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Spiced tomato soup with lemon and herb flatbreads

Black sesame noodle bowl for web copy

There are two soups I make for our family when the reserves are low and cupboards are bare: a quick frozen pea and coconut soup from my second book and a version of this soup. I think it’s a bit of magic that a delicious soup can come from nothing more than a few simple vegetables, a little spice and a couple of tins of tomatoes. I use tinned cherry tomatoes as I like the sweetness they bring, but a couple of tins of plum tomatoes would work well too. The soup starts with a base of onion, garlic, carrot and celery, but you could also use leek, fennel or shallots too. The crowning glory of this soup is the lemon and herb flatbreads. They come together just like a cheese toastie. I come back to them again and again.

30 mins
Black sesame noodle bowl for web copy


For the soup

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 sticks of celery, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2–4 tablespoons harissa paste (depending on heat)
  • 2 × 400g tins cherry tomatoes
  • 800ml hot vegetable stock (made with 1 teaspoon bouillon powder or ½ a stock cube)
  • 200g mature Cheddar or vegan Cheddar-style cheese, grated
  • 50g feta or vegan feta-style cheese
  • 2 preserved lemons, skin roughly chopped
  • 50g pickled green chillies, roughly chopped
  • a bunch of parsley (30g), chopped
  • ½ a bunch of mint (15g), chopped
  • ½ a bunch of dill (15g), chopped
  • 4 large fluffy Turkish flatbreads
  • 4 tablespoons za’atar
  1. Start the soup

    Add 3 tablespoons olive oil to a medium saucepan along with 3 peeled and finely chopped onions, 4 finely chopped sticks of celery, 2 peeled and finely chopped carrots, and 6 peeled and finely chopped cloves of garlic and fry the lot over a medium-low heat for 15–20 minutes, stirring every so often, until soft and sweet but not browned. You will need to adjust the heat as you go and perhaps add a little more oil or even a splash of water if it’s beginning to catch.

  2. Add the spices

    Once the vegetables have softened, add 1 tablespoon cumin seeds, 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, and 2–3 tablespoons harissa paste and stir to toast for a minute. Add 2 400g tins of cherry tomatoes and their juice, then 800ml hot vegetable stock. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring often.

  3. Make the flatbread filling

    Grate 200g Cheddar cheese into a mixing bowl, then crumble in 50g feta cheese. Add 2 roughly chopped preserved lemons and 50g chopped pickled green chillies. Mix in the chopped leaves from a bunch of parsley and from . a bunch each of mint and dill. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.

  4. Bake the flatbreads

    Preheat the oven to 240C fan. Place the flatbreads on a baking tray and drizzle one side with oil and a little za’atar. Flip the flatbreads over on to the unoiled side, pile the filling on to one of the flatbreads and spread evenly, then sprinkle over some more za’atar. Place the other flatbread to sandwich the filling – oiled side up – then place in the oven for 10 minutes so the cheese melts and the flatbread toasts.

  5. Blend the soup

    While the flatbreads are in the oven, use a hand-held blender to blend the tomato mixture until you have a creamy soup. Keep it warm on a low heat. Taste and season with more salt if needed.

  6. Serve the soup and flatbreads

    Take the flatbreads out of the oven, slide on to a large chopping board and carefully slice up and serve alongside the soup.

Additional information

As featured in

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Easy Wins

Award-winning and bestselling cook Anna Jones gives her golden rules for easy wins in the kitchen with super-simple recipes that are bursting with flavour and kind to the planet.

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