Since young, I never really like tomatoes. My first encounter with tomatoes was when I was about four or five year old. I saw my mother, Mdm Tan, munching on a tomato like what she will do to an apple. She was enjoying this juicy red fruit, and I was curious and wanted to take a bite. I took my first bite and immediately I spit out the tomato. It was disgusting. The slimy seedy pulp and the sourish sweet taste just turned me off.
It was only when I went to Australia for school, I began to like tomatoes. Perhaps my taste bud had changes. Or the tomatoes in Australia were more delicious. Every two weeks, I would pick up a 1kg pack of tomatoes. I would use them in sandwiches, stir-fry and pasta. And I slowly learn to like tomato-based soup like minestrone and creamy tomato.
Last month, I saw Heidi Swanson’s recipe for a simple tomato soup (which was an interpretation of Melissa Clark’s curried coconut soup) and was immediately drawn to its simplicity and flavour profile. Perhaps I don’t make enough soup, I would not put curry powder in my soup.
When I was making this soup, surprisingly I doubled the amount of curry powder – I found the “curry flavour” was not pronounced. Like Heidi, the soup actually tasted really good on its own without the coconut milk. However it is on an acidic side (and could be because of the canned tomatoes I used). I added just a touch of coconut milk to balance the flavour, and the soup was lighter and more drinkable.
What surprised me the most was the suggestions on how to serve the soup. Heidi recommended serving the soup with brown rice, toasted almond slices, poached eggs and so on. It never occurred to me to put rice and ang moh (Western) soup together. And it worked! I had the soup with brown and wild rice, and toasted almond slices with herbs. This breaks the mundane of always having bread with soup. The wild rice and almond slices provided the crunch and the brown rice gave it substance.
For anyone who don’t like tomatoes like the five year old me, give this soup a try. It might make you fall in love with tomatoes.