December is one month we should all take advantage of Nature's bounty in baskets of red tomatoes everywhere.
But you will need only four large hothouse tomatoes for four cups of this Clear Tomato Soup. A delightful soul food I have grown up on. I don’t garnish the clear broth of tomato with croutons or elaborate herbs if I am drinking it straight from a cup, but if you do want to dress it up, I suggest herbs like fresh basil or even the humble coriander to be added only when you turn the heat off on the soup.
Ingredients for Clear Tomato Soup are:
4 large vine-ripened tomatoes, washed and quartered
1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
2 beets (optional), halved
3-4 fat cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon black pepper powder
2 tablespoons sugar
In a pressure cooker, toss in the tomatoes, garlic, beets, onion, pepper powder, sugar and salt. Add four-five cups of water. (I add the beets for an extra red color to my broth, if you don’t have them, omit them from your recipe.)
Cook till three-four whistles go off. Don’t rush opening the pressure cooker, let all the steam release on its own. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, cook the tomatoes in a stockpot with a tight lid on medium heat for about 20 minutes till the tomatoes are mushy.
Sieve the broth on a larger bowl, mashing the tomato mixture with a ladle to strain all the juices out. Check the seasoning, and adjust accordingly. Stir in a little butter and pour into mugs or soup bowls. Serve hot.