Yeah, so I’ve been on a kick lately, and this soup is the biggest part of it. My friend, Heather, will be laughing her butt off over this but it’s mostly her fault. Hers and my cracked tooth.
You see, I can’t eat anything very well right now unless it’s liquid or very soft. Heather served this soup during our Croptoberfest weekend for a meal and I fell in love with it. After discussing it with her and finding out what she used (Pacific brand) embellished with fire roasted tomatoes, basil and whatnot, I went on a binge with that.
But then, that little devil that sits on my shoulder started poking me. ‘You can do this’ he said. ‘You can do this even better‘. I hate that guy. That guy brings out the competitive spirit in me that I would prefer to lay dormant. That guy makes me work.
So, naturally, naturally, I started looking on line for interesting ways you could make a two ingredient soup. I found this. It’s pretty damn good if you ask me. And it’s getting to be fall-ish weather around here with freezing temps in the morning.
I have always been a huge fan of tomato soup my entire life. Tomato soup with enough crushed saltines in it to make your spoon stand up by itself. Or even better, saltines smeared with butter and laid on top of the soup, butter slowly melting…my mouth is watering. Tomato soup for lunch with a tuna fish sandwich was a staple of my mom’s when I was a kid. I fed my own children that as well. (Of course, there was that ONE time Fannie’s kids were here and I fed it to them. Let’s just say, I’ve finally paid off their therapist’s bills for that trauma.)
Note: this recipe was adapted from Culinary Colleen’s and I used the adaption for the most part. To me the adapted recipe erred in that they did not roast the garlic cloves. I would certainly do that the next time I make this soup. Which, until I get my tooth pulled next week, will probably be on Sunday.
So here we go:
Prepare a baking sheet lined with foil for roasting the peppers. Slice them up into three inch pieces. I did mine in one inch and it was a pain pulling the skin off of all those pieces. Make life easier for yourself….three inch pieces. Spray your sheet with baking spray (or smear olive oil on it) Then drizzle olive oil on top of the sliced peppers. The recipe calls for roasting the peppers in a 450˚ oven, which I did. The next time I make this, I will use my outdoor grill instead. My oven’s 450˚ is HOTHOTHOTHOT! And the recipe calls for roasting it for 35 minutes. This is what my peppers looked like after 18 minutes in my oven:
So keep an eye on the peppers. Chop up half a small onion. In the ingredients photo you can see that my onion is pretty large. I used 1/3 of that onion and it weighed in at 3 oz. Chop up three garlic cloves as well. Now you’re done chopping everything. Pretty easy, right? When you’re done roasting the peppers, place them in a ziploc bag for 5-8 minutes or until the skins peel off easily.
Saute the onions and chili flakes for about 5 minutes. The recipe calls for a pinch or two of the chili flakes and I have this handy dandy tool to help with the quantity of a ‘pinch’.
Once the onions are saute’d, add the garlic and stir for one minute. Then add the following: roasted peppers, chicken broth, tomatoes and their juice, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer all of this for about 20 minutes. At the 10 minute mark, break up the tomatoes with a potato masher.
Continue simmering the final ten minutes. Using your immersion blender, or if you don’t have that, a regular blender or vitamix will do just fine. Blend away! Once blended, add the final two ingredients, red wine vinegar and honey. These take care of any acidic bitterness cooked tomatoes can have.
And here is the final result, tasty, not too spicy (in fact, I’ll add three pinches next time), and slighty chunky. My kind of soup!
Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 large red bell peppers, thickly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic
- Half of a small onion, roughly chopped
- Pinch of red chili flakes (I used two pinches and it was not enough)
- 6 canned plum tomatoes (without juices) (I used 28oz whole tomatoes)
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock (preferably homemade) (I used chicken stock)
- Small handful of basil leaves, chiffonade
- 1/2 teaspoon sherry vinegar (didn’t have; made do with red wine vinegar and honey)
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Wrap the garlic along with a half tablespoon of the olive oil and a pinch of salt in foil. Drizzle a tablespoon of the olive oil over the peppers. Place both the peppers and garlic in the oven and cook until the peppers are soft and charred in some spots, about 35-40 minutes. Take any of the peel off of the peppers that comes off easily, but don’t worry about it being perfect because they’re just going to get pureed later. Heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat in a dutch oven. Add the onion, chili flakes, and some salt. Cook until the onions are soft, and then add the garlic, peppers, tomatoes, and vegetable stock. Cook for 20 minutes for the flavors to come together, breaking apart the tomatoes as they cook. Add most of the basil (reserving some for garnish) and puree the soup. Add the sherry vinegar and additional salt to taste.