This is a traditional Indian recipe for Navratri and it...Read More
A classic tomato soup that is a comforting bowl of warmth. It is a simple one pot recipe using fresh tomatoes that is packed with flavor and a silky smooth texture making for a delicious soup perfect for the current weather situation.
Growing up my favorite soup was tomato soup. Any kind of tomato soup and I was a happy camper. We would buy the Maggi Instant Tomato Soup Packets that we diluted in hot water, all of it was ready to eat in 5 mins. The combination of technology and fast fast food brought this soup together in an impossibly quick amount of time. As I grew up and learned more about food and cooking, this was a soup I needed to make from scratch.
I have tried recipes with fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes, combination of tomato paste and fresh tomatoes, basically I have tried every single way of making this soup. I must admit I enjoyed each one of them as a true tomato soup lover you wouldn’t discriminate, in my opinion at least. What I began to not like, was highly processed tomato soups. So while I still get nostalgic and might have a packet soup once in a couple of years I have converted to making it from scratch and don’t think I am turning back any time soon.
The recipe starts and ends in a stock pot. Everything is cooked in the pot before getting blended into a smooth silky pool of tomato soup. Sometimes, if the tomato skin is too stubborn to blend entirely I will strain the soup out. Most traditional recipes ask for the tomatoes to be blanched so the skin can be peeled off however, I cook the soup with everything, the seeds and skin. There is flavor and color there which we don’t want to loose.
However I would recommend a good blender as, it would save you the trouble of straining (not like it takes a herd to strain such a tiny amount of soup), I must admit I don’t like to strain my soup as I not only prefer it a little chunky with a bite but I also don’t mind the fiber in it. This is a healthier soup which means, we don’t add any cream or butter here. There are pure fats like olive oil and coconut milk or a little yogurt for the top.
When making soups of any kind, it is good to season the mixture as you cook in layers. A little at a time. Always hold seasoning back as the soup does reduce or thickens which means the flavor gets concentrated hence the seasoning would too. I like to season well at the end once Ive reached the desired consistency. Also, serve the soup with salt at the table as it is a subjective matter for anyone eating.
As for substitutes, this is a tomato soup so you NEED tomatoes but you could replace fresh tomatoes for canned chopped tomatoes/whole tomatoes in juice – in which case eliminate the tomato paste. You will have to keep tasting for seasoning as canned products already have a lot of salt and sugar in it for preservation. The soup would definitely need a little spice and acid to balance the sweetness. When choosing the right herbs, you want to ensure they pair well with tomatoes, I would use fresh or dry herbs such as oregano, thyme, rosemary or a combination of them.
I like to finish the soup with a little vinegar, hot sauce and season once more before serving. I also like using crushed black pepper as I don’t want it as a mere seasoning, as much as I want it to be a prominent feature in the soup visually and in taste. You could add a little extra virgin olive oil into the soup at this stage to amp up the richness and flavor.
When it comes to serving the soup, the options are endless, you can go classic and serve it with a Grilled Cheese Sandwich, get my recipe here. Better yet, a few croutons go a long way and add a little texture to a simple soup. Sometimes I’ve felt extra and grated some Parmesan cheese on top and there are other times when I have sprinkled over some freshly chopped parsley and grated over lemon zest for a bit of freshness.
Once the soup is cooked, it can be kept warm in a warm oven, if it gets too thick add a little more vegetable stock or water to thin it out until you achieve the right consistency. The leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days, when you are ready to eat it add a little stock into the bowl and warm it up in the microwave until steaming. You can also freeze the soup in containers for up to a month however, it might loose its luxurious texture and intense color depending on the temperature of the freezer. It has never lasted longer than a day in my house. Just saying.
Enough talk about tomato soup, let us make some. You can watch how I made it here. Happy Cooking Ninjas!
- Stock pot with lid
- Wooden spoon
- 3 large Tomatoes roughly chopped
- 1 large Onion roughly chopped
- 4 Garlic cloves
- 2 Bay leaves
- 2 tsp Dried herbs
- 1 tsp Black pepper powder
- 3 tbsp Olive oil
- 2 cups Water/Veg stock
- Honey & Salt as required
- 1 tsp Vinegar
- 2 tsp Hot sauce
- 1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
- Yogurt for the top
- Croutons Recipe (in notes)
- In a stock pot on medium heat, add a tbsp of olive oil and the onions. Cook until soft stirring every now and then. Should take 3-5 mins.
- Add the garlic, bay leaves and herbs. Stir again. Reduce heat and cover. Let them steam for a couple of minutes.
- Take off the lid and add the tomatoes, stir well and increase the heat to medium high. The tomatoes will release a lot of liquid which is good. Cook the mixture a couple of minutes longer.
- Season with honey salt and pepper as needed.
- Add the stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it cook for 8-10 mins on low to medium heat until the tomatoes are soft and the liquid has reduced a little.
- Blend the mixture with the remaining olive oil and strain it into the stock pot. Season with salt and pepper.
- Finish with a couple drops of vinegar, hot sauce and extra virgin olive oil.
- Serve with croutons and yogurt on the top.
- You can replace fresh tomatoes for canned tomatoes. Either chopped or whole however adjust the seasoning accordingly.
- Dried herbs such as oregano, thyme and rosemary work well.
- Find the Croutons recipe here.