Moroccan Tomato Soup

A tomato soup is like a blank canvas that can be painted with herbs and spices from around the world. It’s a tasty way to learn. Here, spices used by Mexican cooks and in Indian curries are coaxed into a fragrant combination that colours it Morocco. The warmth of the toasted spices and a smoked Spanish paprika make this soup equally good hot or chilled with a swirl of yogurt for garnish.

4 Tbs. olive oil
2 large onions, very thinly sliced
1 bulb roasted garlic
1 Tbs. coriander seed
2 Tbs. cumin seed
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 Tbs. paprika, hot, sweet or smoked
Two 28-oz. (796-mL) cans Italian plum tomatoes
2 cups stock
1 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 large oranges, zest and juice
2 Tbs. brown sugar (optional)
1 bunch fresh cilantro, minced

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven and gently brown the onions. As they release their juices, cover to sweat and soften their texture. Squeeze the garlic cloves from their skins and mix them into the onions.

In a small dry skillet over medium-high heat, toast the coriander and cumin seeds until fragrant. They may even pop. Grind them in a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder.

Add the toasted spices, cinnamon and paprika to the onions. Cook the spices for several minutes to develop a full flavour. Be careful not to bum the mixture or it will be bitter instead of sweet.

Drain the canned tomatoes and coarsely chop. Add the tomatoes and stock to the onions. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Near the end of the cooking time, zest and juice the oranges. Season the soup with salt and pepper, adding the orange juice and zest to brighten the flavour. Simmer for 5 minutes. If the soup needs a little sweetness, add the sugar to taste.

Cool the soup. Purée for a smooth texture and bright colour. The soup may be prepared ahead to this point and even frozen if desired. Reheat and taste for seasonings. Add fresh minced cilantro just before serving.


Glenys' note:
Thanks my sweet for posting this but I want to make a couple comments as always. This soup is easy, except for those bothered by the variety needed for the "spice or flavour" package. We all know we need current spices for an authentic flavour and all you Penzey's fans will be up to date. With any curry or masala mixture, if it's toasted too dark it may become bitter.
Don't be afraid to adjust the finish of the soup with a little honey or sugar if the tomatoes were too acidic. Don't be afraid to add more orange if that's the highlight you like with the tomatoes.
I use Muir Glen fire roasted tomatoes for this recipe. The garlic does not have to be roasted if it can be coaxed into caramelization with the onions.
Go forth and make it your own.

Source of recipe: Glenys