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Tomato Soup with Red Pepper Cream

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Serves: 4

1.5kg / 3-3 1/2 lb plum tomatoes, halved
5 red chillies, seeded
1 red pepper, halved and seeded
2 red onions, roughly chopped
6 garlic cloves, crushed
30ml / 2 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste
45ml / 3 tbsp olive oil
400ml / 14 fl oz vegetable stock
salt and ground black pepper
wild rocket, to garnish

For the pepper cream:
1 red pepper, halved and seeded
10ml / 2 tsp olive oil
120ml / 4 fl oz creme fraiche
few drops of Tabasco sauce


Preheat the oven to 200ºC / 400ºF / Gas 6. Place the tomatoes, chillies, red pepper, onions, garlic and tomato paste in a roasting tin (pan). Toss all the vegetables, drizzle with the oil and toss again, then roast for 40 minutes, until tender and the pepper skin is slightly charred.

Meanwhile make the pepper cream. Lay the red pepper halves skin side up on a baking tray and brush with the olive oil. Roast with the mixed vegetables for about 30-40 minutes, until blistered.

Transfer the pepper for the pepper cream to a bowl as soon as it is cooked. Cover with clear film (plastic wrap) and leave to cool. Peel away the skin and puree the flesh in a food processor or blender with half the creme fraiche. Pour into a bowl and stir in the remaining creme fraiche. Season and add a dash of Tabasco sauce. Chill in the refrigerator until required.

Process the roasted vegetables in batches, adding a ladleful of stock to each batch to make a smooth, thick puree. Depending on how juicy the tomatoes are, you may not need all the vegetable stock. Press the puree through a sieve (strainer) into a pan and stir in more stock if you want to thin the soup.

Heat gently and season well. Ladle the soup into bowls and spoon red pepper cream into the centre of each bowl. Pile wild rocket leaves on top to garnish.

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