Thursday, March 27, 2014

Mexican Tomato and Garlic Soup

Sometimes I feel as though I don't have a particularly innovative food item to share, but I just want to remind myself and others that it is OK to eat simply. This is one of those dishes that is stupendously easy. It feels strange to revel in its simplicity. But this soup is both simple and outstanding.

There were four of us eating on a plain, calm Saturday. We were just enjoying being together and having a good old chat. This soup and a salad were the lunch we sat down to together. And it fit perfectly into our ordinary day, while amazing all four of us with its richness of flavour. This soup's motto is "store cupboard staples turned to sunshine." It is made with ingredients you probably already have in the pantry and it will bring a warming dose of Mexican sun to the table.

There are many layers of flavour in this soup. At its base is a deep garlic and cumin layer that underpins the soup. On top is a rich and mellow tomato flavour. The garnish of crushed corn chips and avocado adds a bit of saltiness and smoothness. So although this soup is made with pantry staples such as canned tomatoes, it tastes like a very special, sunny dish.

Mexican Tomato and Garlic Soup
adapted from Moosewood Daily Special
serves 4

2 T mild olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
4 to 6 garlic cloves, minced
1 t ground cumin
1 t ground coriander
2 cans (each 400 g, 14 oz) chopped tomatoes (or equivalent)
2 c vegetable stock
crushed corn chips, to garnish
1/2 avocado, cubed, to garnish

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion and fry gently for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, and coriander and fry for four minutes longer. Don't allow the garlic to burn.
Add the tomatoes and vegetable stock. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
Serve topped with corn chips and avocado cubes.

Do you have any simple foods to share?

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