Ryan Thomas is a university student who enjoys cooking recipes from a wide variety of culinary traditions.
Tomato soup typically conjures up bland pictures of a thick, orangish purée—or worse, a watery, reddish liquid lacking greatly in personality and zest. True, tomato soup is not bad per se (I like tomato soup myself), but there is hardly any real charisma to it.
By contrast, the recipe I would like to share with you here, which is really more of a stew, can be accused of many things, but being bland is certainly not one of them. In fact, when I first made it, I was initially taken aback by the spiciness, which led me to correct it with additional sugar and cream, much to my satisfaction. The point remains: this rich and hearty recipe, with the savoriness of onions and the sweet, honest flavor of tomatoes, combined with a tang of spice and the soothing and supporting flavors of yogurt and cream, makes for a wonderful soup, in particular when served with bread.
I adapted (quite extensively) this recipe from Recipes from a Greek Island by Susie Jacobs, a thoroughly delicious recipe book, and one that I heartily recommend.
- 7 tomatoes, of which 3 are sundried and 4 regular, peeled and chopped
- 1 1/2 cups chicken, in small pieces
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups yogurt
- 2 onions
- 2 bunches green onions
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 6 garlic cloves, 2 minced, 4 chopped
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons cilantro
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne red pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- salt, to taste
- 1/2 orange zest of
- 3 tablespoons freshly choppedd mint
- black pepper, to taste
- Firstly, make the broth: Combine together the thyme, bay leaves, oregano, 3 tablespoons cilantro, lemon zest, 1 chopped onion, 4 chopped garlic cloves, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1 clove, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and some salt with 5 cups of water. Simmer for 15 minutes, then drain the stock into a vessel to be used later.
- Heat the olive oil in a large casserole until it is hot, then add in the other 1 onion, chopped, and the 2 leeks, also chopped. Fry over low heat until translucent, then add in the 4 peeled and chopped tomatoes. Pound the sundried tomatoes to a paste then add to the pot with the sugar.
- Cook 3 minutes more, then add in remaining 1 garlic, grated orange zest, and mint, cook another 2 minutes, then slowly mix in the herb broth and cover, and simmer for 40 minutes.
- Combine together the yogurt and flour until smooth, in a separate bowl, then beat it in. Add in the cream. Add both slowly and beating consistently. Cook for 10 minutes more over low heat. Do not boil. Then add the cilantro and serve immediately: olives, feta cheese, green salad, bread, are all good things to be served with it.
© 2018 Ryan Thomas