Berlin proved to be stuffed full of veg*n restaurants, and Kopps might have been my favourite of the ones we visited. Once back home I was so wistful for its rich dinners and varied breakfasts that I paid an inordinate amount of postage to have Kopps chef Björn Moschinski's cookbook delivered to me. A cookbook that is written entirely in German.
Thankfully Vegan Kochen Für Alle (Vegan Cooking For All) has lots of glossy colour photos to steer me towards the recipes I want. Google translate guided us well through our holiday and does a nice first draft of a recipe (although I thank Sarah and Sandra for tweeting extra expertise my way). I'm not sure I'll bother transcribing and translating Moschinski's 8-page foreword, though.
I started from the beginning; this tomato soup is the first recipe in the book! I know that tomatoes and basil are summer foods but we've had a weird waft of spring this week and I really couldn't wait. My soup was not quite as red and smooth as the one photographed in the book. Nevertheless, I really like the subtle sweet creaminess that the coconut milk provides; I also like that the German word for stick blender is Stabmixer!
Tomato coconut soup
(adapted slightly from Vegan Kochen Für Alle
by Björn Moschinski)
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
30g tomato paste
500 mL vegetable stock
400 mL can coconut milk
1 bunch basil
Bring a large pot of water to the boil, and fill a large bowl with ice water. Remove the core from the top of each tomato, leaving the tomato whole, and cut a small cross in the base. Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water for about 30 seconds, then plunge them into the ice water.
Dice the onions finely. Drain all the water from the large pot and heat the oil in it; add the onions and saute them over medium heat until they begin to brown, about 10 minutes. While the onions are cooking, peel the skins from the tomatoes and dice the tomatoes finely. Add the tomato paste to the onions and fry the mixture for 2-3 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and cook, stirring, for a further 5 minutes. Pour in the stock and coconut milk; simmer it all for 15 minutes on low heat.
While the soup is simmering, wash and roughly chop the basil. When the soup is finished simmering take it off the heat, add the basil and blend the soup (preferably with a stick blender) until smooth. Season to taste and serve.