Serves: 6-8 people
Chef’s tip: You should taste the soup at various stages once it’s all in the pan. You may want to add more salt/pepper/stock as you go. This is a complicated recipe and should be tailored to your personal taste along the way.
- 4 large sweet red peppers
- 3lbs or 1.36kg of plum tomatoes
- 1tbsp dried basil
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- OPTIONAL: granulated garlic
- 1/3 tube of tomato puree (add more if you think it needs)
- 1 shallot peeled and diced
- 1 clove of garlic, diced
- 1.1l chicken stock (usually I use less than this to keep the soup a bit thicker)
- 115ml double cream
- 1tbsp sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas 4
- Cut the tomatoes in half and lay flat side up in an oiled baking tray. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and basil (add granulated garlic if you have).
- Bake tomatoes in the oven for 1 hour, shaking the pan every 30mins.
- While the tomatoes are roasting, add 2tbsp of olive oil to a large heavy based pan (not on any heat). Add the diced shallot and chopped garlic. You will cook these later.
- When the hour is up, turn the oven down to 150C/130C fan/Gas 2 and bake the tomatoes for another hour, again shaking the pan every 30mins.
- While the tomatoes are still cooking, you can roast the peppers. If you have access to an open flame like a BBQ or gas hob, you can use this to burn the outside of your peppers but I find it much easier to grill them on high. Chop them into quarters, lay skin side up on a baking tray and grill on the highest heat and keep an eye on them until the skins are black.
- Place the peppers into a bowl and cover with clingfilm for 15mins to cool down.
- Now it’s time to remove the skins. Run the peppers under cold water while you do this as it makes this easier. Rub the skin and it should come off. Get all of the black parts off, and all bits of unburnt skin.
- Cut the peppers into small pieces, about 2cm square, and leave in a bowl.
- When your tomatoes are done, use a potato masher to mash them up. You can do this through a sieve if you want to remove the skins, but they will get whizzed up later anyway.
- Now cook the shallots and garlic on a medium heat for 2-3mins.
- Add the peppers, tomatoes, puree and half the stock.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30mins.
- At this point, use a stick blender or food processor to blend to a smooth soup. If it’s too thick for you at this point, add a bit more stock.
- Add the cream and the sugar and give it another quick blend.