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Roasted Pepper with Parmesan

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Serves: 6

1 onion, quartered
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 red peppers, seeded and quartered
2 yellow peppers, seeded and quartered
30-45ml / 2-3 tbsp olive oil
grated rind and juice of 1 orange
200g / 7 oz can chopped tomatoes
600ml / 1 pint cold water
salt and ground black pepper
30ml / 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives, to garnish (optional)

For the hot Parmesan toast:
1 medium baguette
50g / 2 oz butter


Preheat the oven to 200ºC / 400ºF / Gas 6. Put the onion, garlic and peppers in a roasting tin (pan). Drizzle the oil over the vegetables and mix well, then turn the pieces of pepper skin sides up. Roast for 25-30 minutes, until slightly charred, then allow to cool slightly. Squeeze the garlic flesh out of the skins into a food processor or blender. Add the roasted vegetables, orange rind and juice, tomatoes and water. Process until smooth.

Press the mixture through a sieve into a bowl using a champignon. Season well and chill for 30 minutes. Make the Parmesan toasts when you are ready to serve the soup. Preheat the grill (broiler) to high. Tear the baguette in half lengthways, then tear or cut it across to give four large pieces. Spread the pieces of bread with butter.

Pare most of the Parmesan into thin slices or shavings using a swivel-bladed vegetable knife or a small paring knife, then finely grate the remainder. Arrange the sliced Parmesan on the toasts, then dredge with the grated cheese. Transfer the cheese-topped baguette pieces to a large baking sheet or grill (broiler) rack and toast under the grill for a few minutes until the topping is well browned.

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