FOOD AND TRAVEL

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tomato Curry Leaves Soup

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I must tell you I take the idea of last meal on earth very seriously. Whatever food falls in that category, I make sure I teach M how to make it.  He doesn't know I'm doing this to him of course, that's my underlining, unsaid and vicious goal. And guess what? He's almost mastered this one. So far my last meal is looking good and in safe hands. Besides it's not all that vicious, it also makes sure he doesn't have to rely on take outs when I'm not going to be around until he joins me in India after a week. All my goals benefit human kind I tell you!

tomatories

This soup is a childhood favorite.  Surprisingly as much as a brat I was in eating, I always liked soups. Thin soups, thick soups, brothy chicken soups to creamy vegetable soups, my mom knew she could feed me a soup. So soups she made.  With her instinctive cooking and understanding of flavors, she created soups after another and never wrote down recipes. But this tomato soup would feature for dinner every so often, my whole family knows how its made!

curry-leaves

You know curry leaves? It has nothing to do with curry powder. Curry leaves are fragrant, almost sweet bitter leaves which are extensively used in Indian cooking specially down south. They are generally used in recipes while tempering the oil to infuse its flavor in the final dish. It has a great importance in ayurveda is extensively used for medicinal purposes such as aid in digestion.

curry-leaves--

In this soup, curry leaves to tomatoes are what basil to tomatoes. They are meant to be together.  The sweet bitter and almost nutty flavor of the curry leaves compliments the sweet and tangy tomatoes in perfect harmony. The garlic provides a bit of an edge while the cumin adds that undeniable earthy aroma and taste that rounds the flavor perfectly. 

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Next time you making tomato soup, try this Indian version served warm with a warm toasted baguette. I know you shall love it!

Tomato Curry leaves Soup
Serves 2-3

Ingredients

4 large red tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tbsp garlic paste
1 tsp cumin seeds 
2-3 sprigs of fresh curry leaves 
1 tsp red chilly powder/sweet paprika
1/2 tsp sugar 
1 cup water
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Spring onions to garnish (optional)

Method

Boil the tomatoes in water with two cloves of garlic until the skin splits up. 

Pinch off the skin of the tomatoes and blend it along with the water until smooth.

Add oil in deep bottom saucepan and add in curry leaves. Stand with a lid as curry leaves will splutter all over the stove. As the spluttering starts add the cumin seeds.

When cumin seeds are toasty and brown, add red chilly powder and the blended tomato juice.

Season with salt, sugar and pepper. Let it boil down to a slightly thicker consistency, or as desired. 

Chewing on curry leaves is very good for you, but if you fussy and don't like little leaves floating in your soup feel free to skim them out.

Serve warm with a toasty cheesy baguette or grilled cheese sandwich.
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44 comments

  1. Seems simple, healthy ( with no addition of cornflour or cream) and so it is just my kind of soup.

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  2. Simply yummy! Tomatoes are so sweet now it's the perfect time for soups. Gorgeous photos :)

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  3. Beautiful photos! I've always loved soup too.

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  4. LOL to your vicious goal! When I left for India, I cooked for 1.5 wks, stacked labeled in the fridge and the freezer, with more instructions stuck on the refrigerator. The other 1.5 wks, A was supposed to cook and use the blog if he needed to. He did not, he did not "waste" time. so he bought frozen food.:) I hope your plan works LOL

    i have to try this. I make a tomato curry leaf soup that ma wld make, but very different and with coconut.the tomato shot is gorgeous!

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  5. I want to jump in your photographs and dive into the soup. Scrumptious!

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  6. I love our south Indian Tomato Rasam with curry leaves! so comforting on a cold evening:)
    Your soup looks great too! I love all the tomato photos!! looks perfectly plump and juicy!!

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  7. ooooooooooh I love it!! I adore tomato soup and the curry leaves make for such a wonderful twist!

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  8. this soup sounds delish and i love the addition of curry leaves. my other half starved while i was away- he doesnt even make tea!

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  9. love soups too...we make something similar at home with curry leaves called tomato kut, and garnish it with boiled egg quarters. one of my fav dishes growing up, and still is!

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  10. I will have to try and track down curry leaves, this soup is something i have to try. Tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich is my ideal fall dinner. Is there any kind of substitute for the curry leaves?

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  11. @Sue - Unfortunately there is no substitution for curry leaves but I hear you can get dried varieties easily in Indian or Asian stores. That would work well. If you can't find them, I make another soup similarly but add lots of chopped mint leaves at the end instead of curry leaves. Hope that helps

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  12. Beautiful clicks my dear! Is that what Indian recipes mean when they say "# sprigs of curry leaves"? I have them, but my sprigs are so much larger and I always wonder if I'm adding too much.

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  13. @Xiaolu - Good question! That's really a very small sprig and a normal one is larger for sure. 1 sprig would mean about 4-5 curry leaves though this can vary according to the size. I should update the recipe with number of leaves instead

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  14. This is such a comforting looking soup! Thank you for sharing your mom's recipe with us. This is the first time I've seen fresh curry leaves.

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  15. "In this soup, curry leaves to tomatoes are what basil to tomatoes" - love that! I have to find some curry leaves.

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  16. I've never seen curry leaves but I know this will be delicious. The photos are stunning.

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  17. I have never used curry leaves, but love the idea for such a beautiful tomato soup.

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  18. stunning! You have had the most beautiful background lately!

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  19. beautiful tomato pictures! I've never used curry leaves - I'm sure it's wonderful!

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  20. Oh I'm in love... what a beautiful idea to spin the traditional tomato soup by using some Indian seasoning.

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  21. I love this twist on tomato soup. I can certainly understand why this was a childhood favorite!

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  22. Wow what a flavourful soup...yummy and delicious looking very tempting clicks

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  23. If it's from tomato, count me in. I will have my own version of it.

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  24. Love your version of tomato soup... wish i can have a sip now..absolutely love it.

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  25. An easier way to peel the skin off the tomatoes is to cut a small 'X' on one end before boiling it - once it's ready to peel it's easier to just pull on the corner of the 'X'. Thomas Keller taught me this!

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  26. I've always loved soups too Kulsum!! And your soup is no expection, it looks amazing, and I love the addition of curry leaves. I will have to try that.

    Your photos are absolutely breathtaking!!!

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  27. A Spoonful of YummAugust 29, 2011 at 12:11 PM

    the shot of the tomatoes is gorgeous ! i can't imagine a world without tomatoes . curry leaves is a perfect addition :)

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  28. Could it be any more beautiful? I mean really, it is gorgeous and vibrant and loaded with flavor. I love it

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  29. I love tomato soup! Never have it with curry leaves though. Thanks for sharing!

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  30. I have been dying to try something with curry leaves, and I also love tomato soup so this is right up my alley. now I just have to find them! Beautiful photos, as usual! :)

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  31. This is totally my kinda soup and curry leaves are one of my fav to go with tomatoes and even daal. Do you like eating crispy curry leaves? At times I like to add some extra leaves while giving tadka and eat those crispy. Good job on your your vicious goal ;) and I am on mine too!

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  32. I like the south indian touch to the regular tomato soup! YUM!

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  33. This soup is so healthy and fresh. The curry leaves must add such a fragrant aroma.

    You're lucky your husband learns the recipes, mine has no interest whatsoever.

    Amazing photos as usual. :)

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  34. Your pictures are just so melancholic. They kind of have an atmosphere that is like the way you describe those curry leaves: sweet and bitter. :)

    When I first read the title I thought I knew what you mean by curry leaves, but looking at the photos made me realize that I had a completely different plant in mind that is also called curry plant: Helichrysum italicum. I imagine the flavour of this soup to be somewhat autmn-y so that it would make the perfect soup for this 'in between' season. Lovely.

    Tobias

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  35. i love this combo! A friend introduced me to a raita with cherry tomatoes and curry leaves. It was seriously addictive. I will most def. make this!

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  36. there needs to be video!

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  37. Super Healthy and definitely satisfying soup..flavorful soup tempts a lot.

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  38. Hi there, My curry leaves are the dried variety and are much bigger. Each leaf is about two or more inches long. How many do I use and when do I add them? I can't wait to try the soup! Bev

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  39. Hi there. I have dried curry leaves each about two or more inches long. Would you tell me how many and when to add them. Please and Thanks. Bev

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  40. Thanks Kulsum, I'll do that. Can hardly wait to try it!! b

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