If you are not a fan of ginger, make this soup with garlic instead. Choose either garlic or ginger, since using both will hide the flavour of the coriander seeds. Similarly, use curry leaves or cilantro, but do not use both. In the winter we use curry leaves and in the summer we use cilantro. Also be sure to use juicy tomatoes so you get a rich tomato taste.
1/3 cup (80 mL) canola oil
1/4 tsp (1 mL) asafoetida powder*
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp (20 mL) cumin seeds
15 to 20 curry leaves (optional)
1 oz (28 g) ginger (or 5 large cloves of garlic), peeled and thinly sliced
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp (20 mL) coriander
1 tsp crushed (5 mL) cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) salt
3 cups (750 mL) pured tomatoes (9 medium)
6 cups (1.5 L) water (or 3 cups/750 mL water and 3 cups/750 mL chicken stock)
1/2 cup (125 mL) whipping cream (optional)
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped cilantro
*Available from specialty food stores, but you may have to ask for it.
In a large pot, heat oil for 1 minute on medium-high heat. Add asafoetida powder, cumin seeds, and curry leaves and allow to sizzle for 30 seconds. The curry leaves will begin to shrivel. Add ginger (or garlic) and stir well. (If you are using garlic, saute for 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown.) Reduce the heat to medium and add coriander, cayenne, and salt. Stir and saut for 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes and water (or water and chicken stock). Stir well; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 1/2 hour. For a richer soup, stir in whipping cream. Just before serving, stir in cilantro.
To serve, ladle soup into 6 individual bowls.
source: “Vij’s“, alive #303, January 2008