Tomato soup with cashew cream

Tomato soup with cashew cream

Summer is here and luscious tomatoes on the vine are freely available at a reasonable price  and once again I found myself eyeballing a very alluring ripe bunch glowing in the wicker basket on my kitchen table.  Brought back memories of my Mum buying kilos of plum tomatoes in season and announcing she was going to cook Ash-e-Tamate the next day!  Everyone in our house loves this Ash – it’s a Persian thick tomato soup dominated by a couple of kilos of ripe, juicy tomatoes, thickened with rice and lentils and flavoured with dried mint and a few fresh leaves torn into it last minute, if available.  We ate it with nan flat bread and a dollop of yoghurt and spring onions, cucumber and lettuce and any other green we could dig out from the salad drawer in the fridge.   Some of us would forego breakfast in an attempt to be really hungry for the treat awaiting us lunch time – a step too far but no-one wanted to be less than ravenous when the clock struck one! 

I’ve adapted it a little by using red/orange lentil which cooks quicker – my mother used chana dal.  I have also added a red pepper and find it works really well.  My mother would have approved and perhaps used red pepper herself but I am sure at the time there weren’t any available in that part of the world.  I hope you will enjoy it as much as we do and did – doesn’t take long and ingredients and preparation are very quick and simple.

Ingredients

1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 large tomatoes, chopped (approximately 650-700 grams)
1 small red pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 tablespoon white rice
1 tablespoon red/orange lentil
¼ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon dried mint
Salt and ground black pepper
3 cups water, about 500ml

Method

  1. Gently saute the onions in oil for 4 minutes until translucent
  2. Add all other ingredients except mint
  3. Bring to boil, lower heat and simmer covered for about 40 minutes until lentils and rice are cooked
  4. Blend until smooth in blender
  5. Add dried mint

Tip: if you prefer a thicker soup add a little less water

Cashew cream

Ingredients

½ cup unsalted cashews soaked in boiling water for 1 hour or 4-6 hours in cold water
4 tablespoons natural unsweetened non-dairy yogurt (I use Sojade available from As Nature Intended and Wholefoods)
Pinch of salt

Method

Blend to a smooth cream and add a dollop to the soup before serving

Tip: If you prefer a sour cream, add a little lemon juice

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