Flavourful African Tomato Soup

Hello there and welcome to Give It Thyme. Today’s recipe is one that I have come to absolutely adore. It’s hearty, surprisingly creamy, and rich full of flavour.

I know that there are hundreds upon thousands of tomato soup recipes out there but what makes this one different is that the cooking technique is African inspired and when all the ingredients come together in this special way, they create an intense richness that brings out a velvety, creamy taste which surprised me because I certainly did not use any cream or thickening agent.

Anybody can make tomato soup but the key to bringing out the rich flavour in this is patience and perfect timing. You have to take your time and allow each ingredient to cook in a specific way.

For example, when frying the onions, it’s important to cover the pot and turn the heat right down. If you’re using an electric stove, turn the heat to medium, if you’re using a gas stove, turn the heat to low. Allow the onions to cook and slowly caramelise this way.

You have to do this until the onions are brown, my rule of thumb here is that I don’t time this part, if you put a timer here, you will be tempted to go elsewhere and wait for the timer to beep, big mistake! Your onions can easily burn while you’re not paying attention, depending on the intensity of the heat coming from the kind of stove you use.

The flavour that comes out of the onions while they’re cooking is so beautiful that I can’t even describe it, honestly, I think only a professional Chef can explain what kind of magic happens here! Once the onions have browned, you are ready to do business!

Flavourful African Tomato Soup

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Serves: 2
Prep Time: 30 Cooking Time: 30

Ingredients

  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 1 and a half onion
  • 1 small red chili pepper (optional)
  • ½ cup water for blending
  • 1 Maggi cube
  • 1 Knorr cube
  • 1 Tsp thyme
  • 1 Tsp All-purpose seasoning
  • 2 Bay leaves (optional)
  • 1 and a half cups of water
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

1

Blend together the tomatoes, 1 onion, red chilli pepper, ½ cup water until smooth and set aside

2

Dice the half onion. Heat a generous amount of oil (4 Tbsp) in a deep pot on high heat. You need a lot of oil to fry out the acidity of the tomatoes, you can drain the oil once the stew is ready

3

When the oil is hot, add in the diced onion and thyme. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low so that the onions caramelise gently. You will notice that water is gathering on the inside of the lid so every few minutes, take the lid to the sink and shake off the water and replace the lid quickly so you don’t lose the flavour.

4

When the onions are brown (not burnt!), turn the heat back up and add in the blended tomato mixture and mix in the spices (maggi cube, knorr cube, all-purpose seasoning, bay leaves). Fry on high heat until all the water is dried out.

5

Once the water has dried out, add in the 1 cup water. Mix everything together and turn the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Check your soup often to make sure it doesn’t run dry.

6

After 15 to 20 minutes, your tomato soup should be thick and ready. I like to serve it as a starter with plain toast, the crunchy toast goes incredibly well with this rich, creamy, flavourful soup but you can also serve it with buns, crackers or normal bread.

Notes

You will notice I did not add salt, this is because the maggi cube and the chicken stock have plenty of salt already so you really don’t need added salt.

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