It’s the end of the harvest season, and there sits a big pile of green tomatoes. After you make fried green tomatoes (and find that they don’t taste all that great), what to do?
The instructions below offer three surprising variations on the curried green tomato soup theme.
First, you can make the curried soup and serve it straight. It’s spicy and full of flavor.
Second, you can add a lentil surprise in the middle. This option helps you use up end-of-harvest red tomatoes as well.
Third, if you love a wild profusion of flavors, top off the basic soup or the soup-cum-lentils with a refreshing and crunchy garnish of yogurt (or sour cream), cucumbers, pineapple and chopped dry-roasted peanuts.
All three variations are yummy, and all taste quite different. You can keep making surprising versions of this soup until all your tomatoes are gone.
CURRIED GREEN TOMATO SOUP – serves 4 to 6 depending on whether it begins the meal or is the main course
NOTE: If you plan to use the lentil surprise variation, wash and soak your green/brown lentils (see recipe below) before you begin prep for the basic soup.
6 T olive oil
3 t fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 cloves of finely chopped garlic
1 t ground coriander
2 t ground cumin
2 t curry powder (or substitute Sylvia’s Soulful Seasoned Salt)
1 T red pepper flakes, ground
3-4 C green tomatoes, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 large sweet onion, diced
3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
2 large bouillon cubes (chicken or Knorr’s Calde de Tomate for vegetarians)
Sea salt and ground pepper to taste
3 C water
4 T honey
1 can coconut milk
Put the olive oil into a heavy-bottomed stock pot on high. When the oil is hot, add the next six ingredients and stir quickly – cook a few seconds until the full aromatics are released. Add the green tomatoes, green pepper, onions and potatoes, reduce the heat and keep stirring for five minutes until the veggies start to soften. Add the bouillon, honey and enough water to cover. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and then simmer for 20 minutes or so until potatoes and green tomatoes are cooked thoroughly. Check frequently and add water as needed. Turn off the stove and use a stick blender to puree the soup in the pot. (Be careful not to let the hot soup splash on you.) Add the can of coconut milk and reheat but do not boil. Serve as is or consider the variations listed below.LENTIL SURPRISE
1 C green (brown) lentils
2 C water
2 T olive oil
1 small sweet onion, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 red tomatoes, peeled, diced and squeezed
Rinse lentils well and soak for 15 minutes before cooking. Cook the lentils for 20 minutes or more until soft while the basic soup is cooking. In a separate saute pan, heat the olive oil and then add the onions, celery and tomatoes. Saute until the onions are soft. When the lentils have cooked, drain in a colander and save until it is time to serve the soup. I don’t add any seasonings because this goes into the seasoned soup. Add at least a half-cup of the mixture to the center of the soup and serve – or consider topping it with the cooling mixture below.
CREAM & CRUNCH SURPRISE
1/2 C plain yogurt or sour cream
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeds removed, diced
2 slices pineapple, diced
1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts, chopped
This creamy/crunchy garnish works well with the basic soup and with the soup-plus-lentil-surprise. Put a dollop of yogurt or sour cream in the middle of your soup. Top with cucumber and pineapple, then sprinkle the chopped dry-roasted peanuts on top.