Tomato vermicelli soup is an example of a simple soup with depth of flavour and variation in texture.
It doesn't need to be too intense with lots of spice or lemon as the tomatoes need to shine through.
Vermicelli (or baby spaghetti as my toddler calls it) is commonly used in Lebanese cooking to thicken soups and can be found in your local Middle Eastern grocery store or online.
Your tomato vermicelli soup is only as good as your tomatoes. Now some people's husbands buy them flowers - but mine, he gets me an impressive selection of tomatoes 😂
You don't have to have twenty million types of tomatoes for this soup but using a combination will add different tanginess or sweetness of the varieties.
I've limited the herbs to dried oregano and fresh basil as these won't overpower the main flavour.
You will also need a good chicken or vegetable broth (I'm not generally a fan of meat broths). Vegetable stock powder is also a viable option.
I've decided to use chicken because it gives a nice warm tone to the soup and helps fight off those winter bugs.
I had previously frozen a batch of homemade chicken broth, and added that to my soup. I also topped up with boiling water.
If you do use a shop bought chicken broth make sure that you take note of the salt level, so taste it when it comes to the boil before adding any extra salt.
First, I make the tomato sauce in one pot by roughly chopping the tomatoes with a drizzle of mild olive oil.
Bring to the boil then simmer for around twenty minutes or so. Then blitz with a hand blender.
Then I add the chicken or vegetable broth and top up with some boiling water to the desired consistency. I like a medium consistency that's not too thick or thin.
I bring it to the boil again and add the vermicelli which needs about 15 minutes to simmer to cook through.
Always taste and adjust the salt level before you turn off the heat and finish off with a small drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
As with most soups you have quite a bit of flexibility to adapt it to your liking. Here are some suggestions
- Spicy - add a pinch of red chilli powder or cayenne to upgrade the spice level.
- Garlicky - add 2-3 cloves of garlic to the tomato sauce before you blitz
- Herby - increase the amount of basil, oregano or add chives and a little thyme
If you make a lot of tomato sauce you can actually freeze it for use later, which in my house is a life saver.
If you plan to freeze a portion, set aside the amount you want to freeze before you add the vermicelli as it is better to add it when you reheat.
This soup will keep in the fridge for up to three days.
Tomato Vermicelli soup
Tangy tomato soup with fine vermicelli
- 4 cups chopped tomatoes approx 8 tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon tomato concentrate
- Drizzle mild olive oil approx 2 tbsp
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 clove garlic
- Salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- small handful fresh basil
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 cup fine vermicelli
- Drizzle extra virgin olive oil
In a pot, add a drizzle of mild olive oil and the chopped tomatoes, tomato concentrate, black pepper, dried oregano and garlic
Bring to the boil then simmer for around 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the fresh basil leaves before blitzing with a hand blender
Add the chicken broth and boiling water, and bring to the boil again. Taste and adjust the salt as necessay
Add the vermicelli and reduce the heat to a simmer for another 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and finish off with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
You can substitute the tomatoes and tomato concentrate with 1 can of chopped tomatoes.
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