Tomato Rasam Soup

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Tomato Rasam

Tomato Rasam


It’s peak tomato season and I’ve been getting so many from my garden that I’ve been making tomato sauce every few days, but now my freezer is full. I have pasta sauce, pizza sauce, masala sauce, and ranchero sauce.

I needed to find another use for tomatoes and thought that a nice, spicy Rasam soup would be good for the Fall-type weather. I found this recipe and it was exactly what I was looking for. Quick and easy!

Tomato Rasam Soup Recipe

My tweaks: I didn’t use my pressure cooker, but boiled the red lentils in a pot. They took about 30 minutes. I added some coriander seeds to the mustard seeds and made it more of a vegetable Rasam by including green and yellow beans and zucchini and yellow squash from the garden. Also used fresh hot peppers from the garden instead of the dried chilis.

Grandmom’s Lentil Soup Recipe

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Grandmom's Lentil Soup

Grandmom’s Lentil Soup

According to my late Grandmom, it is Italian tradition to make lentil soup on New Year’s Day for good fortune. The lentils represent little coins. Here’s her recipe.

Grandmom’s Lentil Soup

2 cups (one pkg.) Jack Rabbit or Goya Lentils
2 small whole onions, peeled
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 carrots, chopped fine
2 ribs celery and leaves from inner ribs, chopped fine
8-ounce can Hunt’s tomato sauce
1 T. olive oil
1 bay leaf
3-5 qts. cold water  (depending on how soupy you like your soup)
8 oz small pasta – pastina, tubetini, or small elbows – cooked al dente before adding to the soup
salt to taste (after cooking)

Pick over lentils, wash and drain. Place in large soup pot with all of the above ingredients. Simmer until lentils are tender (one hour). When finished, add pasta, then salt to taste.

It’s a very simple soup, but very comforting.

My Tweaks:
To make this gluten-free, I use rice pasta instead of the regular pasta. I also like to DOUBLE the amount of carrots, celery, garlic and onion. I use 3 qts of water because I like a thicker soup. I also added some organic tuscan kale (leafy part – ribs discarded) in the last 10 minutes of cooking time. The kale adds the health benefits of dark, leafy greens. Another option would be to add escarole right at the end.  I find this needs lots of salt because it is made mostly with water, not broth or stock. I salt when serving or reheating. I could’ve used the pressure cooker for this, but I decided to cook it on the stovetop, the way my Grandmom always did.

Happy New Year!