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Persian Tomato Soup

VEGAN Persian Tomato Soup

4-5 medium size tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
2 TBL tomato paste
Sun dried tomatoes to taste (or optional)
4 cans (13-14 oz) of vegetable broth
2 medium finely chopped onions
4-6 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 C chopped fresh parsley (loosely packed to measure)
Juice of half a lemon
2 - 2 1/2 tsp of dried dill
1/2 tsp of garam masala*
1/4 C basmati rice (or other rice)
Salt and pepper to taste 
Rehydrate sun dried tomatoes (if they are the dry kind) and chop, quantity is
flexible.   If you don't use them then add some extra tomato paste.

Wash rice according to instructions on the package. (Basmati rice is handled
differently than plain  American rice.)

Saute onions until brown but not caramelized.  Combine everything except,
parsley, lemon and rice in a stock pot. Simmer covered until tomatoes
"dissolve" or "melt". This probably takes 45-60 minutes.

At this stage, remove the solids and puree them in a food processor with a
bit of the liquid and return to the pot. Stir into broth in the pan and start
simmering again.

Add the remaining ingredients, i.e.,  rice, parsley and lemon juice and
continue to cook until the rice is done, which will be about twenty minutes
for basmati rice. (The rice should be a bit "overdone" for this recipe
compared to how you would fix it for a standard rice dish.)

Note that fresh parsley is essential and gives the recipe a characteristic
flavor. Don't bother to make the recipe of you don't have fresh. It will seem
like a lot of parsley. Use it anyway. Perhaps the recipe should have been
called parsley tomato soup.

The timings are approximate. It's hard to overcook this soup. If you don't
cook it long enough, the flavors don't meld together as well but there is
still a lot of flexibility. 

*About garam masala. It is used in Indian cooking and any Indian grocery
store will have it. It is a mixture like curry powder. And like curry powder,
no two versions are identical. Any version will do. If you can't get it, you
can make your own. For purposes of this recipe I would suggest substituting
something on this order in amounts to give you 2 - 2 1/2 tsp:

about equal amounts of ground cumin and ground coriander
pinch of ground cinnamon
tiny pinch of cayenne 
pinch of black pepper