A Simple Tomato Soup Recipe
Every couple of months a small group of us choose a cookbook author (or cookbook) to focus on. It's a casual affair, and people leave notes and insights related to the recipes they try. We've cooked from Moro East and The Many Little Meals of Rose Bakery, as well as The Zuni Cafe Cookbook. We've cooked along with Yotam Ottolenghi, Deborah Madison, and for the next two months, Melissa Clark. I know many of you have Melissa's books - just know you're more than welcome to join in. There's a pureed tomato soup she includes in Cook This Now, it is a bit brothy, bright, warmly spiced, and just the sort of thing I crave this time of year. Various riffs on it have been on the table here all week.
I tend to make a big pot of this soup. Melissa's original recipe has you add a good amount of coconut milk to finish, but I'm usually inclined to keep it straight tomato (and the recipe below reflects this). You can soften it up later with a bit of the thick, luxe cream skimmed off the top of a can of coconut milk if you're inclined. I also like it with fresh herbs, paneer croutons, a poached egg, etc. Sometimes all of the above. At once :) I can also promise it is A+ ladled over cooked farro or brown rice.
A Simple Tomato Soup
HS: A number of you are concerned about the BPA liners in a canned tomatoes. Seek out tomatoes packed in glass jars, alternately I'm aware that Muir Glen has transitioned to BPA-free liners, although it's tricky, because those cans aren't labeled BPA-free. Look for cans with expiration dates as far out as possible (2014? 2015?), those are more likely to have the new liners.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, olive oil, or coconut oil
2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, plus more to taste
3 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chile flakes
2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes (pref. fire-roasted)
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
to serve: any of the following that sound good to you - cooked brown rice, lemon wedges, toasted almond slices, pan-fried paneer, fresh thyme or oregano, oregano drizzle, a poached egg
In a large pot over medium heat melt the butter. Add the onions and salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions really soften up - 10 minutes or so. Not so much that they brown, just until they're completely tender and unstructured.
Stir in the curry powder, coriander, cumin, and chile flakes, and cook just until the spices are fragrant and toasty - stirring constantly at this point. Just 30 seconds or so. Stir in the tomatoes, the juices from the cans, and 6 cups / 1.5 L of water. Simmer for fifteen minutes or so, then puree with a hand blender until smooth. This is the version you see up above (minus the toppings). That said, at this point you can decide if you'd like your soup even a bit thinner - if so, you can thin it with more water, or if you like a creamy version, with some coconut milk. Taste and adjust with more salt to taste.
This soup is great served simply with a dollop of cream from the top of a can of coconut milk (a little goes a long way) and a toasted wedge of good bread. That said, I love it most with the coconut cream, served over a scoop of brown rice with a squeeze of lemon, some toasted almonds, and a jolt of herbs (fresh, or the sort of oregano drizzle I used here).
Inspired/Adapted from the Curried Coconut Tomato Soup in Melissa Clark's Cook This Now.
Prep time: 5 min - Cook time: 25 min