Delicious homemade tomato soup with a depth of flavor from exotic spices.
Many times Bill and I will go out for Indian food since it is very popular in our area and there is a large community of Indian and Pakistani people in southwest Ohio. A number of places we go to have started to serve spiced tomato soup besides the usual dal soup as part of their menu. And while we do tend to like soup with our meals, the kind of soup they serve sometimes reminds me of Campbell’s soup that has just been spiced a bit. Both of us, however, would much rather prefer to have something a little more homemade and less “processed.” Now normally, I might like to make this from a start of fresh tomatoes, peeled and cooked down on the stove, but- it is getting to be winter here and any such tomatoes are long since gone.
There are good alternatives for using tomatoes in winter, especially canned tomatoes. Generally, roma tomatoes will be better, and if you can find San Marzano tomatoes, grown in Italy, will be better yet, in terms of flavor. In ordinary markets, you may or may not see those type of tomatoes shelved with the other tomato products. If you can’t locate them, try looking in the international foods sections, or inquire.
The spices may be a little bit more difficult to obtain if you are not used to seeing those in your area. Many of the dried ones you can get in person or through mail order, especially at a place like Penzey’s Spice market. The fresh curry leaves you will be out of luck if you can’t find them. I don’t really think there is a good substitute, so if you can’t find them, just omit. Don’t try adding curry powder in its place.
Other than that, this is quite an easy soup to put together and makes a really great lunch. I like serving it with stuffed nan bread which I heat on a griddle until it is soft and pliable. It’s great dipped into the soup.
Spiced Indian Tomato Soup
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
- 5-10 fresh curry leaves
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger root
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- pinch asafoetida (optional)
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper or ground red pepper
- 16 ounces crushed or diced tomatoes with juice
- 16 ounces tomato sauce
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- salt and black pepper (to taste)
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt or thick plain yogurt
- sriracha sauce (optional)
- Heat oil in a saucepan and add the curry leaves, mustard seeds and onion, and cook for about thirty seconds to temper the spices (they will just begin to sputter).
- Add the garlic and ginger, turmeric, asafoetida, coriander, red pepper, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, vegetable broth, seasoning to taste with alt and black pepper.
- Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes.
- Use a hand blender to puree this in the pan, or alternatively, you may choose to let it cool somewhat then puree in a food processor or blender.
- Return soup to pan and whisk in the yogurt.
- Taste for acidity (if your yogurt is tart you might want to sweeten it a bit with a pinch of sugar to taste). recheck salt and pepper, then warm briefly.
- Serve hot drizzled with sriracha sauce (if desired) and grilled pieces or nan bread or roti.
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