Spices for healthy living

Tomato Soup with Indian Spices

YIELD: 4-6 servings             PREP TIME: 5 min            COOK TIME: 45 min     



  • 3 tablespoons ghee (instructions for making ghee are in “Notes” section below....OR....use 3 tablespoons Spice Your Life Butter Oil)
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
  • 8 basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo Pepper Flakes
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds, toasted and ground
  • ½ teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Sweet Paprika
  • 2 teaspoons Amchur Powder
  • 5 ounces canned crushed tomatoes (1 28 ounce can + 1 14.5 ounce can)
  • 2 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup Greek Yogurt (optional)


In a large soup pot over medium-high heat, heat the ghee. When the oil begins to shimmer, add cumin seeds. The cumin seeds will begin to pop when heated. When they do, add the black mustard seeds and cook until they too begin to pop.

Reduce to heat to medium and add basil leaves, Aleppo Pepper Flakes, and minced garlic. Sauteé for ~2 minutes while stirring continuously. Stir in ground coriander, celery seeds, Smoked Sweet Paprika, and 1 teaspoon of Amchur Powder. Then add 1 teaspoon of salt, while stirring, and heat to a boil.

When the heated spices are just toasted and become fragrant add the chicken stock, tomatoes, and brown sugar.

Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring intermittently. Add additional spices and/or brown sugar to taste. Just before serving add the remaining 1 teaspoon of Amchur Powder. Serve in bowls garnished with chopped cilantro and Greek Yogurt if desired.



Ghee is widely used in Indian cooking. The clarification process for making ghee from butter produces a richly flavored oil with nutty and toffee flavors. You can make ghee by gently warming small pieces of butter in a heavy bottomed pan or skillet over medium heat. Then after the butter has melted, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer. As the milk solids separate, skim them from the surface using a slotted spoon. Remove and discard as many milk solids as you can. The remaining solids will sink and that’s OK. Continue to simmer over medium-low heat until the solids on the bottom of the pan turn an amber color and the oil becomes golden with the fragrance of toffee.

Next, allow the liquid to cool for ~5 minutes and then gently strain through multiple layers of cheesecloth placed in a metal mesh strainer into a heat proof container.  Voila! You have made ghee. You can store it in your refrigerator for up to 1 year.  

After the butter solids are removed, the smoke point of the remaining butterfat increases significantly. Ghee can be heated to 485° F. before breaking down and so can be used for roasting, stir-frying, and sauteeing.


Whole Cumin Seeds

Whole Black Mustard Seeds

Aleppo Pepper Flakes

Whole Coriander Seeds

Smoked Sweet Paprika

Amchur Powder