We’ve been having snow again up here on Walton’s Mountain. Nothing like the Narniaesque scenes of last month but pretty damn chilly none-the-less. It is soup weather when the temperature plummets, nothing else warms the tum and snuggles the heart like a good bowl of homemade soup and this roasted red pepper soup ticks all the boxes.
Way back in the dim and distant days of my youth (aaah ain’t I ancient!) the greatest comfort food in the whole wide world was Heinz tomato soup. No matter what went wrong in life, from losing your best Barbie to falling off your bike and in later years getting dumped by boys or getting too many zits right before the disco – all of these horrors could be kicked into touch (at least partly subdued) by a mug of tomato soup and a plate of crackers.
While my Mum made her own soups every week it was always this particular can of kindness that put the world to rights for my brother and me.
Move on a whole host of years later and I have found a variety of things to deal with the testy situations of life, and on the food front soup always helps. I’ve graduated from the canned variety though and like to make this super tasty roasted red pepper soup to give real comfort and a hug-in-a-mug when times are bad.
I think it is the sweetness of the red peppers that really does it for me. This soup isn’t sweetened in any way but by roasting the red peppers, carrots and celery before you start making the soup itself you just ramp up that sweetness and create a real taste explosion that will tickle those taste buds and soothe the soul.
This recipe will make approximately 4 servings. I’ve added a spoonful of my homemade pesto when serving as I just adore the contrast in flavours and textures. You could add plain yogurt or cream instead or simply a swirl of good olive oil.
Serve with crackers, croutons or a chunk of French bread and consider yourself well hugged.
- 2 red bell peppers
- 5 medium carrots (peeled)
- 1 stick celery
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1 small onion (finely chopped)
- 1 tin (400g/14oz) tomatoes
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 1 tin water
- pinch dried chilli flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- Half the peppers and place on a roasting tin along with the celery and carrots and roast at 200C/400F for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and put peppers in plastic bag till cool enough to remove skins.
- Meanwhile heat the oil in a high sided pan and cook the onion and garlic for 5 minutes.
- Add the roasted vegetables plus the tinned tomatoes and a tin of water and stick cube and dried chilli.
- Simmer for 20 minutes and season with salt and papper to taste.
- Blend till smooth with a stick blender (or carefully pour into a blender jug).
- Serve with pesto, cream, yogurt or olive oil swirled on top.