Thursday, January 24, 2008

Food for comfort

When Meeta of "Whats for Lunch Honey?" announced Monthly Mingle event "Comfort Food", the first thing that came to my mind was Tomato Soup and Garlic Bread. Soups have always had a special place in my heart. Well, for one, they warm up the heart during a rainy day for sure:) and the other thing is, its the staple food for us whenever me or V fall sick. And I have always craved for those hot and sour, and sweet corn Chinese soups, whenever we plan to do a take out. In fact I have tried my best to taste soups from all the places we have been, which got me a pet name from my husband :) .....well the name is secret, but I can sure share with you this creamy tomato soup and garlic bread I made one of these days .

Ingredients: Serves 1 person

Creamy Tomato soup
Tomato- 2 medium nos
Garlic - around 8 cloves
Cream - 1/4 cup
Onion - 1/2 cup chopped
Coriander leaves - to taste (I add a lot since I like the taste)
Cracked pepper - 1 teaspoon (to taste)
Hot sauce (Tabasco sauce) - few drops (to taste)
Cornstarch (cornflour) - 1/4 teaspoon
Warm water - 1/2 cup
Butter - 1 tablespoon
Oil-1 teaspoon

Garlic Bread - To make one garlic bread
One slice of bread - I used the whole grain bread (Any bread can be used for this)
Garlic - 2 big cloves
Coriander leaves - a few
salt- to taste
Oil - 1 teaspoon


To make Creamy Tomato Soup:

Cook the whole tomato and unpeeled garlic until these can be mashed. I nuked the tomato and garlic covered in a microwave vessel for two minutes as that was quicker than the stove method. Mash the tomato and garlic until it forms like a paste. I used the electric masher for the first time for this purpose and it worked well for me. Then to another vessel on the stove, add butter and oil and caramelise the onion. Add salt, mashed tomato-garlic mixture, stir well , be careful at this time as the heat can cause the soup to splatter, reduce the heat at this time, add the cream, cornstarch and stir well to combine everything well. Add the hot sauce, coriander leaves and stir again. Once a bit cooled, transfer contents to a blender and puree the mixture. Transfer the pureed mixture to stove to heat once again for a minute or two and garnish with a bit of cream and cracked pepper. Serve along with garlic bread.

To make Garlic Bread:

Roast the whole garlic and coriander leaves until soft or microwave it in a closed vessel for 2 minutes. Mash it along with salt and oil until it is of spreadable consistency. Spread it on a slice of bread on one side. Fold it once and apply the rest of it outside. (Actually I had made very little paste, so I applied some of the soup I made on the outer portion of the bread after it is folded). Then keep it in a sandwich maker until its done. Serve it warm along with soup.

The next comfort food I had in mind was the simplest comfort food which I relish anytime. It can be called a Kerala comfort food, because it has Erissery (a curry made with pumpkin (can use other vegetables also), green gram) and Cheera(Spinach)-thoran (thoran is a dish of Kerala) and I always associate it with Mom's cooking, hence its a complete comfort food for me :) The rice I use here is Matta Rice which me and V like for its Thiamine (Vitamin B content) and for its pinkish color which it imparts to the Kheer which we make out of this rice on occasions. I made Kanji (Gruel) out of the rice as its such a delight to have it during this cold weather. The mention of Kanji itself warms up the heart. For making Kanji using Matta rice, I used the pressure cooker as my rice cooker never was able to cook the Matta Rice that well. I poured two extra cups of water for cooking the rice and cooked it for 3-4 whistles.


For Erisseri:

Pumpkin- a medium piece cut in small chunks
Green Gram - 2/3 cup
Water for cooking the green gram
Shredded coconut- 1 cup
Red Chilly - 2 nos
Garlic - 2 cloves
Tampering: Mustard seeds, cumin seeds,curry leaves,,Red Chilly, oil

For cheera(Spinach) thoran:

Spinach (I used the cut spinach from frozen section) - 2 cups
Shredded coconut - 1/2 cup
Garlic - 2 cloves minced
Red chilly powder - 1 teaspoon
Tampering- Mustard seeds, oil


I used pressure cooker for cooking the whole dish as I was running out of time, but I suggest you folks to cook only the green gram in pressure cooker for this recipe as the pumpkin gets mashed when cooked in pressure cooker. Anyways here is how I did it:

In the pressure cooker, add 1 teaspoon oil, and the other tampering, then add the green gram, pumpkin (you may cook it separately) , salt and water , and cook it for three whistles. Then grind the coconut, red chilly, garlic to a course paste. Mix it to the content in the pressure cooker, stir it well and after a minute, switch off the stove.

Cheera (Spinach)-Thoran
To make cheera thoran:

Defrost the spinach (if you have bought the frozen ones). If you have whole spinach, chop it well. Mix it with coconut, garlic, chilly powder, and salt. In a vessel on the stove, heat a teaspoon of oil, add the tampering and then add the spinach mixture and stir it well on medium heat. Close the vessel and let it cook until the spinach is cooked.

The above picture is the Rose Matta Rice which has been cooked with lots of water. I drained the water from the rice through a sieve before serving to V , though I prefer it without the draining. That's why you don't see the water in which it is cooked.


Asha said...

Both dishes look fabulous! Comfort food at it's best!:)

rv said...

Hi asha, Thanks a lot for that comment:) Hope all is well with you :)

vimmi said...

Great entry for the comfort food event. both dishes look great. Tried mushroom thoran from another blog. will try spinach thoran soon

Ramya's Mane Adige said...

I love tomato soup too!!! Yours looks lovely!! and with the garlic bread... yumm!!

vimmi said...

Hi Rv,

Thanks for ur comments. You should get prawns at any grocery stores like walmart etc. in their seafood section or freezer section.

rv said...

Vimmi, Thank you for that comment:) and thanks for the info you gave regarding the availability of prawns. I will try looking for those in walmart, never tried it in walmart :)

Thank you :) I too love tomato soup with lots of cracked pepper:)

White On Rice Couple said...

Love the tomato soup recipe. It looks easy and delicious! I'll just add some cheese onto your garlic toast and make it a garlic grilled cheese sandwich for dinner! Thank you!

rv said...

Hey thanks a lot for that lovely comment:) Good idea about adding cheese:) I too will try it soon:) Thanks for that !

MeetaK said...

Soup and garlic bread are the perfect combination. Lovely!

Brilynn said...

I think any soup with a smiley face on it is instantly more comforting!

rv said...

Hi Meeta, thanks for your nice comment:)

Brilynn, thank you so much for that lovely comment:) Yeah a smile makes all the difference :)

Poonam said...

I love tomato soup.

rv said...

Thank you poonam :) I too love the soup with lots of pepper :)

Roopa Unnikrishnan said...

I loved your site, and all your recipes (especially the one with the errisery - or ellisery as folks I know call it.) And the Kappa! Good stuff!
Would love your thoughts on some of the recipes I've put out here:

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