Sauté down onions and garlic in olive oil until nice and soft and then add in chopped tomatoes, salt, grated lemon zest, thyme, and a bay leaf.
Let simmer until the tomatoes have dissolved and then stick it all in a food processor (except for the bay leaf -- you can discard that) and puree. Then return the soup to the pan and bring back to a simmer, this time with some rice in it.
The last step is to slowly stir in a frothy mixture of egg and lemon juice. Slowly so that it doesn't create scrambled eggs in the soup, which would be disgusting.
Add pepper and serve, preferably with croutons lightly browned in olive oil.
This was pretty good, despite not having fresh seasonal tomatoes. My rice wasn't quite cooked fully enough -- whoops -- but I still liked the thickness of the soup and the flavor of the pepper and tomatoes.
lemon -- $.79
tomatoes -- $.94
Total Cost of Tomato Soup with Rice and Lemon from the Eastern Mediterranean: $1.73
($.87 per serving)