This deliciously creamy roasted tomato & red pepper soup is light and summery comfort food. No need for a saucepan - just roast the ingredients then blend!
We've had chickenpox in the house this week, and the spotty boy has been asking for all his favourite comfort foods. One request was 'orange tomato soup' (ie. the tinned stuff), but not being able to get out to the shops we had to improvise and this lusciously creamy soup was born.
This is a saucepan-free soup, and an incredibly easy one to throw together in a hurry. The ingredients are simply roasted on a baking tray, tipped straight into a blender or food processor with hot stock, and voilà - pour into bowls and serve immediately. (Of course if you're making it ahead to serve later a saucepan might be a sensible option to re-heat it, but I'll leave that one up to you!).
I made a very speedy garlic ciabatta to dunk into this - simply whizz up some dairy-free margarine, ready-chopped garlic from a jar and some leftover chopped basil from the soup. Slice open the ciabatta, slather with the garlic 'butter' and bake for 10-12 minutes in the oven. Yum!
Making your Tomato and Red Pepper Soup
Tomatoes obviously! This is a great soup to make in late summer/early autumn when ALL the tomatoes are ripening at once. If you grow your own, you'll be looking for recipes to use up lots at once, and this is a great way to freeze your precious crop for a taste of sunshine through the summer months. But even if you don't grow your own you will notice the price of tomatoes in markets and supermarkets plummets at this time of year when they become so plentiful. At St Albans market near me you get HUGE bowls for £1 at this time of year.
Garlic Don't be alarmed when you see my suggestion of 3 cloves of garlic for 3 servings of soup! As the garlic is roasted slowly with the tomatoes and peppers it loses is sharp pungency and instead becomes sweet and mellow. Lots of flavour but none of the death-breath, I promise!
Peppers give this soup such a summery, Mediterranean flavour and are perfectly paired by the oregano and thyme. Use whatever colour you can find, (though I'm personally not a fan of green peppers, and they might turn your soup colour a little murky!).
Variations on your Tomato & Pepper Soup
You can add all sorts of lovely, summery ingredients to your soup - how about:
- Chilli - add a fresh red chilli to the soup just before blending for a spicy kick
- Aubergine and/or courgette - give the soup all the flavours of ratatouille with an aubergine and courgette or two roasted in with the tomatoes and peppers.
- Pine nuts - top your soup with roasted pine nuts (instead of or as well as garlic bread croutons!) for a crunchy topping
- Sun-dried tomato paste - really intensify the tomato flavour by blitzing 2 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste through the soup at the end of cooking.
Freezing your Roasted Tomato and Pepper Soup
This soup freezes brilliantly, as most do. Simply portion it up into individual pots, (I find old margarine tubs great for this as they are a really good single soup portion size and stack really well in the freezer).
Make sure you label and date each portion, (I have so many mysterious soups in the freezer that I forgot to label - do as I say, not as I do!!). And you will have delicious homemade soups to keep you going right through the winter months.
For more quick and easy vegan recipes take a look at my latest book Vegan in 15.
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And for those interested in a chicken pox update - the spotty boy is now better and back at school, and the baby seems to have escaped the pox so far, thank goodness. After 10 days in quarantine we've all had far too much of each other's company so it is great to be out and about again in this glorious sunshine!
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Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Soup
- 1 red onion
- 2 red peppers
- 6 tomatoes
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
- 6 stalks thyme
- generous pinch dried oregano
- 300 ml boiling water
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 tsp sugar
- dairy-free cream (to drizzle)
- fresh basil (to serve)
- Preheat your oven to 190°C / 375°F / Gas Mark 5.
- Peel and slice the red onion, de-seed and slice the peppers, and quarter the tomatoes. Lay all out on a large baking tray along with the garlic cloves (still in their skin), drizzle with the oil, season well with salt and black pepper, strip the leaves from the thyme and sprinkle over along with the dried oregano, then toss everything together until fully coated with the oil. Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
- Mix together the stock cube and just-boiled water in a jug, and stir in the tomato purée and sugar.
- Find the garlic cloves, and squeeze the flesh out of the papery skins, (keep the flesh with the vegetables and discard the skin).
- Tip the roasted vegetables straight into a blender or food processor, then add the stock mixture. Whizz together for a minute or so until it is totally smooth, then taste and add more seasoning if required.
- Pour straight into bowls, and serve with a drizzle of dairy-free cream and chopped basil.
I'm linking this post with two blogging challenges:
- Meat Free Mondays over at the lovely Tinned Tomatoes
- CookBlogShare hosted this week at RecipesMadeEasy