Tomato is a much favourite ingredient in my house and fast disappearing one as well.The first thing that comes into my mind with tomatoes is soup.I try different styles of soup that can be made with it and each version has been equally hearty as well.The combo of tomato and cilantro or coriander is perfect in salad but one that I had never tried in a soup.I always felt that tomato are best with basil a classic combo and so when I came across the tomato coriander soup in a food magazine I decided to gve it a try.It is supposed to be served at Taj Amarvilas Hotel,Agra and it turned out perfect for wintery evenings.
Tomatoes: 4-5 medium
Bayleaf: 1 dried whole
Garlic: 1 small clove: crushed
Scallion/Spring onion: 1/4 cup chopped
Coriander/Cilantro: 4 -5 tbsp chopped
Water: 2+ cups
Cornflour: 1 tbsp mixed with cold water to get a creamy paste
Blanch tomatoes for a minute in boiling water and then peel them.Chop the peeled tomatoes into small pieces and keep aside.Chop the white and green parts of scallion separately.Chop the coriander/cilantro and keep aside.Crush/paste the garlic as well.
Heat oil in a heavy pan,add the whole bayleaf.Once the spice releases it aroma,add in white part of the scallion and saute for a minute.Add in the peeled and chopped tomatoes along with its juice and let it cook for a while,till everything blends and the raw smell starts disappearing around 5 minutes or so.There in no hard and fast rule regarding this and depends on you.
Add in crushed garlic,green part of the scallion,chopped,coriander,little salt and pepper and water to the tomato mix.Let it boil and then reduce and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes.Cool it and then liquidise it in a blender removing the whole bayleaf.You can pass it through a sieve as well instead of or alongwith liquidising.I did not do that.
Put the puree back into the pan and add in creamy paste of cornflour mixed with little water.You can omit the cornflour if the soup is thickened as you want.Heat the soup and then ladle into individual serving bowls .Garnish with a swirl of cream if necessary for a restaurant touch or go for a cilantro garnish as I did which is simple and easy.
The soup is very corianderish if there is such a term.Its a hearty starter for fall evenings as well.A warm bowl of tomato cilantro soup going to warm up the WHB#206 round up,an event by Halo and currently hosted by dear Yasmeen .