Anglo Indian Tomato Soup with Hot Toasted Bread

Anglo Indian Tomato Soup

I love the idea of the natural evolution of food as much as I love learning about the provenance and history of original dishes. This dish was introduced by the British at the time of The Raj and is reminiscent of our cream of tomato soup but with more flavour. In India, soup is still rarely seen, sometimes in the South as a watery, peppery concoction, sometimes in restaurants as shorbas and on cold days in the North as a small mug of soup to sip mid-evening to ward off the cold.

I love this soup either with a hunk of fresh wholegrain bread but when I have friends over, I often think I need to add a little extra and this is one of my favourite accompaniments, a thick slice of coriander and garlic bread. It is another fused meal but one of my own, I know it is a bit obvious but it is so delicious and the colours are lovely and appetising that I find myself making it again and again.

Serves 4; ready in 1 hr

  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves sliced
  • 2cm (3/4in) piece of ginger, peeled and cut into julienne
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • ¾-1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • ½- 1 tsp of sugar (depending on tomatoes)
  • 300/400ml water
  • 650gm ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 100ml milk

1. Heat the butter and oil in a large non-stick saucepan, add the bay leaf and cook for 20 seconds. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and ginger. Cover and cook gently until the onions are colouring, around 10-12 minutes.

2. Stir in the cornflour and stir for 1-2 minutes; it shouldn’t colour. Add the tomatoes, sugar, salt and black pepper and cook for 20-30 minutes or until the tomatoes have completely reduced to a thick mass; Then spend 5-6 minutes ‘browning’ the reduced tomatoes. This will add depth to the curry.

3. Take out the bay leaf and purée the soup with a little of water until smooth. Add the milk and enough water for the luscious cream of tomato consistency. Bring to boil and serve with coriander and garlic bread.

Hot Toasted Coriander and Garlic Bread

A beautiful, subtle oil that is so easy to make yet adds a lot to a simple meal of soup. It will discolour if left too long so make when you are going to use it.

  • 30g coriander, leaves and stalks
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 small clove garlic (4g)
  • 3 tbs. oil
  • 4 good slices of any bread, I use a rustic loaf round of bread or Baguette, sliced on the diagonal

Blend together the coriander, oil, garlic and salt to a sloppy paste with small bits of coriander still whole.

Heat a ridged griddle pan. Grill the breads on both sides not moving once you have placed them to so that they have lovely charred lines running across them. Turn and repeat on the other side. You can also do this is in the oven. Remove and brush over a generous amount of the coriander oil. Serve with the soup.


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