Thursday, June 24, 2010
Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup
I never liked Tomato Soup until I tried it at Fix at Bellagio in Las Vegas. It was simply described as "Old School Tomato Soup" and was served with an "Aged Vermont Cheddar Grilled Cheese" sandwich. It was absolutely divine and it's a shame that it does not appear to be on the menu anymore. I have no idea what was in that soup but it made me a Tomato Soup fan from that day forward.
This recipe is adapted from the Barefoot Contessa.
Yields enough to fill two large soup bowls.
There are a lot of steps in this recipe but it doesn't make much more than an hour and the results are worth it! And as shown in step 7, you will also end up with about a cup of Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce to use over pasta for dinner! If you'd like more soup for your efforts, double the recipe.
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus 1 tsp
1 red pepper, cored and cut into 4 large pieces
1 yellow onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 firm Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 tsp sucanat
2 tbsp tomato paste
large handful fresh basil, chopped (plus more basil leaves for garnish)
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp pinch salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup milk or cream (or any milk of your choice)
1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F. Rub olive oil over both sides of red pepper pieces. Place peppers skin side up on a baking sheet. Roast in heated oven for 15-20 minutes until skins start to brown and blister. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
2. While peppers are cooling, heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and carrots and saute for about 5 minutes until the onions are translucent and everything is very fragrant.
3. Add garlic and saute for another minute. Add tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes.
4. In the meantime, once peppers have cooled, remove the skins. They should come off easily with your fingers but if needed, use a knife to scrape the skin away. Chop peppers and Add peppers to soup pot.
5. Add stock, sucanat, tomato paste, fresh & dried basil, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes.
6. Remove pot from heat and blend well with an immersion blender. Ensure there are no large chunks remaining.
7. Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl. Pour the blended soup, a cup at a time, into the strainer. Use a spatula to move the soup around and force it through the strainer. Remove any pulp left in the strainer and spoon it into a bowl for use later. You've also made a nice Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce!
8. Once you have strained all the soup, pour it back into the soup pot. Add milk and stir well. Heat to a simmer before serving. Ladle into soup bowls. Garnish with more fresh basil.
Optional Garnish: These remove the "gluten free", "dairy free" and "vegan" designations assigned to this recipe, but if you are so inclined, garnish the soup with a handful of croutons or shredded Parmesan cheese. I also served my soup with a couple of Baked Zucchini Fries!