Friday, 30 July 2010

Roasted red pepper and tomato soup

I love soups and eat them a lot for dinner and lunch all year round. More filling soups like Moroccan lentil soups or classics like bouef bourguignon during the winter, and lighter soups like gazpacho or creme ninon during the summer.

One of my favourites is this soup with roasted peppers and tomatoes. I eat it both summer and winter, but it's particularly good this time of year when it's easy to buy beautifully ripe tomatoes. This soup can also be used as a pasta sauce, accompaniment to barbecued meat or fish. Only difference is that you would not add any additional water or broth at the last step to keep a thicker consistency. Actually this soup/sauce is so good that as I'm writing this I'm contemplating raiding the fridge of some of the leftovers and eat it as a dip with a couple of slices of crusty baguette. Did I mention it's also nice cold and can be eaten as a gazpacho? So go on, do make this soup, you will not regret it!

Roasted red pepper and tomato soup (4 portions)
4-6 large red peppers (I used 4 of the longer pointed red peppers, otherwise I would've used 6 of the 'normal' ones)
12 large ripe tomatoes
1 red chili
1 yellow onion
1 handful of basil
6 garlic cloves
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
olive oil
chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsb roasted pine kernels

Halve and deseed the peppers. Add to a ovenproof dish with the skin side facing upwards and drizzle with olive oil. Roast at 200-250C until the skin is bubbly and black. Take out from the oven and cover with kitchen towel or transfer to a plastic bag. Covering up the peppers will help with removing the skins. Let cool down.

Quarter the tomatoes, add to a large ovenproof dish with the cut side up. Peel the garlic cloves and add to the dish. Slice the onion, finely chop the chili and basil, sprinkle over the tomatoes. Sprinkle over salt and sugar. Drizzle over vinegar and olive oil. Roast in the oven at 150-200C for around 30-60 min. You want the tomatoes to turn mushy. They will release a lot of juices, let these reduce down to about 1/2 the volume.

Peel of the skins from the roasted peppers, and blend the peppers with the roasted tomatoes. Add 1/2 tsp smoked paprika and one cube of chicken stock. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary. It will be quite thick in consistency, ideal to use for a sauce, but dilute with boiling water to the consistency you like for a soup.

Pour the soup into bowls, and serve with sour cream and sprinkle over roasted pine kernels.

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