Egyptian Tomato Soup

Egyptian Tomato SoupThis is a shout-out to a terrific collection of Aussies and Kiwis (plus a few Americans and one Canadian) from our trip to Egypt.  Together, we covered long distances, soaked up history, rode camels, climbed pyramids, got our Sphinx fix, and ate lots of mediocre food.

Gotta love those pyramids!

Egyptian food is not so great.  Don’t drink the water, forget salads and raw veggies, and I chose to skip fruits and other questionable uncooked items.  However, the soup there was often tasty.  In restaurants, it is served hotter than blazes, MacDonald’s Coffee Lawsuit Hot.  With the weather more than toasty (one day, we had 111 degrees) you’d think hot soup would be unappealing.  But heck, you’re pretty much always sweaty anyway, and you court danger eating anything that wasn’t boiled or roasted to smithereens.  So, soup.

One evening in Cairo, Larry and I walked to a neighborhood restaurant called Paprika.  Savoring a blistering bowl of Tomato Soup, I mentally deconstructed it to recreate back home.  Three things stood out – pimiento, chili powder and paprika (the name of the restaurant helped with that one).  Who knows if that’s what they actually used, but my rendition, below, was very close.  The fresh squeezed lime on top really adds the YUM.  This is an easy, quick recipe and tasted great the next day, too (I saved a cup of it to have over cooked rice for lunch).

PS – many thanks to The Kitchn for featuring my recipe, and for Sara Kate pointing out how yummy it is cold the next day.

Egyptian Tomato Soup


  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (4 oz.) jar diced pimientos
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • Fresh limes
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper

In a large pot, melt the butter.  Add the onion and garlic, cook until soft.  Add the pimientos and tomatoes, cover and cook gently for 10 minutes.  Add the stock, chili powder and paprika and cook for an additional 5 minutes.  Using an immersion blender (or transfer to a food processor or blender), puree until almost smooth.   Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with fresh lime squeezed on top.   Serves 2.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Erika Kerekes {Not Ketchup} June 2, 2014 at 4:50 pm

McDonald’s Coffee Lawsuit Hot. You are funny. 🙂

2 Worth The Whisk August 30, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Great advice, Sarah, thanks!

3 Sarah August 30, 2010 at 2:27 pm

Mediocre food! Clearly you were eating in all the wrong places! (and all the wrong foods!) I’m ever so fortunate to be half Egyptian and have tasted some of the most amazing food there (and I’m a TOUGH critic).
Don’t hang up on the ‘salad and fruit’ thing – these are crucial to try as Egyptians will offer you the incredible riches of that season.
If you ever go again, go somewhere with little or no English and order as the locals do. Also ask about the daily ‘salata’ (salads). These will include cooked items (its basically a mezze) that will be the side orders to your main.
The best advice I can give is go to speciality places (i.e. the meat grill guy or the fish restaurant etc)
The fish restaurants aremy favourite as you choose your fish and then tell the chef how you want it cooked or allow him to do his speciality. I love everything grilled (‘meshwe’) as the charcoal imparts an incredible flavour.
I hope you enjoyed the other aspects of your trip and that this helps you if you ever decide to visit Egypt again.

4 BRONWYN HICKMAN December 4, 2009 at 7:47 pm

Hi Patti, good to check out your site. No sign of that roast lamb to bung in the oven!!??? Heading into summer here, so when are you two coming for a visit? No elephants to ride, but aussie/kiwi hospitality abounds! Have a wonderful Xmas, co egyptian travellers.
From Patti to Bronwyn – I have not forgotten your lamb technique, am saving it for good lamb prices here. Luxury priced. You are on our list to visit next Australia trip, believe me.

5 Andhratreat July 16, 2009 at 3:28 pm

nice recipes…

6 The Gypsy Chef July 10, 2009 at 6:03 am

If the soup is as good as the photo, it’s a sure winner! I will try it tonight on the girls.
Nice blog, glad I found it!

7 susan love June 25, 2009 at 10:45 pm

hello there you two. it was terrific to hear from you and the recipe sounds great. its winter here so it might be what i really need on these cold nights. sally, dave, allan and i had a wonderful holiday and really enjoyed egypt it was exactly how you discribed it. I can’t tell you how good it was to hear from you hope you are both well. I’ll let you know how the soup was. thanks again susan love.

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