Summer may have gone but the taste of summer needn't disappear with it. My winter warming tomato soup spiced with sizzling fennel and cumin delivers a punchy taste of summer in a bowl. The recipe is for a simple Tamatar ka Shorba, or spiced tomato soup. This dish dates back to Ancient Persia and the Mughal courts of India. My version uses fresh tomatoes, but as it's winter here they don't have the blood red colour of summer. I roast them first to deepen their taste before blending the whole lot. Have a look here at a very delectable version using a tin of tomatoes. If you're wondering what I've served it with, that's some wholegrain bread buttered on both sides and then grilled for five minutes on either side until crisp. Perfect for dunking! Now for the weather to get warmer...
Preheat the oven to 200 degree c. Quarter the tomatoes, place on a lined baking sheet and sprinkle the sugar all over. Roast the tomatoes for half an hour.
In the meantime, peel and roughly chop the ginger and garlic. Bring the oil to heat on medium in a frying pan. First sizzle the whole spices and then saute the ginger and garlic until pale golden. This will take a couple of minutes. Now turn the heat off until the tomatoes are ready.
When the time is up on the tomatoes, take the sheet out of the oven and leave to cool slightly until they are blender friendly. Now toss the spice mix and the tomatoes into your blender and puree until smooth. Add salt to your taste.
Finish by sprinkling some chopped parsley on top of the Tamatar ka Shorba and serve it hot with sliced chillies and bread buttered and grilled on both sides.