Monday, August 27, 2012

Cold curried tomato soup

About 11 years ago, a friend of mine had some people over for dinner and made a heavenly cold soup.  I'd never had cold soup before, and this was a revelation to me--it was thick, creamy, had hints of spice and mint in it, and was refreshing.

He graciously gave me the recipe and I made it for my parents.  Then I lost the recipe and couldn't find it, no matter how hard I searched online.  There was always something different--use sour cream instead of yogurt, no mint, etc.

Well, this year has seen a bumper crop of tomatoes--I canned five quarts of them this weekend--and I still had a bunch left over.  I also had more ripening.  I figured I'd better do something with the already-ripe ones that weren't going to make it into the quart jars, so I thought I'd try and make the soup again from memory.  It turned out pretty well--my neighbors came over for dinner, and they seemed to like it.

Without further ado, here's how you can make the soup:

6 pounds fresh, ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped*
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
4 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
1 cup of yogurt
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves and some sprigs of mint for garnish

Saute garlic in olive oil over medium heat until translucent and fragrant.  Add curry, mustard, cumin, and turmeric and stir until it forms a fragrant paste.  Add tomatoes. Stir well, coating the tomatoes with the seasoning.  Once they are coated and heated through, add the stock and bring to a boil.  Once it's boiling, simmer for twenty minutes or so.  Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and blend, or blend with an immersion blender.  Keep cooking on stove until the soup reduces by about one-third.  Take off the burner and allow to cool before chilling the soup for at least an hour.  (I chill it overnight--the longer it chills, the more the flavors develop.)

Before serving, whisk in about a cup of plain yogurt and a 1/4 cup of chopped mint.  Keep some extra yogurt available in case it's too spicy for some people--it's easy to add more yogurt if it's too spicy for some.  It's not easy to take stirred in yogurt out.

Serve in chilled bowls with sprigs of mint as a garnish.

As I recall, the old recipe called for adding more stock (cold) at the end, before stirring in the yogurt, but I figured that wouldn't be safe.  Also, I was afraid it would make the soup less thick and creamy, and I rather liked it thick and creamy.

*To peel tomatoes, drop them into boiling water for 30-60 seconds, or until the skin starts to split.  Remove and plunge into a bowl full of ice water to cool them.  You should be able to slip them out of their skins.


  1. That soups sounds delicious!
    If you can't get to canning all your tomatoes, you can freeze them whole, skins still on. When you thaw them, put them in a colander or strainer over a bowl. When thawed, or even partially thawed, the skins will slip right off, and the water and liquids from the tomatoes will drain into the bowl below. This leaves you with peeled tomatoes, that have less water to cook out, perfect for sauces. And the liquid that does drain out can be used in place of stock in your next batch of soup.

  2. That sounds delicious, Pamela! :)

  3. That looks delicious. I LOVE tomato soup. Have a great day!

  4. It's refreshing on a hot day, that's for sure!