A few months back I was lucky enough to spend a little time in the Slovakian capital of Bratislava, at a time when winter seemed intent on forever muscling out spring. The weather was therefore unseasonably cold and boy was everyone complaining about it! But if there's one thing wintry weather is good for, it's piping hot soups. Just before I left the country a Slovak gent by the name of Adam whipped up a little goodbye soup that was so darn good it deserved some special blog attention. Adam kindly shared the recipe with me and now I'm going to share it with you.

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Quick and Rich Tomato Soup [Vegan]

Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • ½ onion, diced
  • ½ litre tomato passata
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • About ½ liter water
  • Salt, to taste
  • ½ tspn black peppercorns, freshly ground
  • 2 tspns mixed dried Mediterranean herbs – oregano, basil and rosemary is nice
  • 5 bay leaves
  • The juice of ½ to 1 lemon
  • 75g unflavored vegan yoghurt, optional
  • Basil, optional
  • Croutons or toasted bread, optional
  • AND … Adam’s secret ingredient (revealed below!)
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Preparation

  1. Fry the onion in olive oil until soft. Add the tomato sauce, paste and water, then throw in some salt. Advice from Adam: Don’t be afraid of the salt as it adds a lot of flavor to this dish.
  2. Stir through a good grinding of peppercorns, the herbs, bay leaves and lemon juice. Then it’s time for the secret ingredient: half a teaspoon of nutmeg powder. Give the soup a good stir and then taste. Another Adam tip: the more herbs and spices you use, the richer the soup will be. So if it’s bland or weak, add more salt, lemon and nutmeg.
  3. Cook for about 15 minutes then remove the bay leaves and run the soup through a sieve to remove the onion, leaving a smooth liquid.
  4. You can then opt to add vegan yoghurt for a subtle creamy touch.
  5. Serve with a few fresh basil leaves piled on top for a ping of flavor and beautiful color contrast. You can also add croutons as an extra filler for very hungry diners. And the soup tastes even better the next day.
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