Tomato Soup with Feta

Sometimes the moment calls for a simple, delicious mediterranean soup. But you can't afford that luxury, because you're tired. You just came home from work. Well, not just. You had to stay later than expected, because whatsisface goofed up and caused everyone to work a longer shift. Then you had to shovel snow before you could get your car out, and then you had some errands to run, before you could get in. Now you barely have the energy to dial Pizza Hut. So you open the fridge to see if there's any ready made snacks to nibble on for a makeshift supper, before calling it a day and taking your tired body to bed. But what's that leftover white blocky thing in the plastic bag? Oh, you've got some feta cheese on hand. Perfect. You remembered to keep canned tomatoes and couscous in stock, as pantry staples, and you've got a bit of bell pepper in the crisper. Guess what, you've got a reasonably low cost, low fat, decent, nutritious meal. Hearty, home made soup in about the time it takes to make canned soup....


1 T olive oil
1 can (750g) crushed or whole tomatoes
1 red bell pepper
2 cups water or chicken stock
1/4 c couscous
1 t basil (dried) or 1T fresh
Feta cheese


Place a large pot (preferably enamelled cast iron) on med, and add the oil, and tomatoes. Simmer a few minutes as the tomatoes break down, and grow a bit of flavour. Meanwhile, chop the bell pepper and add it in the soup too, once chopped. Next, add a light touch of salt, pepper, and basil (dried. If using fresh, leave it til the soup is done). Add the water, boil (raising heat if necessary), and add the couscous. Simmer about 5 minutes longer, or until the consistency of the soup is as desired. Finally, if using whole tomatoes, you have the option of breaking them with the back of a spoon, or blending them with an immersion or countertop blender to thicken the soup. Once the soup is done, scoop into bowls, crumble feta on top and a bit of olive oil. Serve with crusty bread.

Options: Don't have feta? How about Camembert? Gruyere? Brie? Danish blue? Mozzarella? Swiss? Chuck any cheese you like in there, if it's got a low melting point. (If it's got a high melting point, then carefully melt some on crusty bread under the broiler, and chuck that in the soup). Don't have couscous? Then you're screwed. No wait, you're still good! Use rice (rinse first). Everyone's got rice, right?

You can also add chopped onion to the oil at the beginning, for a bit more flavor, or chopped boiled egg at the end (as a garnish), for an even heartier soup.


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