Seasonal Recipe: Tomato and Pepper Soup
My outdoor tomatoes are beginning to ripen nicely so I reckon you greenhouse growing types must getting near to tomato glut times. We're nowhere near that happy time yet, but a chance encounter with the cheap-because-the-sell-by-date-is-due-today shelf at my local supermarket yielded a goodly crop of ingredients for an instant make-it-up-on-the-spot simple tomato and pepper soup :)
Hints, tips and variations
2 litres vegetable stock
1kg tomatoes, whole
2 red peppers, chopped (preferably the ones with the pointy ends)
Salt and black pepper to taste
- Place all the ingredients except the seasoning in a large saucepan
- Bring to the boil
- Ensure the tomatoes are well mashed into the stock
- Add seasoning to taste
- Simmer for 25 minutes
- Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary
- Whizz everything together with a hand blender
Serves 6-8 with lashings of freshly baked crusty bread - hot or cold depending on the weather and your mood.
- Ham stock makes a great substitute if you've had boiled ham and the resulting stock isn't salty. I find it works well if I've soaked the ham overnight and changed the water before boiling.
- If you don't have ham or vegetable stock, then store cupboard vegetable stock cubes make a handy substitute
- Peeling the tomatoes is optional - you'll see from the above photo I didn't bother. If you want to use skinless tomatoes, you'll need to put them in a bowl with some boiling water to release the skins from the tomato flesh before adding them to the stock
- Any kind of pepper can be used, though if you use green peppers you may also want to add a chopped onion to the recipe. I use pointy ended peppers because they tend to have a better flavour. I also find the tomatoes and red pepper alone have a sweetness and depth of flavour which doesn't need the addition of an onion or herbs for that matter
- I used ham stock for the pictured soup and added two heaped handfuls of puy lentils and some finely chopped ham to the soup after the whizzing it with a hand blender stage. Then I simmered it for a further 20 minutes until the lentils were soft. The lentils add a rich earthiness to the flavour and this variation makes a very comforting soup
- Petra has kindly reminded me in the comments of this variation I'd forgotten to include: Roasting the tomatoes and pepper in the oven prior to making the soup makes it even more delicious!