Tomato soup

Hola peeps. My mil does this most amazing but most basic tomato soup that doesn’t use corn starch or butter or cream or even milk. Yet the soup tastes divine. It’s perfect & consistent each time. Now she used to do the same soup before barring 1 ingredient & I did not like it that much. However, this magic ingredient which I introduced to her recently has been such a game changer for this soup. We both love it so much now that we have this soup at least twice in a week. The ingredient is CELERY. Truly, such a game changer for soups. As I type this recipe out, my mil is making another batch of this soup :). My cousin Madhu was the first one I know of whom I have seen use this in soups & all her soups are awesome. I have seen this being used in a lot of cooking shows. Infact, in french there is a word called mirepoix which is basically 2:1:1 onion/ carrot/ celery which is considered as the base for any soup.

On a personal note, a lot of voice/ video calling apps have been opened up in UAE because of the current scenario. Hence a lot of video calls happening with family & friends all over the world (including the ones in dubai which is slightly weird & sad). We had a family call a few days back (mom’s side) and it was such a riot. Everyone kept saying hi or laughing and I don’t think we got anything concrete from the call. Even then the call felt so nice and it felt great to see so many people virtually. Today Adya & I (well rest of them in the house too) spoke with his cousins Tasha & Sam (and the rest of them in the house) and it was a lot of fun. Again we did not have a constructive conversation for the most part but it was hearing Adya say – what’s dude to my bil in chennai & what ya doing (full authoritative manner) to my bil here in Dubai :). Through these difficult times for all of us, these kind of small joys serve as the silver lining & am thankful for that.

Anywho, documenting any of mil’s & my mom’s recipes are always hard for me because they are free hand cooks. They add ingredients along the way while constructing their dish. They don’t keep tasting but they are usually able to tell if something extra is needed or if something has been added a little extra just with the smell. So what I have decided to do (and hopefully can keep up mostly) is to write down their recipes & try it out by myself once (not have them in the kitchen) before it goes up on the blog. So the soup made for blogging purpose was done by yours truly and man, this recipe is a true keeper. It has very basic ingredients (almost everything will be pantry ingredients except celery) but don’t skip on this. Go buy a few stalks & you won’t regret using it :).

And oooh, look it the bowl. It was a gift to Adya from a friend but I am the one who uses it :). I love this bowl for its size, hold & more importantly the texts around it!

Tomato soup
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Cooker pressure release time & grinding time
15 mins
Passive Time
45 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 3 cups
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 big pods garlic
  • 5 small shallots or 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 carrot
  • 1/2 celery stick
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp celery leaves
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp palm jaggery or 3/4 tsp regular jaggery
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 1 tsp rock salt
  1. Roughly chop garlic, onion, carrot, celery & tomatoes.

  2. Heat oil in a small pressure cooker.

  3. Once hot, throw in garlic & saute lightly.

  4. Throw in the onion & saute till onion turns translucent.

  5. Then add in celery & carrots & saute lightly.

  6. Add tomatoes, rock salt & 2.5 cups water.

  7. Pressure cook for 5-6 whistles.

  8. Once the pressure releases, grind to a smooth puree with a hand blender.

  9. Add garam masala, red chilli powder & jaggery to the soup and bring the soup to a boil on low flame.

  10. Once the soup comes to a boil, throw in celery leaves & turn off heat.

  11. Close the pressure cooker for 5 minutes for all the flavours to settle.

  12. Serve hot!

Recipe Notes
  1. If you don't have jaggery, sugar or honey would do too. 
  2. Do not skip the celery.
  3. If you don't have a hand blender, allow the mixture to cool down in the cooker & remove the solids and puree that in a mixer. 

Stepwise pictures

Heat oil in a small pressure cooker. Once heated, saute chopped garlic.

After a light saute (20-30 seconds), throw in roughly chopped onion.

Once the onion becomes translucent, throw in the celery.

And the carrots and saute lightly.

To this add roughly chopped tomatoes, 1 tsp rock salt & 2.5 cups water.

Pressure cook for 5-6 whistles and turn off heat.

Once the pressure releases, open and grind using a hand blender.

If you don’t have a hand blender, wait for the mixture to cool down and grind in a mixer.

Add garam masala, red chilli powder & jaggery.

Bring the soup to a boil on low flame.

When the soup starts to boil, add chopped celery leaves & turn off heat. Close the pressure cooker & allow all the flavours to settle for about 5 minutes.

Serve hot! Hug in a mug :).

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