#FoodFocus – The Tasty Tomato – Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

As the days begin to get cooler, a bowl of soup always hits the spot, whether it be for lunch or dinner or even a snack to tide you over between meals. Soups are so easy to prepare, oftentimes improvising produces some very tasty dishes!

Tomato soup is one of the more popular canned soups. But you don’t need many ingredients to make this at home AND you have total control of the amount of salt that will go in it. You might not ever buy canned tomato soup again after this…

Yields 2 large bowls of soup

tomato-soup-ingredients

You  will need: 

2 medium to large ripe tomatoes
1 large red pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
1 celery rib, chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups hot water
basil
salt and pepper, to taste

Drop the tomatoes in some boiling water for a few minutes, until the skin begins to split. Remove them from the water and let them cool so you can peel the skin off. Quarter the tomatoes and scoop out  the seeds if you like.

tomatoes-to-peel

 

Roast the red pepper. There are several ways to do this. You can use your oven, but this takes a bit of time. Or throw it on the BBQ for a wonderful depth of flavour, especially if you use charcoal. When time is an issue, a cast iron pan works great! After it’s nicely charred, let it cool and peel the skin off, remove the stem and seeds and chop it up. It doesn’t matter how you chop your ingredients for this type of soup because you will be blending it.pepper-roasting

 

Next, cook the onions and celery in the olive oil just until they are transparent. Add the garlic, taking care that it doesn’t burn. Season with a bit of salt. Add the tomatoes, stir, and cook for about 10 minutes until the tomatoes soften up nicely. Then add the red pepper, stir, season again and cook for another 10 minutes.

tomato-pepper-simmering

 

Pour the water in, add the basil, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. At this point, the soup should have an orange hue to it.

tomato-soup-simmering

 

Remove the pot off the heat and blend it with a hand blender right in the pot. Adjust your seasoning. Ladle into bowls and serve.

roasted-red-pepper-and-tomato-soup
Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

You can grate some cheese or sprinkle black pepper on it too. Serve as a first course or with a sandwich for a nutritious and delicious meal. Enjoy!

 

Personal notes:

  • If you like a cream soup, add some milk or cream at the end, just before serving.
  • Grate some cheddar cheese and stir it in for a heartier version
  • Add some leftover rice to it after blending
  • Fresh basil is wonderful but not always available. Dried basil works fine too.
  • You can omit the red pepper and make it just tomato soup. Add 1 more tomato to this recipe if that’s the route you’re going
  • Roasted red peppers can also be purchased at your grocery store, in a jar or at the deli counter
  • If, for some reason, you don’t devour the entire pot the day you make it, it tastes even better the next day!
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