Curried tomato soup
27th July 2016

Curried tomato soup

By Lauren Photography by Kurt

I first stumbled across a version of this curried tomato soup on Heidi Swanson’s 101 cookbooks.  It is one of those dishes I find myself making again and again.  Its quick to throw together, packs lots of flavour and can be finished in lots of ways to mix it up – add a poached egg or serve over cooked brown rice (or both!) to make a meal out of it; serve up with warm roti for dipping; add a big dollop of tangy natural yoghurt; toasted cashews – all delicious!  The topping outlined below though has got to be my absolute favourite – toasted mustard seeds, curry leaves and chili provide an intense flavour punch, perfectly balanced by the relative sweetness of the tomato-based broth.

The original recipe is lighter on coconut milk, but I like to make this super creamy and with added fenugreek and curry leaves to the soup base.


Serves 6-8
  • Soup
  • 2 large brown onions, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 dried red chilies, crumbled
  • 1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 sprig curry leaves, leaves pulled from stem and roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 2 x 400g cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 x cans of water
  • 1 x 400g can coconut milk
  • Topping
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves, stems discarded
  • 4 dried red chilies, finely sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds


      • Soup
      • 1. Melt butter in a medium-sized saucepan over a medium heat. Add onions, salt and chillies, and cook for 10-15 minutes until onions are sweet and translucent.
      • 2. Add fenugreek, curry leaves, curry powder, cumin and coriander, and cook for a further 2 minutes, until fragrant.
      • 3. Add canned tomatoes and water and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20-30 minutes.
      • 4. Lastly stir through ¾ can coconut milk (reserve ¼ cup to drizzle over soup when serving).
      • Topping
      • 1. Melt butter and oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat.
      • 2. Add onions and cook for 10 minutes to soften.
      • 3. Add chilies, garlic, curry leaves and continue to cook for further 5 minutes until curry leaves begin to crisp up.
      • 4. Lastly add mustard seeds, turn up heat to high and cook for just a couple of minutes until seeds begin to pop. Stir to prevent catching.
      • Serve immediately on top of soup, drizzled with remaining coconut milk.


        1. Camille

          As soon as I saw the photograph of this soup I knew it was inspired by Heidi Swanson as I’m also a fan of this flavoursome and adaptable soup (a meal served in a bowl with various toppings, what’s not to love?).. Funnily enough I was browsing her site only yesterday looking for a recipe inspiration using courgettes and found a Thai coconut soup. Love the blog by the way!

        2. Lauren

          Thanks Camille :) – I think I must make this soup once a fortnight at this time of year! Might have to check out the Thai coconut one you mentioned, sounds delish!

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