This spiced tomato soup is made with warming Indian spices, canned tomatoes, and freshly grated Parmesan. Make this soup in the Instant Pot or on the stovetop!
Soup weather is here.
It's a rainy day near the end of summer, and today seems like the perfect day to curl up on the couch with a big bowl of soup.
As much as I enjoy cold soups like gazpacho during the blazing summer heat of July, as September approaches, I want something a little more comforting.
I want soup that will warm me up from the inside out.
Usually I make a classic tomato soup (like my tomato soup from canned tomatoes), but recently I've been craving this spiced tomato soup.
I first published this recipe on Champagne Tastes back in January of 2016, right after a massive snow storm had rolled through our town. This is the perfect snow day soup, but it's also pretty delicious on cool rainy days.
This soup got a facelift today, with new photos and updated directions.
This recipe includes both Instant Pot and stovetop directions. The photos in the post are for the Instant Pot version, but check the second half of the recipe card for the stovetop directions.
What Spices Do I Need?
You'll need black or brown mustard seeds.
Brown mustard seeds should be easy to find at your local grocery store, but you can also buy brown mustard seeds online.
Black mustard seeds are a little harder to find and slightly more expensive, but will work perfectly if that's what you have on hand.
You'll also need ground cumin and (optionally) ground cayenne.
What Type of Canned Tomatoes Should I Use?
This soup is a perfect way to use tomatoes you canned from your summer harvest, but store-bought tomatoes will work perfectly too.
If possible, use whole San Marzano (or Roma) tomatoes, because they are less watery and will make a thicker soup. I usually buy Cento San Marzano tomatoes.
If you can't find (or don't have) whole tomatoes, you can swap whatever canned tomatoes you have on hand, but your soup will be a little thinner.
How to Make Spiced Tomato Soup in an Instant Pot
Start by adding olive oil and press the sauté button until the display reads more.
Add the mustard seeds and use a wooden spoon to push the seeds into the oil.
When the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the shallots and the rest of the spices.
Cook them until the shallots begin to brown.
Next, add water and bring it to a simmer.
You're basically making your own shallot (or onion) broth!
Next, add the canned tomatoes.
Seal the lid, and set the valve to sealing.
Set the timer to 10 minutes.
Some Instant Pots models have a pressure cook button, and others have a manual button. They do exactly the same thing.
The Instant Pot will take about six minutes to come to pressure. Once it does, it will begin to count down.
When it's done counting down, it'll beep.
At this point, carefully release the pressure by turning the valve with a long-handled spoon. I usually cover up the valve with a kitchen towel to prevent splattering.
When the pressure is released, open the lid.
Now you're going to blend the soup.
You can use an immersion blender (like this Cuisinart immersion blender), or a standard blender with a basin. A standard blender will blend the soup more finely.
If you're blender shopping, I highly recommend my blender, a Vitamix 750.
Next, stir in the Parmesan cheese.
It should melt as you stir.
Taste the soup. If you prefer it creamier, or if you think it's too spicy, add some milk or cream.
Serve the soup with some fresh basil and a brie grilled cheese sandwich.
Enjoy your soup, and stay warm!
This recipe is adapted from a Gujarati-style tomato soup recipe in the book At Home with Madhur Jaffrey.
Spiced Tomato Soup
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon brown or black mustard seeds Use 1 tsp for a spicier soup
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced Or use 1 onion
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional) Omit for less heat
- 2 cups water
- 28 ounce can whole tomatoes (San Marzano prefered for a thicker soup) Or swap 28oz diced or crushed tomatoes
- 2 ounces Parmesan, freshly grated
- 1 cup milk or cream (optional)
Instant Pot Directions:
- Add olive oil to the Instant Pot. Press the sauté button. Press the adjustable temperature setting until it reads more.Add the mustard seeds to the pot, and use a wooden spoon to push the seeds into the oil. (The oil will probably pool around the edges of the pot.)
- Add the shallots, cumin, salt, and cayenne. Sauté 2-3 minutes until shallots begin to brown.
- Slowly pour in the 2 cups of water. As you pour, scrape the bottom of the pot to scrape up any bits of food stuck to the pot (to prevent the burn warning). Bring to a simmer and cook 1-2 minutes.
- Add tomatoes.Press the cancel button. Set Instant Pot to pressure cook/manual, high pressure. Set the cook time for 10 minutes. The Instant Pot will take about 6 minutes to come to pressure, depending on how hot the soup is, and then will start counting down the cook time. The Instant Pot will beep to let you know the cook time has finished. Carefully quick-release the remaining pressure by using the handle of a long spoon (I use a wooden spoon) to turn the steam valve to venting.Tip: Quick release can be messy– the vent will let loose some liquids with the steam. Lay a kitchen towel over the top to keep your kitchen clean.
- Use an immersion blender to blend the soup, or ladle into a blender basin (working in batches if needed), and blend until smooth.Tip: A blender will make a smoother soup than an immersion blender.Optionally, for the smoothest soup, strain the soup through a mesh sieve to remove the mustard seeds. If you used a high-powered blender to blend the soup, this step is unnecessary.
- Add the Parmesan to the soup, and stir to melt the cheese. Taste the soup, and add more salt if desired. If the soup is too spicy (or if you want a creamier soup), add milk or cream.Leftovers / Make Ahead:Store soup in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, and warm before serving.If no milk or cream is added, the soup can be frozen for up to 6 months. (Add milk or cream when reheating, if desired)
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds, and heat until they begin to pop.Lower heat to medium, and add shallots, cumin, salt, and cayenne. Sauté 2-3 minutes until shallots begin to brown, then add 2 cups water. Simmer 1-2 minutes.Add tomatoes and Parmesan. Bring back to a simmer, and then lower heat to medium. Simmer until about 15 minutes.
- Ladle soup into a blender (or immersion blender cup), and blend until smooth. Pour soup back into the pot.Tip: A blender will make a smoother soup than an immersion blender.Optionally, for the smoothest soup, strain the soup through a mesh sieve to remove the mustard seeds. If you used a high-powered blender to blend the soup, this step is unnecessary.
- Taste the soup. Add extra salt (if desired). If the soup is too spicy (or if you want a creamier soup), add milk or cream.Serve warm.Leftovers / Make Ahead:Store soup in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, and warm before serving.If no milk or cream is added, the soup can be frozen for up to 6 months. (Add milk or cream when reheating, if desired)