It’s autumn. Leaves are falling, there’s a chill in the air and to me nothing says comfort like soup. At once familiar and at times with variations it’s a great way to not only eat healthfully, but in ways that can be presented from the most casual to the most formal setting.
From curling up on the sofa with a big steaming mug full, to shallow soup plates served at a dinner party, soup is enjoyed by all. Or so I thought…. until a friend recently confessed… “um, I don’t really like soup. But… I eat it at your house!” What a compliment!!
Perhaps I should try this recipe out on her… It’s vibrant. It’s luxurious. The taste of the roasted red pepper and tomato are equally pronounced, equally delicious. I’ve found that when making soup, if you really want the taste of the main ingredient to come through, use water in place of stock. Any stock. Have you tried the Carrot Ginger Soup before…? It was when I discovered the use of water vs stock, and how it affected the outcome of taste.
Previously I’d always, always used stock for soup making, whether it be homemade or a quality store-bought product – and I thought it was the only way to go. Nice to know I can still learn things, even after all this time.
I passed the soup through a sieve, as you can see in the photos, making for an ultra smooth final product. If you want a more rustic version, purée to your liking – leaving some texture – and omit the task of straining.
Here’s a link for roasted red bell peppers, should you need one.
- 2 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded & cut into approx. 1-inch pieces
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 TBSP tomato paste
- 1 jar tomato passata (strained tomato purée)
- 1 1/2 cups water (use some to rinse out the passata jar)
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup milk (use 10% cream or even heavy cream for more luxury)
- In a large heavy bottomed pot over medium, heat the olive oil
- Add the shallot and stir often until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and tomato paste, and cook stirring for another 2 - 3 minutes.
- Add roasted peppers, a sprinkle of the salt & pepper, stirring for another 2 - 3 minutes.
- Add the passata, water, remaining salt & pepper, bring to a low simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
- For a rustic soup, serve without puréeing; simply add the milk or cream, heat through and serve.
- For a more refined soup: purée using your favourite method and then pass the soup through a fine sieve.
- Wipe out the cooking pot and return purée to the pan.
- Stir in milk or cream, heating gently until hot.
- This recipe makes 4 lovely servings.
- *Do not overcook the soup; you don't want a long simmer to dull the tastes, but a quick cooking time, to retain the fresh tastes of the pepper & tomato passata.
- **Serve with your favourite garnish; I used Grilled Cheese Croutons - made with GF bread~