Roasting the tomatoes brings out a deeper tomato flavor, and mixing roasted tomatoes with garden fresh sweet red peppers deepens the flavor even further. I’m not talking about those big, watery red peppers you find in the supermarket and even in my Co-op, full of water and not much flavor. I’m talking about original, heirloom peppers. My CSA (Community Supporter Agriculture) grows a lot of different varieties. Last week I used a tiny sweet red pepper with an intense flavor, but it was a lot of work cutting them up and removing the seeds. This week I’m trying this larger sweet red pepper.
There are many variations of roasted tomato soup, but this is one of the easiest and simplest.
Ingredients for roasted pepper and tomato soup
- 3 pounds tomatoes. Most kinds work, but avoid very wet tomatoes.
- 1 pound sweet peppers. Pick the most pungent you can find.
- One or 2 hot peppers to taste. (Optional)
- One large white onion cut into thin slices or chopped.
- 4 to 6 cloves of garlic
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro 1 bunch of fresh cilantro will focus on tied with a string
- ¼ cup olive oil (more or less).
- 6 cups of vegetable or chicken stock.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
Preparation of roasted pepper and tomato soup
- Cut the tomatoes in half.
- Place them cut side down in a roasting pan covered with half the olive oil.
- Lightly char them under the broiler flame. Remove but do not discard the blackened parts and coarsely chop.
- Core and remove the seeds from the red peppers and cut them into thin slices.
- Sauté the onion and garlic and cilantro over a low heat in a saucepan with the rest of the olive oil.
- Add the slices of red pepper, and sauté them for a couple of minutes.
- Cover the pan and let them steam for about 20 min., until very tender.
- Add the tomatoes and the stock and cook for about 10 min.
- Purée the soup in a blender and strain through a sieve or process through a Folly Food Mill. This will remove the tomato seeds and coarse pepper skin.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. Try adding a little lime juice if you like.
- Garnish with a simple, natural cheese, fresh cilantro sprigs or thin strips of fresh basil.