I first stumbled across a version of this curried tomato soup on Heidi Swanson’s 101 cookbooks. It is one of those dishes I find myself making again and again. Its quick to throw together, packs lots of flavour and can be finished in lots of ways to mix it up – add a poached egg or serve over cooked brown rice (or both!) to make a meal out of it; serve up with warm roti for dipping; add a big dollop of tangy natural yoghurt; toasted cashews – all delicious! The topping outlined below though has got to be my absolute favourite – toasted mustard seeds, curry leaves and chili provide an intense flavour punch, perfectly balanced by the relative sweetness of the tomato-based broth.
The original recipe is lighter on coconut milk, but I like to make this super creamy and with added fenugreek and curry leaves to the soup base.
- 2 large brown onions, finely diced
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 dried red chilies, crumbled
- 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
- 1 sprig curry leaves, leaves pulled from stem and roughly chopped
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 2 x 400g cans crushed tomatoes
- 2 x cans of water
- 1 x 400g can coconut milk
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 red onion, finely sliced
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 sprigs curry leaves, stems discarded
- 4 dried red chilies, finely sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- 1. Melt butter in a medium-sized saucepan over a medium heat. Add onions, salt and chillies, and cook for 10-15 minutes until onions are sweet and translucent.
- 2. Add fenugreek, curry leaves, curry powder, cumin and coriander, and cook for a further 2 minutes, until fragrant.
- 3. Add canned tomatoes and water and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20-30 minutes.
- 4. Lastly stir through ¾ can coconut milk (reserve ¼ cup to drizzle over soup when serving).
- 1. Melt butter and oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat.
- 2. Add onions and cook for 10 minutes to soften.
- 3. Add chilies, garlic, curry leaves and continue to cook for further 5 minutes until curry leaves begin to crisp up.
- 4. Lastly add mustard seeds, turn up heat to high and cook for just a couple of minutes until seeds begin to pop. Stir to prevent catching.
- Serve immediately on top of soup, drizzled with remaining coconut milk.