Welcoming a new week with this cozy bowl of Burst Tomato Broth with Couscous! The secret to this delicious and nourishing soup is in the broth. Homemade vegetable broth is so easy to make and so easily customizable. Not only that, and most importantly, making your own broth means having more control over the ingredients and amount of salt that’s added to your product, so there’s no risk of hidden ingredients making their way into it.
I love making this soup when I’m having a busy day and don’t want to overthink dinner. It’s especially nice on a chilli evening when all you want is just cuddle up with a bowl of soup and put a movie on and relax. As the broth simmers away you’re free to do anything else that needs to be done around the house. There’s barely any chopping involved, so prep work is minimal.
This one is a simple burst tomato base, but you can add any vegetables you have lying around, like carrots, celery, or potatoes. If you happen to have leftover parmesan rinds, don’t throw them away. Store them rinds in an airtight container in the fridge and add them to your next soup, tomato sauce, or broth. They add a nice salty flavor and help thicken it up.
building the foundation
A rich broth starts with the aromatics – the foundation that takes a dish from good to great.
Aromatics are combinations of vegetables and herbs (and meats) that are heated in fat, like butter or olive oil. The fat helps the ingredients release their aromas and impart deep flavors into the dish.
They can be part of the final dish, and in that case you’ll want to finely chop the aromatics. But they can also be fished out of the final dish, like in a stock, you don’t need to worry too much about that, just roughly chop the vegetables.
You can add any fresh herbs, like parsley, thyme, and bay leaves. If you’re feeling spicy, add in some chopped chilies or red pepper flakes. Then there’s also garlic, green onions, and ginger. Don’t get too stuck on ratios or measurements. If you love garlic, add more garlic. If you love onions, add more onions.
Season as you go.
Seasoning throughout the cooking process means every bite gets infused with flavor, not just the exterior.
If you want to turn it into a more hearty soup, add in your favorite grain like quinoa or rice, or pasta, like orzo. I like adding Israeli couscous for its chewy texture, and it only takes 10 minutes to cook, so leave the broth on a simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour and finally add the couscous a few minutes before you’re ready to serve.
Burst Tomato Broth with Couscous
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1 leek
- leftover parmesan rinds
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup Israeli couscous
- fresh thyme
- fresh basil
- kosher salt and black pepper
- red pepper flakes
- juice of 1 lemon
- freshly grated parmesan, for serving
- Prep your veggies: roughly chop the onion and leek. Mince the garlic.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook until they start to burst, about 10 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to smash some of the tomatoes for a thicker, creamier sauce, but don’t smash them all. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add garlic, onion, leek, red pepper flakes, and thyme. Saute for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add in parmesan rind and water.
- Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Remove parmesan rind and fish out any big vegetable chunks, if desired.
- Add in couscous and cook for another 10 minutes, or according to package directions. Stir in lemon juice.
- Garnish with fresh basil and grated parmesan cheese. Serve.
If you make this Burst Tomato Broth with Couscous please be sure to leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you and I love responding to every comment. And don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram. I’d love to see your photos!