Indian Summer Soup

This deliciously aromatic soup is Indian in character and can be served either hot or cold according to the weather.


  • 2 aubergines, cut into 1 cm (½ in) cubes
  • 3 tablespoons groundnut oil
  • 25 g (1 oz) butter
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2.5–5 cm (1-2 in) piece fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped finely
  • 3 large cloves garlic, peeled and chopped finely
  • 1 kg (2 lb) tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato purée
  • 1.2 litres (2 pints) vegetable stock or water
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar
  • 50 g (2 oz) creamed coconut, chopped
  • 2–5 pinches cayenne pepper
  • 6 tablespoons natural yogurt
  • Salt and cayenne pepper


Rub the cubed aubergine all over with salt. Leave the cubes in a colander in the sink for about 30 minutes to drain off any bitter juices, then rinse off all the salt, drain and pat dry with kitchen paper.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over a fairly high heat. Add the aubergine cubes and brown them all over. Reduce the heat and stir in the butter, garam masala, chopped ginger and garlic. Stir around for a minute or so, then add the tomatoes and tomato purée. Gradually stir in the stock or water, lemon juice and caster sugar. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from the heat and add the creamed coconut, stirring until melted and smoothly mixed. Season with the cayenne pepper and salt to taste. Just before serving top each bowl of soup with a tablespoon of yogurt.