Tomato Tuesday: Soup by any other name September 12, 2011Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, random stuff, soupe du semaine.
The way I figure it is that I’ve got plenty of fresh tomatoes to keep me satisfied – and to share – all season long, PLUS I can do some cooking with fresh tomatoes AND if I’m lucky I can even preserve a few.
You know, there’s just so many options for fresh tomatoes, I don’t understand why everyone doesn’t have a plant or two. They just don’t know what they’re missing. . .
Well, I’m not going to lie to you – this is a blatant ripoff of Katerina’s recipe. Sure, I made a couple of wee changes along the way, mostly shortcuts, because that’s just how I roll.
But the main part – the amazing spice combination – that’s all hers, and I give her complete credit for her Warm and Spicy Cashew and Tomato Soup.
While Peeps was grilling (yes, grilling!) a pound and a half of fresh, oiled tomatoes, I sliced half an onion and started sauteing it with a splash of olive oil (we ultimately want it GBD) and assembled the spices: a clove of chopped garlic, a teaspoon of fresh ginger (from my freezer stash), and a tablespoon of tomato paste (also from the freezer), along with 1 teaspoon each garam masala and ground coriander, 1/4 tst. chili powder, and 1/4 cup of cashews.
See, here’s the thing. I don’t know what cashews actually do for soup. I mean, as far as I’m concerned, cashews are for picking out of the mixed nuts and eating before anyone else gets them. But we’ve made soup with cashews blended into it before and been more than happy with it. So whatever their purpose, when it comes to cashews in soup – I’m a believer.
So once the onions are browned, we “bloom” the spices – stir them into the still-oiled onions until you can smell them, then add the ginger, garlic and tomato paste, along with those cashews. Stir well, then gradually add 4 cups of water (really, just water!) a cinnamon stick, and maybe 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom (or a single cardamom pod, but mine’s ground). Scrape the bottom of the pan so nothing sticks, then add your grilled whole tomatoes (remember the tomatoes?), kind of mashing them into the water.
Doesn’t that just make you want to grab a bowl and a spoon? No?
Well, it will. You’ll want to let that simmer gently for about half an hour or so – the tomatoes will break down more and the flavors will start to blend nicely.
Meanwhile, I mixed together about 3 tablespoons each of nonfat plain yogurt and sour cream – believe it or not, we could not find full fat Greek yogurt. And since I drain the whey off my plain yogurt anyway, it is, to all intents and purposes, “Greek-style.”
Once the soup had simmered the requisite amount of time, we blended it with the stick blender. You could certainly blend it in a real blender (in batches, of course), and even strain it, but for just us, there was no need to go crazy.
Oh, and be sure to take the cinnamon stick (and cardamom pod if using that) out of the soup before blending. The cinnamon stick will not dissolve.
You’ll need to temper your yogurt-sour cream mixture – spoon a bit of hot soup into the dairy, then a bit more, until it’s thinned and warm.
Then stir it all into the soup.
Now is when you’ll want to grab that bowl and spoon.
And I will tell you – this soup was fantastic. The spices seemed, at first, to be not quite enough, but once everything was stirred and blended, and we sat down to it, it truly was perfectly spiced. Not too strong, not to spicy, not too sweet, not too anything. Just perfect.
PLUS – there was one leftover serving, which I very much enjoyed for lunch, and it was even better, if you can believe it!
I fully intend, before tomato season ends, to make this soup again, leave the dairy out, and freeze it for later in the year – the tomato-less months.