I’m breaking out of this writer’s block and long silence with a simple recipe that uses some basic pantry ingredients but delivers in flavour and wholesomeness. I almost always have canned tomatoes in my pantry as do most of you, I suspect. In such uncertain times, I turn to recipes that give me a lot of comfort and a soup is one of them.
I like soups that are simple but with good depth of flavour and so, I call for the onions and minced garlic to be browned more as the sweetness of browned onions and nuttiness of toasted garlic add a good dose of flavour to an otherwise basic recipe. The addition of chilli flakes is my way of adding something unique, yet familiar. Use good canned tomatoes as they have better acidity and freshness that complement the flavours in this soup. Then, all it needs is some toasted croutons or a grilled cheese sandwich. I’d go with the latter to complete the comfort food factor.
Creamy Spicy Tomato Soup
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped finely
- 5 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tbsp double concentrated tomato paste or sun-dried tomato paste
- 1 tsp hot chilli flakes
- 1 can of whole, peeled tomatoes
- 2-3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/4 cup cooking cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a medium pot over medium heat, add extra virgin olive oil. When oil is hot enough, add chopped onions with a pinch of salt. Sauté till onions have softened and have significantly browned with some translucent bits still. If onions start to brown too quickly, reduce heat to low.
- Once onions have browned, add minced garlic. Sauté till minced garlic is toasted and browned.
- Add tomato paste and cook till the oil separates. Add chilli flakes and sauté for a 30 seconds, till everything in the pot is slightly thickened.
- Add whole peeled tomatoes and with your wooden spoon or spatula, break up the tomatoes. Let this mixture come to a simmer and oil starts to separate on the surface.
- Add chicken or vegetable stock. Bring soup to a gentle simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Switch off the flame and let the soup cool a bit. Using a blender, puree the soup till everything is smooth or to your desired consistency.
- Taste and check for seasoning. Add cream and bring to a gentle simmer. Once you see a few small bubbles on the surface, switch off the flame.
- Serve with an extra drizzle of olive oil, cream and any fresh herbs. I like basil or coriander.
Hope this bowl of creamy and robust soup brings some consolation and cheer to you and your loved ones.
If you’d like, I’ve posted some video highlights on how I made this recipe on my Instagram (@vasunthara.r)