Africa, Jan/Feb 2020, Vol. 85 No. 1

Let there be food…

Amy Heffernan

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup
(Serves 3 – 4)

Happy New Year to all our readers! To begin the new year, this month’s recipe is a healthy and tasty soup. Roasting the peppers before adding them to the soup brings out a unique sweetness that works great in this dish. Roasted peppers are also great when used in salads, antipasto and with pasta.

You will need:

4 Red Peppers (halved & de-seeded)

3 Tbsp Olive oil

4 Garlic cloves (peeled)

1 Onion (peeled and chopped)

2 Celery stalks (chopped)

400g Chopped Tomatoes (tinned can be used)

500 ml Vegetable or Chicken Stock

2 Tbsp Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

1 Tsp Smoked Paprika (optional)

Salt & Pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF / Gas Mark 4). Place the red peppers, cut side down, onto a baking tray and drizzle with half of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 30 – 35 minutes until the skin is shrivelled and lightly charred. Then place in a bowl, cover and allow to cool. Once cooled, peel away the skin from the peppers, and discard.

 

Place a large pot on a medium to high heat and add the rest of the olive oil. Once hot add the garlic, chopped onion and celery and fry for 2 minutes. Then cover, reduce the heat and allow the vegetables to sweat for 5 minutes. Add the roasted and peeled peppers, chopped tomatoes, stock, pesto, Balsamic vinegar and smoked paprika. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

 

Remove from the heat and using a hand blender blitz the soup to form a silky-smooth texture. If a little thick, add some boiling water to get the required consistency. Taste and add seasoning if required. Serve with some homemade brown bread for a healthy, warming lunch.

 

Tip: If you want to take a shortcut for this recipe, jars of roasted red peppers can be used instead of roasting and peeling your own.

Amy Heffernan is a chef and lives in Co Wicklow, Ireland.

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