A simple tomato soup with poached eggs that can be as easy or as complex as you’d like. This one has harissa for heat and a little crunch from pickled onions. Golden, garlicky croutons are extra, but so delicious.
A while back, a popular site reached out to me about a piece they were doing on what food bloggers ate for lunch at home. The request struck fear into my heart and I was glad to be traveling at the time since I was just not ready to reveal the weird truth.
But now, after more than a year of reflection, I’m ready to share my lunch of choice. This is it. Lunch soup. I eat it pretty much every day. From here, it probably looks a lot like tomato soup (it is). But it’s so much more than that. The base recipe is straightforward – alliums, olive oil, tomatoes, broth, salt and pepper – but after that, things get interesting. I like to poach eggs in the soup. Stir in loads of harissa or red curry paste. Add leftover vegetables or cooked grains. Tons of chopped garlic if I feel like I’m getting sick. Fresh herbs. Pickled onions. Crumble corn chips on top. Dip golden croutons in it.
Sometimes, I make my lunch soup with leftover homemade marinara sauce and broth (it’s fantastic! Add 1/1/2 cups broth to 1 cup marinara). Other days, I make the recipe below – a classic, dead simple tomato soup. It’s a variation on a longtime favorite introduced to me by a friend in back in my grad school days. In the intervening years, I’ve adjusted the recipe and made it mine. Of course, the beauty of the recipe is its versatility, so rather than having perfected the recipe, perhaps I’ve just learned all the ways to complicate it.
- 4 slices sourdough
- 1 clove garlic
- Sea salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup minced onion or shallot
- Sea salt
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 14- ounce can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons harissa or 1 teaspoon red curry paste (optional)
- 4 eggs
- Pickled onions
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh herbs
- Harissa or hot sauce
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Toast bread 5 minutes. Rub bread on both sides with garlic clove (I like to really press it in there, so that most of the clove remains on the bread). On both sides, brush bread with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Set on a baking sheet and bake another 5 minutes or until croutons are golden, fragrant, and crisp. Cut bread in half and serve.
Set a wide saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil, and when hot, add onions or shallots. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, and sauté until translucent, 5 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute more.
Stir in tomatoes and broth, and harissa if using. Up heat to medium-high and bring soup to a gentle boil. Taste, and add sea salt or pepper as needed. Edge heat down so the soups is at a lively simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.
One at a time, break eggs in a small bowl, and tip into the soup. Add a pinch of salt to each egg (if they sink below the surface, don't worry about). Set a timer for 5 minutes (I like my eggs with set white and runny yolks – go 1 - 2 minutes longer for set yolks). Carefully lift eggs from soup with a ladle or slotted spoon and tip them into a serving bowl. Ladle soup over the eggs, add any garnishes, and enjoy!
Barbara Krueger says
I grew up eating eggs poached in tomato juice then put on a slice of toast with cheese, Swiss, on it. My mother said that her mother fixed it for her family during the Great Depression in the 1930’s. I since have varied it using salsa or fresh tomatoes adding onions, garlic, banana peppers or whatever I have on hand. Whenever I fix this for friends they love it; they’ve never had it before.