Fresh home grown tomatoes and red peppers (ignore the cucumbers)
This is a recipe for tomato and red pepper soup. If you want to jump straight to the recipe and instructions scroll down the page, if not read on.
At the end of summer I find myself in the fortunate position to know someone with a greenhouse full of tomatoes. Some are ripening on bowls on windowsills , some in fruit bowls mixed with bananas. Ripe tomatoes are best for this recipe as you will see the colour is very good and the taste is quite intense and special for this time of year. I am using home grown tomatoes which have a tendency to have a woody pith at the top where they connect to the stem.So its best to remove this.
You could also use shop bought tomatoes but go for ripe ones. It would be possible to adapt this to using tinned tomatoes and a jar of preserved red peppers. It would be good but not as good as fresh. Making this soup every year is a family ritual which people look forward to and the soup does not last long!
25 ripe tomatoes
2 good sized red peppers
1 large onion
A ‘glug’ of extra virgin olive oil to soften the onion
4 stock cubes. I use chicken, you can use vegetable instead
Season with ground black pepper
You can add Pimenton a kind of smoky Spanish Paprika.Half a small teaspoon
You can also add some torn up fresh basil at the end before serving
Wash the tomatoes and leave them in bowls with boiling water to help remove the skin
Peel off the skin and cut the tomatoes in half and remove the woody pith
Chop the onion and start to soften it in the bottom of a large pan with the olive oil and a medium heat.
Once the onions have softened add the tomatoes. They should be juicy
Prepare the red peppers by cutting the tops and removing any white flesh
Slice roughly and add to the pot
At this stage there should be juice coming out of the tomatoes through the cooking process. Continue to heat the mixture and stir. Do not add any water. This is important.
Add whatever stock cubes you are using. 4 is enough and salt already in the cubes means you should not add more until you are sure of the taste
Simmer the soup for 15 minutes and taste.
At this stage I use a hand blender when I can see the peppers and tomatoes are fully soft.
Blend for 5 minutes to ensure all the seeds and any rough parts are smoothly blended. ( Or use something to mash the mixture)
You should end up with a soup that looks like this. Gorgeous colour!
At this stage the soup will be thick. From here on in it is down to taste. I like it like this.It has an intense tomato and red pepper flavour. Some people may prefer a thinner soup in which case make up some more stock with a cube and some more hot water and add to taste.
I have listed some other optional extras in the recipe. Cream is an indulgent option worth considering. Hope you enjoy it and it becomes a ritual for your family too.