Clear Tomato Soup

Traditional south Indian soup 'Rasam' is made with lentil stock and tomatoes. This is a simple soup and can be enjoyed during cold winter nights. Special warming ingredients such as curry leaves, black pepper, turmeric, and ginger help with digestion and provide natural warmth to our bodies. If you cannot find curry leaves (only to be found at the Indian store), then squeeze a tablespoon of lemon, and that should do the trick.

Curry leaves are quintessential to south India, and every family grows their own curry leaf plant. Back home, my mom has a huge curry leaf plant, it is almost a tree, and just rubbing your fingers on the leaves oozes essential oils from these delicious curry leaves. I am so glad that my friend gave his plant to me before he left for Seattle. Curry leaf plant will not grow if it does not sense the surroundings to be conducive, but mine is growing, so I feel good about it :)

This soup is based on the principles of Ayurveda, a holistic traditional Indian way of life and cooking. This soup is great for Vata dosha, people who are susceptible to cold weather.

Serves: 2-3


Step 1:

1/4 cup French lentils (orange lentils)

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 cups water


Step 2:

2 cups water

1 small ball of tamarind paste (or a drop of tamarind concentrate)

3 Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 Tablespoon peeled and sliced ginger

8-10 curry leaves


Step 3:

1 Roma tomato, chopped

1/4 cup chopped cilantro



Step 1:

In a small pot over medium heat, boil all the ingredients. Once the ingredients come to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cover and cook for 25 minutes.

Step 2:

Meanwhile, in a 3 qt saucepan over medium heat, boil all the 'Step 2' ingredients. Once the ingredients come a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes.

Using a potato masher, mash the tomatoes and ingredients in the soup. Set aside.

Step 3:

Strain the tomato soup mixture into the lentil stock. Bring to a boil. Add the reserved chopped tomato, along with some cilantro. Adjust salt, and serve. 

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