Tomato, Quinoa and Za’atar Soup

Tomato, quinoa and za'atar soup - A healthy soup of pan roasted tomatoes, cooked with quinoa and flavoured with cumin and the Middle Eastern za'aatar herb blend. A warming soup that is vegan and quick to make.

The classic tomato soup is a staple comfort food during the wet and cold months. This healthy tomato soup recipe is cooked with quinoa and given a Middle Eastern touch with the addition of za’atar. Za’atar is a classic and beautifully aromatic Middle Eastern herb blend of sumac, sesame seeds and other herbs such as thyme and oregano. Pair it with some crusty bread and you have a winning meal.

Tomato, quinoa and za'atar soup - A healthy soup of pan roasted tomatoes, cooked with quinoa and flavoured with cumin and the Middle Eastern za'aatar herb blend. A warming soup that is vegan and quick to make.

If you haven’t figure out already, I love mediterranean flavours. I’ve used sumac on its own before to make sumac lamb chops and sumac roasted chicken. But I was super excited to try out za’atar. It is becoming increasingly popular and is now available in a lot of larger supermarkets. If you can’t find it, then you can buy it online here.

Tomato, quinoa and za'atar soup - A healthy soup of pan roasted tomatoes, cooked with quinoa and flavoured with cumin and the Middle Eastern za'aatar herb blend. A warming soup that is vegan and quick to make.

In this recipe, I pan roasted tomatoes. I love pan roasting tomatoes until the red flesh is charred and blackened. It creates a beautiful smokey depth to the tomatoes. I only pan roasted 2 tomatoes in this recipe and then used a can of plum tomatoes to make up the rest of the soup. It’s a cheap and lazy option, however, you could make this soup with entirely pan roasted tomatoes, 6 should be more than enough. 

Tomato, quinoa and za'atar soup - A healthy soup of pan roasted tomatoes, cooked with quinoa and flavoured with cumin and the Middle Eastern za'aatar herb blend. A warming soup that is vegan and quick to make.

I also added some ground cumin to the soup because as you guys know, I love spices in general, and cumin just makes everything taste so much better. I topped the soup with a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese, which becomes ooey and gooey as it melts into the soup. You can also add a squeeze of lemon juice to add a hint of freshness. 

Tomato, Quinoa and Za'atar Soup
Serves 4
A warming, vegan friendly soup; pan roasted tomatoes cooked with quinoa and flavoured with earthy cumin and the classic Middle Eastern spice blend, za'atar.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
45 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 2-3 medium sized tomatoes
  2. 2-3 tbs oil
  3. 1 onion, sliced
  4. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 1 bay leaf
  6. 1 tsp ground cumin
  7. 1 can of plum tomatoes
  8. 1-2 tsp sugar
  9. 1/2 cup quinoa, washed
  10. 2 tbs za’atar
  11. Water
  12. 1/4 tsp black pepper
  13. Salt to taste
  14. 2 whole green chillies (optional)
Instructions
  1. Place a pan or skillet on a medium heat and place the tomatoes. Leave the tomatoes to dry roast until the skin is charred and blackened. Turn the tomatoes over so that the tomatoes are evenly charred on all sides. This should take from 5-10 minutes. Once the tomatoes are charred and slightly soft, remove from heat. Allow to cool and then peel off the skin and set aside.
  2. In a large pot, add oil and allow to heat up. Then add in the sliced onion and 1/2 tsp salt to help onions soften. Stir and allow the onions to turn lightly golden before adding in the garlic, bay leaf and cumin. Stir and allow the cumin to cook off for about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add in the pan roasted tomatoes and the can of plum tomatoes and then use a spoon to smash down the tomatoes. Add the sugar and allow to cook for about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add in 2 mugs of water, it should be enough to fill a medium sized pot to the brim. Leave the soup to simmer for about 15 minutes, on a low to medium heat.
  5. After about 15 minutes, add in the washed and drained quinoa and the za’atar. Stir and then cover an allow to cook for a further 10-15 minutes.
  6. Remove soup from heat and liquidise using a hand blender or similar device.
  7. Stir the soup well and then finish it off with freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste. When serving, garnish the soup with an extra pinch of za’atar.
The Red Lychee http://www.theredlychee.com/
Tomato, quinoa and za'atar soup - pan roasted tomatoes cooked with quinoa and spiced with earthy cumin and the classical Middle Eastern herb blend, za'atar. A mediterranean version of the popular tomato soup. Great for autumn and winter.

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