I’m cooking for one this week and found my weekly delivery of vegetables a bid intimidating. Being home alone, I feared that I wouldn’t be able to use up all of the wonderful produce. I contemplated how to use the 4 large tomatoes which were at their peak of ripeness and decided I would make this wonderfully simple soup.
We’ve been having a late summer heat wave this past week so a simple and light soup it would have to be, which for me means pureed – no chunks. My inspiration came from Peter of Souvlaki for the Soul who made a Roasted Tomato and Capsicum Soup earlier this summer. I figured roasting the vegetables would capitalize best on the tomatoes and other produce I intended to use – red peppers, onions, carrot, and a few cloves of garlic. The added benefit of this approach is that you chop and drop everything onto a baking sheet – it doesn’t get much easier than that!
As I chopped everything and dropped onto the baking sheet, I debated about how to season the mix. I looked through my spice drawer and the idea of curry popped into my head. A subtle set of warm spices would mix nicely with the roasted vegetables, so selected a bunch of whole spices which could roast along with the vegetables.
The soup turned out to be a success. Honestly, I wasn’t sure if it would be when I started but it worked. The soup is light and sweet with a background warmth from the array of spices used.
Roasted Tomato Curry Soup
4-5 large tomatoes, cored and quartered
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
2 small red peppers, cored and quartered
1 carrot, peeled and quartered lengthwise
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
1 cinnamon stick
5 green cardamom pods
1 teaspoon coriander seed
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
pinch of red pepper flakes
2 cups water (or stock of choice)
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
In a large mixing bowl add the tomatoes, onion, garlic, peppers, and carrot. Gently toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, cinnamon stick, cardamom, coriander, cumin, mustard seed and red pepper flakes. Pour onto a large baking sheet and smooth into a single layer. Place into a preheated 375 F oven and roast for 45 minutes.
Remove from oven and discard cinnamon stick and cardamom pods. Using a towel, pick up each garlic clove and squeeze at one end to release the creamy inside, placing into a large mixing bowl. Discard the outer paper. Repeat with remaining garlic cloves.
Place all of the remaining vegetables and spices into the mixing bowl. Add two cups water. Puree the mix using a hand blender or food processor. If using a food processor, you will need to do this in batches.
Pour the puree through a mesh sieve to remove the pulp. The soup will be a rich orange-red color and smooth. Stir in garam masala and turmeric, serve immediately. I increased the garam masala to 3/4 teaspoon but this was my personal preference. I suggest starting with a 1/2 teaspoon and increasing as you’d like.
This recipe makes two large servings or four small servings, which would work perfectly as a flavorful first course.
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