When I was conceptualizing this soup, I couldn’t help but think about shakshuka. It’s a staple entree of North Africa and Arab cuisine, and involves eggs and tomatoes. Being vegan, I wasn’t going to go the eggs route, and because I wanted soup, this would need to veer in a different direction. Just like shakshuka, the soup’s spice blend includes mint, parsley, cumin, paprika and coriander. And wow, does it work.
While it may seem out of the box to put mint in a tomato soup, it tastes right at home. It works so well, I question why I didn’t add it to a tomato soup sooner. Admittedly, ten cloves of roasted garlic seems like a lot on the surface, but roasted garlic is much mellower than raw garlic. And it creates a round flavor that just can’t be accomplished with raw garlic. I bought my roasted garlic off an olive bar at the grocery store. If you prefer to make your own, this is a great step-by-step tutorial.
For a variation, blend the entire soup, and enjoy a smoother texture. Otherwise, serve with a hearty, crusty bread, and keep repeating out loud to yourself how good it is.
Roasted Garlic Tomato Soup
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp olive oil
10 roasted garlic cloves (either buy from an olive bar or make your own)
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp cumin
1 Tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
¼ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 tsp bouillon (fake chicken or vegetable)
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
1. In a large, heavy pot or a dutch oven, heat olive oil with onions and a dash of salt over high heat. When the onion sizzles, turn it down to low. Stirring every 10 minutes, sauté for 30 minutes. The onions should become golden brown, and may stick to the bottom on the pot a bit.
2. Add the spices, mint, parsley and garlic. Give it a stir and cook for 1 minute.
3. Add tomatoes and bouillon. Cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Put ½ the soup in a blender and blend until smooth. Dump it back with rest of the soup in the pot and stir. Taste, and adjust seasonings. Serve with a crusty bread.