This post was originally published here on September 21, 2015. I’ve since updated the text and photographs. This is a great vegan, gluten free soup to make when Summer produce is abundant and plentiful. I hope you try it out!
It’s the first week of June and I’m posting a soup recipe.
But no. Instead, just as our Summer weather is starting to really ramp up, you’re being confronted with hot soup.
I swear I’m not crazy. I just really love soup. Especially tomato soup.
In the dead of Winter, when a ripe, juicy tomato feels like a distant memory from a past lifetime, you can still make a damn good tomato soup recipe with canned tomatoes and whatever root vegetables you happen to have rolling around in your refrigerator and/or pantry. Even the simplest of preparations can provide ultimate comfort and healing on the coldest of days.
But in the Summer (SUMMER!), when our gardens and farmer’s markets are exploding with seasonal produce, the opportunity to create a bright, cheery, fresh tomato soup recipe cannot be (and should not be) overlooked.
My Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Soup with Fresh Herbs is exactly the tomato soup recipe that you’ll want to make all Summer long. It tastes like you took a bite out of a bountiful garden. Minus any annoyance of getting gritty soil stuck in your teeth (although, I do add some sliced almonds at the end for crunch!). I roast the tomatoes and red pepper to help deepen their natural flavors. And I’m not shy about sprinkling ALL THE HERBS on top. And you shouldn’t be either. Because they really make this dish pop. So don’t skip them!
I do, however, skip out on the heavy cream in this recipe. Because I think it results in a “cleaner” final taste and allows the freshness of the produce to really shine.
I typically serve this Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Soup with Fresh Herbs warm. But if the weather is really oppressive, you can certainly enjoy it cold or at room temperature.
I like to blend this soup using my food mill with the course disk attachment. I find it results in just the right level of texture. But I’ve also used my food processor with the blade attachment or my blender. Both appliances work great for this purpose. Just be aware that it’s easier to over blend when using a food processor or blender. So if you don’t want a completely puréed soup, make sure to stop and check on the progress periodically.
For the Soup
- 2 lbs plum tomatoes
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
- 1 1/2 tsp. black pepper, divided
- 1 large onion, peeled and diced
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, depending on your preferred level of spice
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 bay leaf
- Sliced almonds for topping, if desired
For the Herb Garnish
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise and place them in a 9 X 13-inch baking pan. Cut the red pepper in half, removing and discarding the stem and seeds, and add it to the baking pan. Drizzle the tomatoes and red pepper with 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. each of the salt and pepper. Transfer the baking pan to your pre-heated oven and roast for 45 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool slightly.
- Warm the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large heavy bottom pot set over medium heat. Add the diced onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, about 5-8 minutes. Add the minced garlic, tomato paste and red pepper flakes and cook for 1-2 minutes more. Then add in the roasted tomatoes and red pepper (along with any accumulated juices in the baking pan), the vegetable stock, wine and bay leaf. Bring the soup to a boil. Then turn down the heat to maintain a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat and set it aside to cool slightly. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Then blend the soup to your desired consistency, using either a food mill with the course disk attachment, a food processor with the blade attachment or a blender. Work in batches if necessary and use caution when transferring hot liquids.
- Add the blended soup back to it’s pot to re-warm it before serving.
- To make the herb garnish, place all the herbs in a pile on your cutting board. Using a sharp knife, mince the herbs, going back and forth several times over the pile, until they are finely chopped.
- To serve, ladle the warm soup into bowls. Top with some of the herb garnish and sliced almonds, if desired. Enjoy immediately.
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