Creamy Tomato & Scotch Bonnet Soup

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This cream of tomato soup is simple and delicious. The coconut milk gives it a slightly sweet flavor that tempers the spice of the Scotch bonnet. If you don’t want the soup to be spicy, simply leave out the Scotch bonnet.

Serves 6

  • 1 whole head garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 24 plum tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 2 bunches fresh thyme
  • 1⁄2 Scotch bonnet, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1⁄4 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Slice off the root end of the garlic, place in a small baking dish, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil and roast for 20 minutes, or until the garlic is tender when pierced with a knife.

2. Meanwhile, with a paring knife, cut an X at the top of each tomato. Sink the tomatoes in a pot of boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes, until the skin begins to lift. Remove from the water and let cool. Peel the tomatoes, squeeze out their seeds, and chop, reserving any liquid. Strain the liquid and set it and the tomatoes aside.

3. In a large saute pan over medium heat, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add the onion, scallions, thyme and Scotch bonnet and saute until softened. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, water and tomato liquid. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 20 minutes, until the tomatoes break down.

4. Squeeze the garlic from its skin and mash it with a little salt. Add the garlic to the soup, then transfer the soup to a blender and puree until very smooth. Return the soup to the pot over medium heat. Stir in the coconut milk and brown sugar and simmer for about 8 minutes. Season again with salt and pepper and serve.