn’t cross over into being a creamy soup. The flavors are bright and bold and are politely requesting to be paired with a grilled cheese sandwich. I just brushed some olive oil on a bit of bread a grilled it. My dad is going to freak out when he reads this and realizes that the first thing I made on the grill he just bought me was TOAST, but I care not. IT WAS THE BEST TOAST EVER.
Roasted Tomato Soup
5 Large Ripe Fresh Tomatoes, rinsed and quartered
2 Leeks, halved lengthwise
1 Red or Yellow Bell Pepper, deseeded and cut into large chunks
5 Garlic Cloves
3 T Olive Oil
3 T Chopped Fresh Rosemary
5-6 Fresh Basil Leaves + more chopped for garnish
2 C Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
1 C Whole Milk
Shaved Parmesan Cheese for garnish
Directions: Preheat Oven to 350 Degrees F. Arrange tomato quarters, halved leeks, pepper slices, and whole garlic cloves on a baking sheet or in a shallow baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and rosemary. Bake in the center of the oven until leeks are well browned and tomatoes are soft with wrinkled skin. (Approx 30-40 minutes, stirring halfway through.) When veggies are done roasting, remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes.
Transfer veggies to blender (may have to blend them in two batches) or to a soup pot if you have an immersion blender. Blend veggies with fresh basil leaves, vegetable broth and whole milk until creamy. If using standard blender, transfer to soup pot. Heat creamy soup over medium heat, adding salt and pepper if desired until soup is hot. Ladle into bowls and serve with chopped fresh basil and shaved parmesan cheese.