Spicy Vegetable Soup With Croutons

Welcome to my post about old people’s food. Just kidding! Let me explain. A week ago I had dental surgery, a tooth extraction, to be exact, and that was a little scary for me. It made complete sense that the tooth had to go, but shortly before surgery for some crazy reason I felt like they’d be cutting off a limb.

The tooth had been dead aka root canal treated about 15 years ago, and several dentists had told me over the years that underneath it sat an infection. No one deemed it necessary to do anything about it, so I didn’t really think about it much. Until I changed dentists yet again. The lady was horrified that no one had taken care of that infection because it actually meant that my body/immune system was constantly busy fighting it. So she did a root resection and we’d see if the infection would heal.

Alas, it did not, and four years later it was time to say goodbye to the tooth altogether. First I went to get a second and third opinion, though, but everyone assured me that it really had to go, and the rationale that got to me most was that everyone said that my immune system would start to adapt. Seeing as how often I was sick over the past ten years, this was the kick in the butt I needed to get it done.

Enter food. One of my favourite things. Only with the stitches in I wasn’t able to chew on one side, and also I couldn’t eat sharp ingredients like seeds or muesli, nor anything that would compromise the stitches.

And so I had a week of not really wanting to cook or eat at all, because where’s the fun in eating only soft or even puréed food? That’s where I tried to get inventive with this soup.

I wanted to roast some vegetables and then add canned tomato pulp and purée it all with some stock. In the end it got a little more elaborate, though.

I wanted flavour added directly during roasting, so I chose violet carrots for their sweetness, bell peppers for their savouryness, an onion, garlic, and fresh tomatoes. To give it a bit of heat I mixed it all with harissa paste instead of olive oil, no salt or pepper required.

Next I simply chucked everything in a blender, then added some vegetable stock as well as some canned white beans for a thicker consistency.

I resisted adding herbs, which I would have loved, but although the stitches are out, my wound is not completely healed yet, and I didn’t want anything caught in it.

Instead I fried rye bread slices, rubbed them with garlic, cut them into cubes, and dry-fried them. With a little crème légère, this made up for not using any herbs, and the latter took the heat out of the harissa paste a little.

All in all, for a puréed mass of vegetables this turned out really delicious, and once my gap is completely healed, I will explore this recipe further, adding more fancy stuff. For now, though, I’m completely content with the taste – a little heat and a great mix of vegetables that go very well together. Plus, who doesn’t like croutons…