Monday, 3 August 2009

Cilantro & Tomato Soup with Creme Fraiche

More soup in the summer, but quite a different one than the last one. Even though this is a hot soup (in both senses of the word!) it is very quick to make so won't heat up the kitchen too much. There are a number of cilantro soups in Mexican cooking, many of them creamed. That seems a bit heavy for me, especially in the summer, so I made a clear one, and passed some lovely creme fraiche from Rivers Edge Goat Dairy to tone it down a little. It was lovely, and really quite refreshing. Not a soup that keeps well, because the cilantro is at its best when just added. You could make it in advance though, and just add the cilantro at the last moment before serving.

Yeah, I do have a great big bunch of cilantro. Half of it still to go.

4 to 6 servings
30 minutes prep time

Cilantro and Tomato Soup with Creme Fraiche
4 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch
1 medium onion
1 or 2 cloves of garlic
1 large stalk of celery
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground red chile, to taste
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed, ground
salt, if necessary
1 cup puréed tomato (about 2 medium fresh)

1/2 to 1 cup finely minced cilantro
creme fraiche (or sour cream, or yogurt) to serve

Put the chicken stock into a soup pot. Take out a little to mix with the arrowroot; mix well and set that aside. Heat the chicken stock slowly over low heat.

Peel the onion and quarter it, peel the garlic, and wash the celery and chop it coarsely. Put them into a food processor or blender and chop as finely as you can.

Heat the oil in a skillet, and sauté the vegetables gently for about 10 minutes, until soft and just showing signs of browning. Add the seasonings about halfway through. Whether salt is required or not will depend entirely on the chicken stock.

Meanwhile, put the tomatoes into the food processor or blender, and purée them. Add the tomatoes to the vegetables above at the end of their cooking time, mix up well, and scrape the mixture into the chicken broth. Simmer for 5 or 10 minutes. Stir in the starch - well mixed - and cook the soup until thickened, a minute or 2 more. Turn off the heat, and stir in the finely minced cilantro.

Serve with a dab of creme fraiche, sour cream or yogurt.

Last year at this time I made Potato & Green Bean Salad.

1 comment:

Joanne said...

Cilantro is my favorite herb but I would have never thought to make a soup of it. Great idea!