Around the world tomato soup has a special place in the heart of people. My mother rarely made her own – we ate tinned tomato soup, and it was wonderful! With piles of well buttered toast, butter made from fresh cow’s milk, we ate the soup in front of the wood fire on cold winter nights, slurping bowl after bowl.
While tomato based gravies and sauces are common in India, the idea of soup has not been common until more recent times. And my guess is that the British invasion had a lot to do with the growth of the popularity of Indian Tomato Soup. Derived from other dishes, Indian Tomato Soups (there are lots of different recipes) has gained a place in the heart of many inside and outside of that country.
We have another Indian Tomato Soup, one filled with cream (or use coconut milk) and gentle aromatic spices including lemongrass. It is a great recipe, but this one is different. This one is punchy and spicy, and totally gorgeous. On top of that, it is very easy to make.
North Indian soups are called Shorba and they are packed full of warming spices that help fight off colds and sniffles. In North India when the weather turns chilly you will find the shorba carts rolling into the streets. A traditional shorba is more of a consomme (a thin, watery soup that is very, very flavoursome) rather than the thick soups we are used to in the West. They tend to be served as drinks in small clay cups which warm your hands, your insides and your soul. They can also be served with rice as a winter warmer. Spicy shorbas originated from the Mughal cuisine. The spices used are all about warming your insides so lots of ginger, garlic, chilli and masalas.