A few of weeks back when I did not have access to home cooked food, I ate more North Indian Executive Thalis than I care to remember. FYI: A thali is a meal served on a round steel plate and it usually includes some kind of flat bread (roti, naan, or puris), rice, pappad, a selection of vegetarian curries, lentils and a sweet to round off the meal. In a normal thali, you can have additional/unlimited servings of rice and curries, but in the executive thali, you have to pay for extra. In every restaurant that I went to, the soup that came with my North Indian thali was tomato soup.(North India, is that the only soup you make ?? ;)) While the soup was quite flavourful at one of restaurants I frequented, it tasted like dish water at another (not that I have tasted dish water, but you get the idea, don't you?). The soup was so tasteless that I satisfied myself with the masala pappad and croutons the soup came with. Anyway, within a few days, tomato soup kind of grew on me, and while I get to enjoy delicious home cooked food three (sometimes four) times a day now, I sometimes do miss the tomato soup.
This month, the photography exercise at My Diverse Kitchen is all about taking food photographs from overhead. For this, I have left used the auto focus feature of my lens,and the details of the overhead photographs are provided. To participate in the exercise,Exercises in food Photography #3 : Overhead Food Shots - A View From Above, click here.
|F - Number: F/4.5, Exposure Time: 1/125 sec, ISO: 100, Focal Length: 50.0mm|
This is my first attempt at making soup. I made a non vegetarian version of tomato soup using sausages and chicken stock but you can simply skip the sausages and replace chicken stock with vegetable stock for the vegetarian version. It was much better than the runny soup at "Shilpa's", so this recipe goes to the cooks there. :D
You will need:
3 tablespoons ghee
70 grams chicken sausage, sliced into thin rounds
500 grams ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 small carrots, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1" piece ginger, finely chopped
1 green chili, finely chopped
1 tbsp plain flour + 3 tablespoons cold water, mixed to a paste
1 tsp sugar
salt, to taste
½ tablespoon ground black pepper
½ cup milk
1 cup chicken stock/vegetable stock
4 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
Heat the ghee in a large non-stick pan over a medium heat. Fry the sausages, remove with a slotted spoon and keep aside.
Add the chopped onion, garlic, ginger and green chilies and fry till aromatic. Mix in the chopped carrots. Cover the pan with a lid and let it cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are pale golden-brown. This should take around 10 minutes.
Add the cornflour paste and stir for 1-2 minutes over a low heat to remove the raw taste of the flour.
Add the chopped tomatoes, sugar, salt and black pepper and mix well. Simmer the mixture for around 25 minutes till the tomatoes have softened and the mixture looks pulpy. If you are not using a non stick pan, check every now and then while cooking that the mixture does not catch.
Transfer the tomato mixture to a food processor and blend until smooth. Add the milk and continue blending for a couple of minutes. Return the soup to the pan and add stock. Mix together and let it boil for a couple of minutes and take off fire. You can add in more or less stock depending on the consistency you like.
Pour the soup into serving dishes. Sprinkle over chopped coriander leaves. Top with fried sausages. Serve warm with croutons and masala papad.
|F - Number: F/1.8, Exposure Time: 1/640 sec, ISO: 100, Focal Length: 50.0mm|