Spicy Tomato Soup


6 medium tomatoes (or 11 small ones)
1/2 cup water
1 tsp canola oil
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
1/4 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 bay leaf
1 tsp cumin seeds

Put the tomatoes in a saucepan with the water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the tomatoes are well cooked, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. When the tomatoes are cool enough to touch, remove the skins. 

Puree the tomatoes and any liquid in a blender.  Strain, to remove seeds.

In a saucepan, combine the tomato puree, pepper, cayenne powder, cumin powder, ginger powder, and salt.  Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Taste. If the soup seems watery, simmer longer to concentrate the flavors.

Heat the oil in a small saute pan over medium heat. When the oil is very hot, add the cumin seeds and bay leaf.  Stirring constantly, cook until the cumin seeds are dark brown but not black (less than one minute).  Immediately add the spices to the soup and serve.

  • This soup is entirely dependent on having tomatoes with a very intense flavor. We only make it with dry-farmed tomatoes from Molino Creek Farm, which we find at our local farmers market. If at all possible, look for dry-farmed tomatoes, as these tend to have more intense flavor. Unfortunately, watery-tasting tomatoes will make for a watery soup. Even many heirloom tomatoes that are nice for salads will lack the intense flavor needed for this soup. High-quality canned tomatoes will work better than watery fresh tomatoes.

  • The soup is quite spicy. If you want it milder, reduce the chili powder.

  • Because the soup has a very intense flavor, serve small portions. We like to serve it in a tea cup or small mug.

Page last updated: 10/10/10