I recently had a glut of tomatoes I needed to use up and I was just going to make my standard cream of tomato soup, when I thought – hey, why not make something completely different? And while the purists out there may well scoff at something glaringly untraditional, my feeling on these matters is, if it tastes good – eat it!! This really is a very simple recipe, and although you could easily use cream – the addition of a cashew cream instead not only makes this vegan, it also adds a little boost of protein, without the artery-clogging downside of the dairy. A nice compromise would always be to add some yogurt if that’s what you’d prefer to do.
I really like to roast tomatoes – it greatly enhances their sweetness. It’s also really quick and easy to do. For this dish, just cut them in half, add a few whole garlic cloves in their skin, an onion cut into quarters and drizzle with olive oil, tandoori and turmeric powder along with the mustard seeds, and some salt and pepper and bake for 20 minutes or so.
While the tomatoes are cooking, make the cashew paste. Simply use a spice grinder to grind up 3 tablespoons of cashews until in a fine powder and mix in 3 tablespoons of water. If you don’t have access to a small grinder, you can always pound them to a powder in a mortar and pestle, or simply add the whole cashews to the blender when you are blending the rest of the ingredients. If choosing this last method, you will want to soak the cashews in water for about 30 minutes to soften them first, so helping them to blend in easier.
When the tomatoes are cooled, remove their skins – they will slip off easily, and squeeze the garlic from its papery skin. Add the tomatoes, garlic, onions and any juices to a high speed blender (I use a Vitamix) or food processor, and add in another half a teaspoon of tandoori powder and 2 teaspoons of kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)** and process until smooth. Add the cashew paste and blend for another 30 seconds to combine. Check the seasoning, adding more salt if desired. If you want a really smooth soup, I recommend the blender. Check for seasoning and either cover and put in the fridge over night for the flavors to develop – or put into a saucepan and reheat until hot. Personally, I like to make this soup the day before as it really does taste better next day. Just heat on the stove top to re-heat.
Eat alongside some hummus or mushroom and hazelnut pate for a complete meal. This soup also tastes really good cold – try serving it in shot glasses as an unusual appetizer or as part of a buffet!
- About 10 Large Tomatoes, halved
- 1 Medium Onion, peeled and cut into quarters
- 3 Cloves Garlic, skin left on
- 2 t Tandoori Powder
- 2 t Turmeric Powder
- ¼ t mustard seeds
- ½ t Salt
- 3 T Cashews, raw or roasted (and unsalted) are fine
- 3 T Water
- 2 T Olive Oil
- 2 t Kasoori Methi Leaves **
- Preheat the oven to 395F
- Place the tomatoes, onion and garlic onto a baking sheet, add the salt, tandoor and turmeric powders and the the mustard seeds. Pour over the olive oil and mix gently with your hands so that everything is covered and mixed evenly. (I used disposable gloves - the turmeric can stain your hands!)
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and turn the tomatoes and onion over.
- Return to the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until the tomato skins are wrinkled and come away from the tomatoes easily.
- Remove from the oven and rest until cool enough to handle.
- While the tomatoes are cooking, make the cashew cream. Pulverize the cashews in a small blender/processor or spice grinder. Pour into a bowl and mix in the 3 T water until a paste forms.
- When cool enough to handle, remove the skins from the tomatoes and squeeze the garlic from their skins.
- Place the contents of the baking tray, minus the skins, into a food processor or blender, making sure you capture all of the juices from the tray.
- Process until smooth.
- Add the cashew cream and the 2 teaspoons of kasoori methi. Blend until incorporated.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. You can add another teaspoon of tandoori if desired.
- Either pour into a saucepan to reheat, or place in a covered container in the fridge over night - this soup's flavor will improve by resting, but it's not necessary.
- To serve, pour into bowls and top with lightly-toasted pumpkin seeds and olive oil drizzle.
Nutritional breakdown is approximate and for general information only, and will vary depending on specific brands and measurements used.