This is a very common vegetarian soup served in almost every restaurant in Chennai, India. I have tried several recipes in the past to make this and I have finally landed on my own. The taste, flavor, color and texture of this soup is quite close to what you can find in restaurants.
This is so filling and so yummy that you would not stop with just one bowl of it. A big bowl of soup with a couple of slices of baguette are just enough to make a very satisfying and hearty meal.
The preparation is not complicated at all. Be it a stressed out day at work or casual weekend meal, this soup will be just too simple to make and comforting to have. Just have all the ingredients available and follow the steps in the recipe as is. You’ll be able to get the soup ready in under 30 minutes.
3 medium sized tomatoes
1 cup onion (diced)
4 garlic cloves
1/2 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 cup low fat milk
1 tablespoon all purpose flour (maida)
1 tablespoon butter
2 bay leaves
1/2 tablespoon sugar
Boil whole tomatoes, onion, garlic cloves, peppercorns and bay leaves in water for 5-7 minutes. The tomatoes must be completely immersed in water. Turn off heat, pull out the bay leaves and discard. Filter out the water from the vegetables and retain it for later use. Allow the tomatoes to cool.
Transfer the vegetables into a blender and puree them until they are smooth and nice. Strain this mixture to separate out the tomato seeds, peppercorn pieces etc. and get a really smooth puree. Add tomato sauce to this and mix well.
Melt butter in a soup pot and add flour. Cook on low for a couple of minutes, while stirring with a whisk. Add milk and keep stirring with a whisk until it becomes thick and creamy. Turn off heat, let it cool a little and add the blended tomatoes, sugar, salt and mix well. Put this back on the stove and simmer until the soup becomes nice and thick. Always simmer from this point onwards to prevent the milk from curdling.
If required, add some vegetable water to get to the desired consistency.
Serve hot with a slice of crusty bread or just plain crackers. Garnish with croutons/sprig of basil or cilantro just before serving.
1. Make sure to cool the cooked tomatoes before blending them to avoid splashing of the hot puree.
2. If you’d like the soup to be extra rich and creamy, you can add 1/4cup of heavy cream.
3. I have added a tiny pinch of orange red food color to get a rich color. The color you get just from tomatoes and tomato sauce would be a little pale.