In our neck of the woods (North Nottinghamshire, UK) I’m fed-up with waiting for summer to arrive. As far as I’m concerned, 14℃ day-time temperatures don’t hack it at the end of July. Recently, I’ve even resorted to taking a hot water bottle to bed!
I don’t know whether it’s symptomatic of global warming or personal stress levels at the height of the wedding season that’s to blame (Mirror Imaging is my second day job) but I’ve felt unseasonably cold for this time of year. Meanwhile, Sarah’s been threatening a sore throat for the past week. This means that whether the weather fails to get any warmer, or is actually getting colder, a bowl of bright-red Roasted Pepper and Tomato Soup is just the thing to improve our disposition.
Peppers and tomatoes hail from warmer Mediterranean climes - the very thought makes me feel more cheery - and are incredibly healthy, being stacked with vitamins and minerals, so they’re perfect for staving off a cold.
So, if we can’t just dive into summer this year, at least we can pretend by bringing a little bit of sunshine into cooler summer days with this great tasting soup. Roasting the peppers and tomatoes really gives a delicious depth of flavour to the end result. Simple to make and gorgeous to look at, I can say with absolute conviction, “Eat soup, be happy!”
Meanwhile, I’m really hoping for a hot and sunny August.
Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup (V) (Serves 4)
500g ripe plum tomatoes, halved
2 red peppers, halved, de-seeded and chopped into smallish pieces
1 onion, quartered
2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 heaped tbsp organic Marigold vegetable bouillon powder
900ml water, freshly boiled water
1 tbsp organic tomato paste
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2-3 drops liquid stevia - optional
Fresh basil leaves, finely shredded
Pre-heat the oven to 220℃ / 425℉ / Gas mark 7
Place the tomatoes, peppers, onion and thyme into a large mixing bowl, drizzle over the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Mix everything together well so that the vegetables are evenly coated in oil, then tip onto a large non-stick baking tray in a single layer and roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until wilted and slightly charred all over.
Meanwhile, make a vegetable stock with the bouillon powder and freshly boiled water.
Transfer the roasted vegetables to a large saucepan, cover with the vegetable stock and add the tomato puree. Cook over a moderate heat for 15 minutes. Take off the heat and allow to cool down for 5 minutes before proceeding to the next step.
Ladle the contents of the pan into a blender container (you will need to do this in several batches), then blitz until completely smooth.
As you go, strain each batch of blended soup through a fine sieve into a clean pan.
After the final batch of soup has been strained, adjust the seasoning (if it tastes a little acidic, add 2-3 drops of liquid stevia) then re-heat to just below boiling point.
Pour the hot soup into 4 warmed bowls, add a swirl of cream and sprinkle with shredded basil.
Crumbled feta cheese sprinkled on top of the soup just before serving, is a tasty alternative to cream.
I suppose it’s sods law that the minute I decide to blog a hot soup recipe, the weather forecast for this weekend is that Summer 2015 is back on. If so, Roasted Pepper & Tomato Soup is a lovely soup to take on a picnic!
Carbohydrate 15g Protein 3g - per serving