Thursday, 1 January 2009

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

For New Year's Eve, I made roasted red pepper and tomato soup. I based it on this recipe from BBC Food. As it was by the Diabetic Society I thought it would be a healthy dinner to help us get through that large amounts of alcohol we were planning to consume later that night!

I grilled the peppers until they were blackened, and then put them in a plastic bag to sweat. At first, I found them quite hard to peel, although once I got to the bottom of the bag they were much easier. Next time I think I will get them really black, and then sweat them for quite a while, and they should be really easy to peel. At this stage they were really soft and although the blackened parts had burned through to the flesh, it had only caramelized it instead of burning it. They were so soft I was able to tear them up instead of slicing them.

I then added them all to the pan, with 2 onions and 2 cloves of garlic. Next time I would probably use 4 cloves of garlic as 2 didn't seem to add that much taste. I also substituted the vegetable stock for half chicken stock, and half homemade vegetable stock. I liked that it was thickened by a potato, as I find that soups thickened with flour don't always work very well. I used tinned plum tomatoes, but next time I would go for passata instead. I also let it stew for about 30 mins while I cleaned up the kitchen to try and deepen the flavour before blending. Although the recipe says it serves 6, I got 8 portions out of this (4 are now in the freezer).

I served the finished product with a slice of toasted french bread spread with pesto. The pesto went really well with the red peppers, although the flavour wasn't as deep as I wanted. However it was pretty technically easy to make (although the skinning was time consuming), and looks quite impressive, so a win overall.

Dinner is served