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Spicy Tomato and Coriander Soup

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Serves: 4
675g / 1 1/2 lb tomatoes
30ml / 2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 bay leaf
4 spring onions, chopped
5ml / 1 tsp salt
2.5ml / 1/2 tsp crushed garlic
5ml / 1 tsp crushed black peppercorns
30ml / 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
750ml / 1 1/4 pints water
15ml / 1 tbsp cornflour
30ml / 2 tbsp single cream, to serve

To peel the tomatoes, plunge them into very hot water, then lift them out more or less straight away using a slotted spoon. The skin should now peel off quickly and easily. Once this is done, chop the tomatoes roughly. In a medium pan, heat the oil and fry the chopped tomatoes, bay leaf and chopped spring onions for a few minutes until soft and translucent, but not browned.

Gradually add the salt, garlic, peppercorns and fresh coriander to the tomato mixture, finally adding the water. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, dissolve the cornflour in a little cold water, and set aside.

Remove the soup from the heat and press through a sieve (strainer) over a bowl. Discard the sieved vegetables. Return to the pan, add the cornflour mixture and simmer over a gentle heat, stirring continuously, for about 3 minutes until thickened. Pour into individual warmed soup bowls and serve piping hot, with a swirl of cream.

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