This soup is equally liked by young and old. The tangy tomato flavor works great with the soft and creamy paneer dumplings.
Back in 2003, when microwaves started gaining popularity in India my parents also bought one. It came with a recipe book written by a famous Indian chef, Tarla Dalal. It had some pretty unusual recipes. Dishes that my mother didn’t make. I had always been interested in trying new recipes, so naturally I had to give the recipes a try. Among others, there was a tomato soup recipe. I tried that and my family loved it. They asked for this soup from time to time and I happily obliged. It became a regular at our home back in India.
After being married and moving to Germany in 2010, somehow this soup got lost. I never made it, nor did I remember the recipe. A few days ago a follower on Instagram (tap on the link to give a follow) asked me to share a tomato soup recipe. That reminded me of the tomato soup I used to make as a teenager. Although I did not remember the exact recipe, I tried to recreate it with whatever ingredients I had on my mind. After a few trials, I succeeded to create a tomato soup which my own family (2 kids and husband) loved. Never had I imagined, making it as a teenager, that one day I will be making it for my kids too. I don’t know if it is exactly the same recipe anymore, but in my mind it is the same.
Please Note: You do not need a microwave to follow this recipe.
What to look for when buying tomatoes?
There are various kinds of tomatoes available at the grocery stores. I prefer using cherry tomatoes for most of my recipes because of the following reasons:
- The smaller the tomato, the richer it is in nutrients. Small, dark red tomatoes have the most lycopene per ounce. Always look for darker red colored tomatoes when buying.
- Cherry tomatoes are comparatively sweeter than the other varieties.
- On-stem or on-vine tomatoes are usually fresher than the ones taken off stem.
- Prefer buying organic/bio to avoid any pesticide residue.
Other points to note:
- Store fresh tomatoes at room temperature to preserve their flavor. Chilling the tomatoes below 15 degrees C breaks down their flavor and aroma compounds.
- Cooking tomatoes makes it more bioavailable by converting lycopene into a form that is easier to absorb by the body.
- Skin and seeds of tomatoes are the most nutritious part. Use the whole tomato whenever possible.
About paneer dumplings
To help set the paneer dumplings I added flax seeds powder and whole wheat flour (atta). Flax seeds powder can easily be made at home by grinding flax seeds (known as alsi) in India. It is a good source of omega 3 and good to incorporate into your diet from time to time. If flax seeds are not available to you, you can substitute with half a beaten egg.
It is important that the paneer mixture has the right consistency so that your dumplings set properly. If the mixture is too runny add some more flour. If it is too dry, add a few drops of water.
To cook the dumplings, you can either steam them on a stove or microwave (instructions below). One important point to keep in mind is to let the dumplings cool down completely after you cook them. If you touch them when they are still hot, there is a high risk that they might crumble.
You can also make a big batch of paneer dumplings and save some for later. Freeze the paneer dumplings and steam or microwave them when needed.
Ingredients at a glance
The ingredients needed for this recipe are self explanatory. No specific mentions required.
Check out the video tutorial below to easily follow the recipe.
Tomato Soup with Paneer Dumplings
For the tomato soup:
- 500 grams cherry tomatoes (or any other variety)
- 2 white/brown onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 medium red paprika (bell pepper)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp black pepper powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 500 ml water
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 4 stalks spring onion (greens)
For the paneer dumplings:
- 150 grams paneer
- 4 stalk spring onion (whites)
- a handful of fresh coriander (chopped)
- 1-2 green chilies (chopped)
- 1 Tbsp flax seeds powder (substitute 1/2 beaten egg)
- 1 Tbsp whole wheat flour
- ½ tsp salt
For the tomato soup:
- Take the tomatoes off stems and thoroughly wash them (If using bigger tomatoes cut them in quarters. If using cherry tomatoes, leave them as is). Peel and chop the onion and garlic. Roughly chop the red paprika. Finely slice spring onion and separate the white and green part. (White part of spring onion will be used for the dumplings and the green part is for garnishing.)
- Heat a big pot on medium heat and add olive oil. Once hot, add the chopped onion, garlic and paprika and saute for 3 minutes.
- Once the onions turn translucent, add the black pepper powder, cumin and salt. Saute for another 2 minutes.
- Add the water and scrape the bottom to release any spices that have stuck to the bottom. Add the tomatoes and sugar. Let the water simmer and then turn heat to low. Cover and let cook for about 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, turn heat off. Blend the tomato mixture either using a stab mixer or a blender until smooth. Set aside until you finish making dumplings.
For the dumplings:
- Crumble the paneer into a big bowl. Add the spring onion whites (reserved earlier), chopped coriander, chopped green chili, flaxseeds powder, whole wheat flour and salt.
- Knead with hands to incorporate all the ingredients and form a smooth mixture. If the mixture is too dry to bind together, add a few drops of water. If the mixture is too wet, add some more flour. Getting the right consistency is important otherwise your dumplings will break.
- Apply some water on your hands and take a small quantity of the mixture. Form into small balls. The size of the balls should be about half the size of a golf ball.
- If steaming: Take a big pot and add ½ cup of water into it. Bring it to a simmer and then put a fitting sieve on top. Place your paneer dumplings in a single layer. Cover and let the dumplings steam for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes take the sieve off with the dumplings and let them cool down completely before taking them out. (IMPORTANT: let the dumplings cool down before handling them.)If microwaving: Place the dumplings on a plate in a single layer a few centimeters apart from each other. Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes. (IMPORTANT: let the dumplings cool down completely before handling them)
- Heat up the tomato soup quickly before serving. Add a few paneer dumplings into the serving bowl. Pour the tomato soup over the dumpling and fill the bowl with the soup. Garnish with green parts of spring onion (reserved earlier). Enjoy!!