As mentioned in Day 5 of The Challenge
This was another experiment. It being mid August, it's been rather hot here the last few days so the desire for a cold soup at lunch was strong. My basil plant is doing tremendously well now that I've figured out where it is happiest on the balcony. It was going wild, bushy and quite tall, so I thought a cold basil soup might be refreshing for lunch. I had no real idea of how exactly to go about it until I started, but start I did and this is what it got me. Just skip the goats cheese to make this soup vegan.
Fresh basil, about 5 cups pre-chopping, roughly chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1 small potato, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
2 cups of spinach
Black pepper and salt, to taste
1/2 tsp sumac
2 tbsp lemon juice
Thick sliced bread - 2-3 slices per person
Goat cheese - 1 slice per bread slice
1) Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add onions and garlic. Sauté until translucent then add carrots and potato. Allow to cook for a few minutes until softening,
2)Add the tomato, spinach and basil. Add water. Simmer for a couple of minutes then remove from the heat. Blend until smooth. Add pepper and sumac and the lemon juice. Chill
3) While the soup is chilling, prepare the crostini. Put the bread under the grill in the oven at about 200°C for a few minutes, then once the first side is toasted, flip them over. Allow the second side to toast for a few minutes then put the cheese on top and allow to melt and begin to crisp at the edges.
4) Slice the cherry tomatoes in half and place on top of the goat cheese for 5 minutes. Serve warm with the chilled soup with an extra splash of lemon juice or balsamic as needed.
As an experiment this worked rather well, although I think in future it might benefit from cooking a bit less and from a reduction in spinach to really allow the basil to shine through better. It was flavourful and refreshing though, matching beautifully with the goat cheese toasts. A worthy use of my basil plant!