Monday, 26 January 2015

Velvet Soup

I call it my velvet soup because even without the addition of any cream or butter, the soup tends to be very smooth and velvety. Inspiration for this soup came from a basic tomato soup; however I chose not to add any garlic to it. Garlic is one of my favorite additions to any dish that I prepare but for this one I chose to leave it out.

This soup seems to be child’s play. On a beautiful cold wintery evening, a bowl of velvet soup is all I want. You can, of course, add croutons to it or you can simply have it the way it is.

The addition of the carrot is very important as it releases its sweetness to the soup. Also, I fry the carrots in the oil prior to sautéing the tomatoes. It just gives a crispy edge against the velvety silkiness of the soup.

I find it absolutely necessary to flavor the soup with green chilies. However, if you wish, you can leave it out. The green chilies can be used in less or more quantity. I like my food quite hot thereby I added 4 green chilies chopped. The intense warmth in this soup is brought in by the chilies.

I used water to change the consistency of the soup giving it a clean sumptuous taste. However you can use vegetable or chicken stock. Addition of the stock will alter the simplicity of the soup, making the flavor denser. Also, it does add a depth to the soup.

This is one of the most effortless soups. Not only it can be consumed for dinner, I love to sip this in the morning as my breakfast too!

For the Soup:

8-10 Tomatoes chopped
2 tbsp Mild olive oil
1 large carrot chopped finely
1 tbsp + 1 tbsp dried oregano
2- 4 green chilies chopped
1 cup vegetable stock
A pinch of sugar
Sprinkle of fresh coriander (optional)
A small amount of butter (optional)

In a large deep pan, heat the oil and add the carrots. Sprinkle a little salt and about half tablespoon oregano. Fry until its crisp, take it out and leave it aside.

Throw in the tomatoes and chopped chilies and stir on a high heat. Add salt, pepper and remaining half tbsp of oregano. Cover and leave it on high heat until the tomatoes starts to almost melt down. 

Take it off the heat and blitz it to a smooth paste. Strain the paste; you will see that the tomato seeds and skin, chili seeds and skin and the oregano are left behind.

Transfer the contents to the same pot. Stir in the vegetable stock to change the viscosity. Adjust the seasoning and toss in the carrots at this stage and add the remaining oregano. Let it come to a rolling boil.

Serve hot with a tiny cube of butter and a sprinkle of fresh coriander. You can devour this with or 
without croutons!!