World Cuisine

Tomato, Ras el Hanout and Vermicelli Soup

cook 30 mins
  • 8 large ripe tomatoes
  • 2–3 tablespoons olive or argan oil
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1–2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato purée
  • 1–2 teaspoons ras el hanout
  • large bunch of coriander, finely chopped
  • 1.5 litres (2 1/2 pints) hot vegetable stock
  • 120 g (4 oz) fine vermicelli, broken into small pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • chunks of crusty bread, to serve (optional)
  • Place the tomatoes in a heatproof bowl and pour over boiling water to cover. Leave for 1–2 minutes, then drain, cut a cross at the stem end of each tomato and peel off the skins. Roughly chop and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan, stir in the cloves, onions, celery and carrot and cook for 3–4 minutes until they begin to colour. Add the tomatoes and sugar and cook over a medium heat for 4–5 minutes until the mixture is thick.
  • Stir in the tomato purée, ras el hanout and most of the coriander. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, then cook over a medium heat for 15 minutes. Stir in the vermicelli, season and cook for a further 5–6 minutes until the pasta is just tender.
  • Garnish with the remaining coriander and ladle into serving bowls. Serve with crusty bread, if liked.
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