Oh Ladies and Gentleman, it has been a long couple of weeks. I have been down and out with a bizarre shoulder injury. I classify it as bizarre because I still don't know what caused it or where it came from, all I know is it kept me away from the kitchen and left me bound to the couch, draped in a heating blanket (which actually felt really nice with these frigid temperatures) and popping Advil 'round the clock. Finally, with the pain 90% gone, I started to ease my way back into the kitchen to make some soup.
Whew. It felt so good to hold my knife and feel the cushion of our Chef's mat under my feet again. Two weeks might not seem like a long time but to me, it felt like decades. During my couch stay, Richard had taken over all cooking responsibilities like a champ, banging out incredible dish after dish. He even did all of the food for a tasting for a couple whose wedding we are catering this year and I've never been more proud. If I do say so myself, he nailed it while I turned the couch into a make-shift office/wedding central, alternating from work emails and phone calls to ordering cocktail napkins with our names and our wedding date on them. I missed cooking so much.
Since yesterday (and really all this week) is just perfect for soup, that's where I thought I'd start. Tomato soup is one of my favorites and from there, I gave it a Moroccan flair, just because I felt like something a little different. This soup was very simple to make, yet tasted complex and bright with flavors from different spices. It was the perfect introduction back into the kitchen.
Moroccan Tomato Soup
- Enough Extra Virgin Olive Oil to coat the bottom of the pot
- 1/2 onion, peeled and diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 clove garlic, peeled but left whole
- 1/2 tsp Ground Turmeric
- A pinch of Saffron (just a couple of threads)
- 1 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1 tsp Ground Coriander
- 1/4 tsp Ground Clove
- 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1 28 oz. can Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
- 1/4 cup Golden Raisins
- 1 TBS Preserved Lemon, chopped (you can use a little bit of lemon juice to taste if you can't find preserved lemon)
- Salt to taste
Coat a large soup pot lightly with olive oil and heat. Add onions carrots and garlic along with a generous pinch of salt. Heat vegetables for about 5 minutes until they soften. Add all spices (Turmeric, Saffron, Cumin, Coriander, Ground Clove, Cinnamon) and heat an additional 2-3 minutes. Add the Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes and use to empty can to add two can-fulls of water to the pot. Add the raisins and bring everything the a boil and reduce the heat to simmer until the carrots are completely softened but not falling apart. Allow the soup to cool a bit, then place soup in blender and puree until smooth. Return soup to pot and heat soup until desired temperature. Add Preserved Lemon or lemon juice and salt to taste.