Tomato Pomegranate Soup with Idli Fries


SOUP: Extremely ripe red tomatoes, two medium size carrots, celery, fresh lemon juice, italian seasoning, pomegranate seeds, extra-virgin olive oil, ground coriander, ground cumin, dry pomegranate powder (anardana powder).
IDLI FRIES: Any kind of left over idlis, dry oregano, garam masala, extra-virgin olive oil.

1. Cut a whole pomegranate into half. Hold the cut half over a big bowl and with a thick flat spoon, gently knock on the fruit till the seeds start falling into the bowl. Reserve a handful in a small bowl for garnish.
2. Add 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice and a pinch of salt, a dash of black pepper and half a teaspoon of Italian seasoning. Cover and leave it in the fridge for an hour.
3. After an hour, take the seeds and puree them in a blender. Keep aside in a bowl.
3. Roast 2 teaspoons each of whole coriander and cumin a few black peppercorns and grind them to a fine powder.
4. In a big pot, boil 6 cups of water.
5. Add 8 medium-sized extremely ripe red tomatoes to the water and allow it to boil till the skin splits.
6. With a slotted spoon, take out the tomatoes carefully on to a plate and remove the skin. Reserve 2 cups of the water and discard the rest.
7. In the pot, heat 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil.
8. Add ½ cup of finely sliced celery and saute till light brown.
9. Add peeled and cubed two medium-sized carrots.
10. Add salt, a pinch of garam masala, 1 teaspoon of anardana powder, and ground coriander-cumin-black pepper powder.
11. Add the blended pomegranate seeds and saute till the vegetables cook in the juice.
12. Add the peeled tomatoes and mash lightly with the spoon.
13. Add 2 cups of the reserved tomato water and allow the mixture to cook for 7-8 minutes.
14. Puree the soup with an immersion blender.
15. Allow the soup to cook for a couple more minutes.
TO SERVE: Pour hot soup in a bowl. Garnish with fresh goat cheese and pomegranate seeds and cilantro.

IDLI FRIES: (Instead of crusty bread to dunk into the soup, try this desi fusion option!)
1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Cut up any left over idlis. (I had rava idlis, so I used that).
3. In a small bowl, add 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil. Add ½ teaspoon of dry oregano and ½ teaspoon of idly chili powder, ½ teaspoon of garam masala. Mix well and pour on the sliced idlis.
4. Place in the middle rack of the oven and allow them to crisp up.
Serve hot fries with steaming hot soup!


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