Ah, spring in Toronto. One minute it’s all birds chirping in the trees and clusters of crocuses peeping out of my front beds, and the next it’s freezing rain and ice pellets falling from the sky all freaking day long.
As much as I love having four seasons, I’m not sure I particularly like experiencing all of them in the space of a week.
Weather like this calls for some serious soup therapy – a piping hot bowl to counteract the miserable wet cold and ice pellets tap-tap-tapping against the front door like an unwelcome guest.
This is just the kind of soup I’m craving today.
I’m normally not big on tomato soup (yes, I know, I’m a weirdo), but I make an exception for this one.
My problem with traditional cream of tomato soup is that it tastes a little too much of runny pasta sauce, which confuses my poor brain to no end.
This soup, on the other hand, is the furthest thing from sauce. The garlic and herbs are swapped out for fragrant red curry paste, and the cream is replaced with the slight sweetness of coconut milk, which has the added benefit of offsetting the acidity of the tomatoes. It’s still just as rich and comforting, but in a completely new way.
Sometimes I eat it straight up with a sprinkling of fresh cilantro, and sometimes I stir in some canned chickpeas to transform it into a delicious meal-in-a-bowl that just happens to be vegan.
(FYI: If you’re making this soup for a vegetarian or vegan friend, make sure to use a red curry paste that does not contain any shrimp paste.)
Best of all, it’s easy to whip together with pantry ingredients, which means you don’t have to go outside in this lousy Smarch weather. (At least, it is for me – I always have some coconut milk and chickpeas in the pantry, and a jar of Thai curry paste in the fridge.)
And yes, it’s still utterly delicious with a grilled cheese.
It won’t chase the freezing rain away, but it does make hiding out indoors a little easier.
Give your cream of tomato soup a Thai twist with a combination of red curry paste and coconut milk. Your grilled cheese won’t know what hit it!
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 2 medium shallots, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 2 tbsp thai red curry paste
- 1 can (28 oz / 796 ml) diced or crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 can (14 oz / 398 ml) full-fat coconut milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas (or canned, drained and rinsed)
- Fresh cilantro for garnish
- Coconut milk, for garnish
- Toasted shallots, for garnish
- In a medium pot set over medium-high heat, saute the shallots in oil until soft and translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add the ginger and curry paste, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute longer.
- Add the tomatoes, coconut milk, water and salt, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 20-30 minutes to let the flavours mingle.
- Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Stir in the chickpeas, and simmer for another 5-10 minutes to warm the chickpeas through. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
- To serve, spoon into bowls, add a swirl of coconut milk, and finish with a sprinkling of cilantro and toasted shallots.