After 35 years of life without coffee, I’ve suddenly grown very fond of coffee. A strange experience, I can tell you. I’m no hard core double espresso drinking type yet, a cappuccino or café au lait with sugar will do just fine for now, but it’s a big step coming from drinking mostly herbal tea.
It all started two months ago, when we were a weekend in Rome (I’m still planning to move there one day, what a fabulous city) and the Minichef (13!) ordered a latte macchiato. She had decided it was time for her to drink coffee (French kids…) and this was the way to gently get used to it.
I did what any sensible grown up would do in a situation like that: I took her latte and drank half of it, ignoring her displeased sounds. And I have been hooked ever since. My colleagues still look a bit confused when they go to get something to drink and I ask them to bring me a coffee, after years of getting me green tea.
I’m not sure if starting with coffee is a wise or healthy decision, but now that I’ve started there’s no turning back. I’ve also started drinking beer on a relatively late age, after years of only wine and, strangely enough, straight whisky. Which I drink without ice, just pure Scotch. I started mixing it with Coca-Cola, and reduced the quantity of the coke a bit with every drink. Until I reached a point where I enjoyed whisky on its own (and I can’t imagine mixing it with something else now!). I plan on doing the same with coffee. Not the mixing with coke of course, but the gently reducing the amounts of milk and sugar until I enjoy it plain. That might take a while though ;-)
What all this rambling about coffee has to do with tomato soup? Not much, but it reminded me of when I was younger and didn’t like olives or feta (at least not the real feta, with actual taste). I learned to appreciate a great deal of the food I didn’t like when I was a teenager (or even when I was a student…) just by simply deciding that I was too old to be so picky. And to my amazement, I suddenly started to like olives after eating them a couple of times. Let’s hope the same goes for coffee :-)
This soup, like most vegetable soups, is very easy to prepare. You just boil the vegetables and purée them. The fun part comes after that, when we add the toppings. Soups are all about toppings. I’ve baked a bit of chorizo until crispy (I love chorizo, and I always have a bit of sausage in my fridge for impromptu soups, omelettes and salads), added a few olives and crumbled over a bit of feta for a salty kick. It’s taking the soup to a whole other level, I promise!
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 1 big (or 2 small) red paprikas (bell peppers), cut into big chunks
- 2 cans of diced tomatoes (total of 800 gr / 4 cups)
- 100 gr (3.5 oz) chorizo, in cubes
- 20 gr (0.7 oz) feta cheese, crumbled
- 6 olives, in slices (I used kalamata, but any kind will do, as long as they're plain olives)
- Heat the olive oil in a big pan (for soup) and bake the onion until soft on low heat
- Add the paprikas and tomatoes, and let it simmer for 40 minutes, or until soft enough to blend
- Blend* and season with salt and pepper*
- Bake the chorizo until crispy in a dry skillet (no oil needed)
- Top the soup with crispy chorizo, sliced olives and crumble over some feta before serving
* As we didn't use any stock for this soup, you'll find it needs more salt than you're probably used to.