Indian Spiced Tomato Soup with Achaar Grilled Cheese Croutons
This one’s for the homies who like eating butter chicken sauce straight up with a spoon when no one’s watching. Indian Spiced Tomato Soup with Achaar Grilled Cheese Croutons. A beautifully scented creamy tomato soup with tangy mango achaar grilled cheese croutons.
Makes 3-4 servings
For the Soup
250 g (2 1/2 cups) heirloom cherry tomatoes
1/2 a white onion, roughly diced
4 cloves garlic, smashed
2-3 sprigs of thyme
1/3 cup cilantro stems
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
3 tbs olive oil
1 tbs ghee or melted butter
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 tbs honey
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/3 cup heavy cream
For the Croutons
6 slices of brioche or sourdough bread
1 tbs mango pickle (achaar) or mango chutney
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
2-3 tbs softened butter
1. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, thyme, cilantro stems, turmeric, cinnamon, chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt, olive oil, and ghee/melted butter in a mixing bowl. Mix well to coat the vegetables with the spices and oil. Lay on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet in a single layer and roast for 30 minutes.
2. Add the roasted vegetables to a medium sized pot with the broth, honey, and tomato paste. Turn the heat up to medium low to heat up the contents of the pot. Just before the liquid begins to simmer, remove from heat and blend the soup using a blender or immersion blender until silky and smooth. If using an immersion blender, you may want to strain the soup to remove the roasted tomato skin from the soup.
3. Return the blended soup to medium low heat and allow it to come up to a gentle simmer, then turn the heat to low. Add the heavy cream and stir to fully combine. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if necessary. Let the soup simmer on low for 15-20 minutes while you prepare the croutons.
4. Lay out your bread to make sandwiches. Use a knife to chop up the achaar so that it turns into a chunky paste. Divide and spread the achaar between 3 slices of bread. Sprinkle the grated cheese on the other 3 slices of bread. Close the sandwiches so that one half has achaar and the other cheese. You should have 3 sandwiches.
5. Spread the softened butter on the outsides of all 3 sandwiches. Place the sandwiches in a large frying pan over low heat. Toast each side for about 4-5 minutes, or until very light golden. The cheese should not be fully melted yet, but just melted enough to stick the sandwich together.
6. Remove the sandwiches from the pan and use a sharp bread knife to cut them into about 9-12 small crouton shaped squares. Turn the heat up to medium and add the croutons back to the pan. Continue to toast, stirring often, for another 7-10 minutes, or until the bread is crunchy and the cheese has melted. Remove from heat.
7. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls. Serve the croutons on the side. You can either dunk them in the soup, or sprinkle them on top.