“A first-rate soup is more creative than a second-rate painting.” So said psychologist Abraham Maslow, renowned for his legendary “hierarchy of needs.”
I’m certain that Maslow was not top of mind for Waterloo-based Chef Thiru when he cooked up his first batch of thakkali soup. But this delicately spiced yet complex, Indian-inspired broth is a creative masterpiece. Like the very best of Indian food, it entices and teases rather than overwhelms the palate. The list of all-natural ingredients includes spices and herbs, sourced locally to add a little zing and way beyond anything that a time-harried home cook would consider. Not surprisingly, Thiru admits his principal ingredient is tomato (“thakkali” is the Tamil name for it), but to call it an ordinary tomato soup would be a sure-fire insult to its depth and complexity.
Chef Thiru served in kitchens from India to Bahrain before eventually settling in Waterloo. In 2000 he opened his classic Indian restaurant where, as his website touts, his passion for the unique flavours and spices of India (and this soup) speaks for itself. Not only delicious but healthy, his thakkali soup carries the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s HealthCheck certification. I was delighted to find it stocked by Scheffler’s Deli in St Lawrence Market.
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