Friday, 5 December 2014

Thick and Creamy Tomato Soup





A winter eve, a tomato soup and a good book.

This morning I woke up begrudgingly, not wanting to come out of the warm cocoon my quilt had turned into during the night. This, and me having overslept, confirmed the onset of winters.

Last week I attended a family wedding and ate all the fat and carbohydrate rich food that are an important part of Indian weddings. So I have been taking a break and trying to compensate by opting for healthier options, mostly fruits and vegetables and milk. Add to it a crazy busy schedule and then it becomes easier for me tell you that I haven't been cooking much. 

But today was different. It was cold, I wanted something warm and healthy and I had the time for it. I couldn't think of anything other than a tomato soup, a thick and creamy tomato soup. It was easy simultaneously work and cook this because of the cooking intervals. And honestly, it doesn't even require too much work. A little chopping, a little sautéing and a little boiling. That's all it takes.



I had a version of a tomato soup at the wedding, which I could only call tomato water. I am one who doesn't mind whether my soup is thin, thick or creamy. But I am picky about the flavors. I don't have to tell you where that tomato water went. 

This tomato soup that I made today is of a moderate consistency and can be easily thinned down or thickened by adjusting the quantity of the vegetable stock used. I didn't use any thickener. I didn't need to. It was perfect the first time I checked it for seasoning, to my absolute delight.

It was twilight by the time I finished preparing and photographing it.

If someone could see me savoring it, curled up on my sofa by the window with my book, they would tell you that's a winter's eve well spent.



Ingredients:

Ripe tomatoes- 250 gm, chopped
Carrot- 1, chopped
Onion- 1 medium, chopped
Garlic- 2-3 cloves, minced
Bay leaf- 1
Butter- 1 tbsp
Sugar- 2 generous pinches
Tomato paste- 2 tbsp (optional)
Fresh cream- 1 tbsp and more for garnish (optional)
Vegetable stock- 2 1/2 cups 
Salt to taste
Freshly crushed black pepper- to taste

Recipe:

Heat butter in a pan.

Add bay leaf and garlic. Sauté for about 30 seconds.

Add chopped carrots and onions. Sauté for about 2 minutes.

Add chopped tomatoes. Add some salt, stir and let cook covered for 20-25 minutes on medium to low flame, until the all the juice from tomatoes draws out and they are cooked. Stir only occasionally.

Let cool down a bit, discard bay leaf and purée with a hand blender or a regular blender. Work in batches in a regular blender. Allow space in the jar for steam build up. 

Pour puréed tomatoes back into the pan and add sugar and tomato paste. Stir and let come to a slight boil on low flame.

Add vegetable stock. Add fresh cream. Stir and check for seasoning. Add salt and pepper. 

Let boil for a few minutes or until desired thickness is obtained.

Garnish with some fresh cream and pepper.

Enjoy hot with some toasted bread.