11 June 2007

Spicy Tomato Soup

A couple of years ago, on a visit to the US, my family and I had dinner at a friends' restaurant in NJ. It was a wet wet day, and we were rather disoriented after a non-stop 18 hour flight. As we waited for dinner, we were served some soup.

I wasn't really in a mood for any little bits and nibbles. I just wanted my dinner, and wanted to hit the sack, and reset my body clock. It was also one of those occassions where I couldn't refuse, or not eat it. So I took a sip, then a gulp and then slurped it all down and asked for seconds.

It was such a wonderful soup, a cross between tomato soup and rasam. Light, thin, sweet, spicy, and made me feel at peace with the world after a long long journey with my little one in tow.

And since then I've always tried to replicate that lovely soup, and I finally got it just right. It's simple, tasty, and very unfussy.

Spicy tomato soup
makes 3 cups

1 (200 ml) can tomato sauce (NOT ketchup)
400 ml water
1 tbsp rasam powder (or to taste)
1 lemon sized ball of jaggery
1 tbsp ghee
1 tsp cumin seeds
Hing (Asafetida)
2 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
salt to taste

Bring tomato sauce, water, rasam powder and salt to a boil.
Add jaggery.
Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
Heat ghee. Add jeera and fry until lightly browned. Add hing. Pour over soup.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

1. Hunts tomato sauce is my favourite. It works better than most other brands. I usually measure out one small can of sauce, and 4 cans of water.
2. Use water according to desired consistency. I like this soup thin. Use less water for a thicker soup.
3. In case you can't find tomato sauce, puree a can of diced tomatoes, strain the puree, and add water accordingly.


Anonymous said...

Hi Vidya,

Was that restaurant "Swagath" by any chance. It's my favorite appetizer rasam as well.


Vidya said...

yes Revathi, that's the very one!

Suganya said...

Rasam powder in soup. Thtz a cool idea!

ushaprashanth said...

Hi vidya!
Looks like a very good appetizer!!

Anonymous said...

It sounded like it! I go there very often...live about 1/2 hr from there. We go there when I feel like I want home cooked food but not my home cooked food...and ya, over the 10 years they've become our friends as well :-) Hope your little one is doing great. As you can tell, I've been a silent lurker:-)


Vidya said...

Suganya, Usha.. yes, its a wonderful dish despite its simplicity..
Revathy... lurk on to your heart's content. and convey my regards to the wonderful folks at Swagath when you see them next!

Sia said...

simple soupy rasam or rasam soup;) i could very well imagine slurping this hot bowl of spicy soup. can i substitute the tomato sauce with canned tomato puree? i guess it might just work well as i tend to use it quite often to make tangy rasam.

Preethy said...

Great food site Vidya! So true about so few veges in Japan(previous post).I have just managed to make friends with mushrooms - convinced now that they wont crawl and jump up at me!Will count on your ideas on those bleak 'what-to-cook'evenings.Arigato gozaimasu!