roasted heirloom tomato soup with basil oil

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To say the last few days have been a maelstrom would be an understatement. I’ve spent time with scores of friends who are excited to support me on my journey back to mindfulness, and are eager to gain any second-hand knowledge based on my sessions with my nutritionist. And while it’s been an adjustment living without dairy or gluten, it hasn’t been as horrifying as I thought it’d be.

It never is as bad as we think it’ll be.

What’s also interesting about this journey is that I’ve been on the receiving end of advice from well-meaning people who are not professionals. They press anecdotes and tips they’ve read into my hands like foil sweets, and wrinkle their nose in refute of the knowledge delivered by someone whom I’ve paid (and quite handsomely) to help me get my life back on track. It’s hard to get irritated because people care and they want to help, but right now I need to be myopic. I need to shut off the noise that threatens to subsume the quiet voice I know will lead me back to mindfulness. I’ve held these friend’s hands and said that I don’t need their counseling, I need their support. I need their shoulder and their heart, not a read-back from Women’s Health, or second-hand advice delivered from a SoulCycle instructor.

I need you to be my friend, not my makeshift nutritionist. I’ve said these words kindly and plainly, and I think, or at least I hope, people get it.

And while I miss my cheese, bread, couscous, pasta, and all my goodies, I’ve been trying to think of this as not about a door closing, but another one opening. Cookbooks that rest dormant on my shelves now scatter my floor. There’s all this delicious food ready for the making, and I can’t wait to bring you all the yummy eats.

In the interim, I thought I’d share my three-day kickstart food menu + supplement plan, as provided by my nutritionist. Why not share all the good stuff? Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS: Recipe from Sophie Dahl’s Very Fond of Food
2 1/2 lbs of heirloom tomatoes, halved
1 large onion, quartered
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and quartered
4 cloves garlic
salt + pepper
Olive oil
1 scant tsp dark brown sugar (I opted to use coconut palm sugar instead)
A handful of fresh basil

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DIRECTIONS
Preheat the oven to 375F/190C. Place the tomatoes, onion, red bell pepper, and garlic in a roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper, splash with olive oil, and sprinkle over the sugar. Roast for around 45 minutes.

Take the pan out of the oven and allow to cool. Peel the onion and squeeze the garlic cloves from their skins. Place the onion, garlic, tomatoes and bell pepper into a blender in batches (this all fit in my Vitamix in one go), and puree until soft and velvety. When you have a soup, pour it into a large saucepan over low heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil, stir and heat through for one minute.

Wash out the blender, place the basil and a tablespoon of olive oil in there, and blend on high. Put a swirl of this green mix through the soup before serving.

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