Enough of the greens for the mean time! Let's add a splash of red into the mix! We're right in the middle of winter here in Sydney, Australia. Very cool nights and "crisp" mornings. As I type this, the wind is howling and its raining. I don't really mind winter. You just have to adjust and "go with the flow". So to cheer myself up and dream of warmer climes, I made a roast tomato and capsicum soup. Soup to me is the perfect cure for the winter blues!
Admittedly it's not tomato season here (naughty foodie!) but I couldn't resist these tomatoes that appeared at the market the other day. They had arrived all the way from the sunny, Northern part of Australia. Queensland to be exact. Those lucky buggers get to enjoy tropical weather all year round.
To add a little "oomph" to the soup recipe I also used some red capsicum and chilli. The recipe for this soup is quite versatile and you can play around with the ingredients to suit your liking. Want more capsicum? Go ahead and change it. Prefer a more complex spicier version? Add some ground coriander and cumin or maybe even some harissa paste. The possibilities are endless. I chose to add some basil and drizzle mine with some really nice peppery extra virgin olive oil and some cracked pepper. You may choose to drizzle the soup with some thin cream or yogurt.
- 6 large ripe tomatoes cut in half
- 1-2 red capsicums, quartered
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 desiree potato, peeled, roughly chopped
- 1 red chilli finely sliced
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste or tomato passata
- 1/2 cup basil leaves
- Preheat your oven to 180 deg C. Place the tomatoes and capsicum in a baking dish. Sprinkle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and salt and pepper. Roast for about 45 mins or until tender. You should notice that the tomatoes and capsicums are all "wilted" and soft.
- At about the halfway mark of the vegies roasting, add some olive oil to a pan and fry the chilli. Add the stock, the potatoes and the tomato paste or passata. Bring to the boil and then lower the heat to "mediumish". Cook for about 10 mins or until the potatoes are tender. Once cooked remove the pot off the heat and set aside.
- Your tomatoes and capsicums should be ready about now. Remove from the oven and add them to the potato mixture. Make sure you scrape the pan down. We want every single bit of that roasted goodness! Add the basil leaves as well.
- Using one of those nifty stab blenders, blend everything into oblivion! Okay, that was a slight exaggeration but I prefer a smooth texture with this soup. You may want to a "chunkier" texture, so just blend less!
Serve as a starter to a great dinner party and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil or thin cream. Make sure you have lots of (buttered!..Danish Lurpack please!) bread to dunk as you enjoy this. Alternatively you may wish to serve in a large cup and sit in front of the "telly" on a cold winter's night...