Thursday, March 22, 2012

Velvety Tomato Soup

Soup? Again? Hell yeah! The chilly weather demands it!

I am sure Tomato Soup is one of the most popular soups in the world. Unfortunately, people think tomato soups are best had off a can or from packets. I do not deny that having ready made soups is convenient. But unless you make some homemade tomato soup, you will never realize what flavors and freshness you are missing out on. And don't get me started on what actually goes into these cans. That post is for some other time.

Though simple, this recipe is not super quick. It is posted so you can enjoy some awesome Tomato Soup. I wouldn't say that it mimics the quality of the canned version of this soup. It is far far superior and delicious!

If you grew up in India like I did, you most probably have had your lifetime share of Cream of Tomato Soup. It would not surprise you if I told you that those soups rocked because of the cream and sugar added to them.
When going all out and making soups at home, you don't really want to make it unhealthy. It is no fun drinking bowls after bowls of this soup if you are going to end up feeling guilty and miserable.
So after a lot of experimenting and reading up different Indian recipe books for Cream of Tomato Soup, I have finally devised an amazing way of making this soup so delish, that you won't mind missing out on the cream.

Let's get cooking this Velvety Tomato Soup.

Level: Easy
Serves: 6 to 8 people

6 - 7 medium tomatoes, ripe and firm cut into halves
1 medium carrot, roughly cubed
1 small potato, roughly cubed
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 inch cinnamon stick
8 to 10 black peppercorns
1.5 tblsp butter
2 tblsp sugar or to taste
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
3 cups water

Step 1 - Heat the butter in a pressure pan. Add the cinnamon stick and black peppercorns. Saute for a few seconds. Add the onions, carrot and the potato. Saute till onions turn transparent.

Step 2 - Add the halved tomatoes. Saute on medium high heat for 3 to 4 mins. Add 3 cups of water and pressure cook for 2 whistles or till every ingredient is thoroughly cooked. Open the pressure pan, once the pressure is released and it cools down.

Step 3 - Mash the ingredients in the pressure pan together and strain. Blend the ingredients that did not strain through, with a little water and strain again.

Step 4 - Heat the strained mixture in another pot. Adjust water till it reaches your desired consistency. Add salt, pepper and sugar and adjust sweetness as per your taste. Bring to a boil for 2 mins.

Serve hot with some croutons and pepper.
If you are in a particularly indulgent mood, you could swirl some fresh cream on top, plop in some tiny cubed cheese or sprinkle some shredded cheese to get a richer flavor. I have also seen recipes that added tiny cubed paneer (cottage cheese) in their tomato soups.
So just go crazy with these suggestions or keep it as simple as we do!
A little sprinkle of pepper. That's it!

The color of your soup will depend on your tomatoes. If they are in season, you will have a brighter soup, else it will be slightly orange. Whatever the color, the taste will still be great.

I generally store half of the strained mixture (after Step 3) in the freezer for later use. This stays great for a couple of weeks and you don't have to go through this entire process to enjoy your tomato soup again.

The quantity of sugar, will depend on the acidity of your tomatoes. So adjust sweetness as per your taste preferences.

Tomato, a nutritious fruit commonly used as a vegetable, is a wonderful gift from the Mayans. Interestingly, it has more health benefiting qualities than that in an apple!
Tomatoes are one of the low calorie vegetables, containing just 18 calories per 100 gms. They are also very low in any fat content and have zero cholesterol levels. Nonetheless, they are excellent sources of antioxidants, dietary fibre, minerals and vitamins.
Because of their all-round qualities, dieticians and nutritionists often recommend them to be included in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.
Need some more details? Head here.


  1. Using potato is a great idea. I can totally imagine how it gives a beautiful texture to the soup. And yes, I've had my fair share of creamy, sweet, calorie-laden tomato soups too!


  2. yes...the potato does a good job of making this soup smooth and creamy! :)