NOTE - I first wrote this post for Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Soup in 2014 and have revised it (in 2022) to improve the photos and to make the content more helpful. The recipe remains unchanged ♡
I love the family names and words that develop over time for our everyday things. When Joe was little he struggled to say Grandpa, so my Dad became 'Bubba'. He still is.
Hella developed a love for pasta at a young age but 'shabba' was easier to say than 'pasta' in between messy mouthfuls.
Soup has always played a significant role in our family's eating. For me, it ticks all the boxes - tasty, nutritious, easy to throw together in a hurry, reheats well, freezes like a dream and great in a flask for school. And now that we live in Dubai, one of the hottest countries in the world ...... I would say we eat even more soup than ever.
I suppose I thought we enjoyed quite a range of soups, but when Hella one day asked me, "Is it 'Normal' soup tonight?" I had to wonder HOW often we were actually eating this particular soup. But, hey - for me it's a winner and it's easy to see why. It started life as the Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Soup from New Covent Garden Soup Company's Book of Soups but then morphed into a much more relaxed recipe where exact quantities are unimportant and precision is not a factor. 'Normal' soup was born.
How do you make this soup?
This soup enjoys all the benefits of the sweet, intense flavours from roasting the tomatoes and red peppers. There's onion and garlic for depth and then a gorgeous, fresh hit of balance for the final flourish. Delicious ♡
- Cut the tomatoes and peppers in half and lay them on a foil covered baking tray (you may need two).
- Drizzle with a little olive oil and season before roasting in the oven for about 40 minutes.
- While the vegetables are roasting, sauté a chopped onion and a finely chopped clove of garlic in a large saucepan until nicely soft.
- When the roasted vegetables are ready from the oven, tip them into the pan with the onions and garlic and add a few fresh basil leaves. Pour in some vegetable stock.
- Use a stick blender to purée until smooth.
- Season to taste and serve garnished or not - the choice is yours.
What have I learned about making this Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Soup?
- The exact quantities of peppers and tomatoes are not critical. Adjust the quantity of stock accordingly.
- This is a great way of using up tomatoes and peppers that are beyond their best.
- The roasting of the tomatoes will really enhance their flavour, so there's no need to worry if yours are a bit mediocre.
- And in general, add as much (or as little) stock as you like - I've found that thicker soups work better in school lunch flasks ..... less risk of lunch decorating the school shirt.
- Sneaking a bit of super-thick soup out before adding the rest of the stock makes the perfect beginnings of a pasta sauce. This is relaxed cooking at its best.
- If I have a spare yellow pepper looking for a home, I might throw that in as well. It has a minor impact on the colour but nothing that will ruin your day.
- I prefer a stick blender for this soup (especially because it saves on the washing up) but a jug blender would also work perfectly and would result in a smoother finish to the soup if that's what you prefer.
I'm not sure that calling anything 'normal' ever fills me with joy, but for me, this is the exception - a soup that warms the soul as well as the stomach and is anything but 'normal'.
What is your 'normal' soup? Let me know ......
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