You probably realised this is another soup in the week time but I just love to cook soups when the weather gets colder. This one is one of my favourites I make it few times during pepper season. I discovered it goes well with the topping of basil, almonds and black olives, sometimes I add a bit of goat cheese too.
For the soup
- 450 g red peppers, halved & de-seeded. ( I use the slim and long peppers)
- 120-140 g or 1 x big red onion, unpeeled & roughly sliced
- 4 Cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed.
- 3 Sticks of celery, chopped.
- 1 tin of plum tomatoes.
- 800 ml Vegetable stock.
- 2tbsp Olive oil.
- 1tbsp Sundried tomato paste.
- 1 very small or half of a big dried chilli
- 25g Butter.
- Salt & black pepper.
For the topping:
1 tbsp of fresh chopped basil
1 tbsp flaked almonds
1 tbsp of black pitted and chopped black olives
- Pre heat oven to 200C/gas mark 4. Place the pepper & onion halves along with the plum tomatoes & garlic cloves into a baking tray & drizzle with the olive oil. Bake at the top of your oven for 30 mins or until the vegetables are roasted & tender.
- Meanwhile melt down the butter in a large pan over a medium heat and saute the chopped celery for 4-5 mins. Not too hot, don’t burn the butter.
- Make up the vegetable stock adding sun dried tomato paste & the chilli flakes. Mix well and then add to the sauteed celery. Remove from the heat.
- When the baked vegetables are ready place them, together with the celery and vegetable stock in the pot and put on to a low to medium heat. Gently heat it up and then, using a hand blender, blend until the soup is smooth.
- For the silky smoothness press the soup through the sieve.
- Now, the topping. Place all ingredients on preheated frying pan and roast it until almonds start to change colour to golden. Set aside util you need it.
- To serve- season the soup to taste & gently simmer until the soup is at a comfortable edible temperature. Do not allow the soup to boil. Place in the bowls and decorate with topping and serve with fresh ciabatta bread.