Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Corba od Patlidzan - otherwise known as tomato soup

I pulled off the Badnje Vece meal more smoothly than ever this year! Not like the years that I would finally get everything (that I hadn't forgotten) on the table by 11 pm. I got eight courses set out before 7 pm, and I only spent the last hour working full throttle. I even made the kidney bean salad from a deeper scratch – dried beans that I soaked overnight, rather than a can. My testimonial: it's different, and it's even better. It has an ineffable homemade quality. The beans are a little grainier in texture, very nice.

Donald gave me props on the tomato soup. Since I threw it together without a recipe, just putting everything into the pot that I thought would be good to find in tomato soup, I figured I'd better write it down fast while I remember what I did.

Remember, it has to be animal-product free. So I had to stop myself from reaching for the butter and the homemade chicken stock!

Corba od patlidzan

(CHOR-ba od paht-LEE-jahn, with the "j" as in "Jack")

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 tablespoons AP flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
several fresh grindings black pepper
2 bay leaves
1-2 shakes red pepper flakes
4 tablespoons (approx) fresh or frozen fresh parsley
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, juice and all

In a deep, heavy pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil. Add the onions and cook over medium heat until cleared and beginning to brown. Add the garlic and celery partway through this onion cooking process.

Add the flour and stir well. Let the flour cook in for a few minutes. Add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, bay leaves, parsley and tomatoes. Fill the tomato can with water and add it to the pot.

Simmer, covered, about a half hour. Stir occasionally, making sure it doesn't stick and scorch on the bottom.

If you like, you can blend this smooth when you're done, or strain it. But I don't care so much for perfectly smooth soups, myself. I like it rustic.


  1. Patlidzan, no offence, (as your recipe is lovely!) means Eggplant, not tomato :)

  2. I grew up learning that "plavo patlidzan" means eggplant, and patlidzan (or paradaiz) means tomato. Perhaps this meaning for patlidzan has become archaic. Very interesting.

    Thanks for the compliment on the recipe, and for helping with the spelling, too! I'll fix the spelling from patligan to patlidzan in the post.