What happens when you combine down-home tomato soup with Indian spices? Spicy masala tomato soup is the inter-cultural result.
Every winter around January, I seem to have a hankerin’ for traditional cream of tomato soup. I grew up with the canned Campbell’s variety. Sometimes I like to think I had a Warholesque-childhood, but, in truth, it was far more suburban and prosaic than that. I never really liked the thin tinny-tasting tinned soup. However, I later developed an appreciation for the home-made version. I had tried the “real” soup at dinner parties and home-cookin’ restaurants, where the tomato’s true identity shines through.
A few years ago, I came across Martha Stewart’s recipe for tomato soup. Although I never use the cream option, this version makes a fine North American “cream” of tomato soup (NB: I would double the ingredients to make a larger portion, as a matter of course). It is the kind of tomato soup which would pair perfectly with a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch on a rainy or snowy day. The ingredients are generally in a well-stocked home pantry, so the soup can be ready in just over one-half hour.
I decided to adapt the recipe to incorporate “Madrasi Masala”, which my friend Kip had given us as part of an Xmas gift. Commercial break:
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In case you did not know, “masala” means mixture and often is a blend of spices, varying from place to place. It can also be a spicy tomato-base for curries (typical of the Punjab region, for instance). Kip’s particular blend from the Madras region worked well in a Sri Lankan dal I had made a week earlier. I wanted to make more use of the tantalizing spice blend.
For the review of the soup – and the recipe