Creamy Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

I have wanted to make a creamy tomato soup for a long time, particularly because as a child I loved Heinz Cream of Tomato soup.  I have fond family memories of devouring the stuff on a weekend lunchtime, served with fresh French or bloomer bread from our local bakery with cheddar cheese or carved ham on top!   Some great memories there,  but without wishing to offend to the early 90s era I do have to say these days, I really do prefer the taste and satisfaction of making my own soup from scratch!

One weekend (about a month ago) we were graced with snowfall, which left me no desire to leave the house and plenty of time on my hands so I pulled this recipe together for my Mum and I from the ingredients we had in the cupboard and fridge.  Mum enjoyed it too I think – complimenting how fresh it tasted compared to tinned soup.  Result!  If we had another pepper in the fridge I would have added it in so please feel free to ad lib…

Ingredients (makes approx 4 small bowls)

  • 1 (or more) red bell pepper (Capiscum)
  • Olive oil
  • Half an onion
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of mixed herbs (fresh basil would be the best if I had a choice)
  • 250mls of vegetable stock
  • 2 tsps of sun-dried tomato paste
  • Approx 300mls of coconut milk
  • Black pepper

Method

  • Pre-heat over to 220 degrees C, chop the pepper into chunks and roast on a baking tray in a drizzle of olive oil for 20-25 minutes until charred.
  • Meanwhile saute the diced onion in olive oil, when softened blend the onions with the chopped tomatoes, mixed herbs.  (I never usually blend before cooking, but I’d had it suggested to me as a better way to get a good consistency and flavour when using chopped toms so I thought I’d give it a go!)
  • Pour the tomato mixture back into the saucepan, along with the made-up stock and bring the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes, regularly stirring.  The mixture should thicken up.
  • At this point I also threw in some sun-dried tomato paste that was hanging about in the fridge, though this isn’t essential.
  • Now add in the coconut milk, a tablespoon at a time until the mixture is the desired consistency.  You could use more or less depending on how filling you want tit to be, and how much of a coconut taste you want to your soup.
  • Lastly add the roasted peppers into the saucepan, blend the soup with a hand blender, and add enough black pepper to suit your tastes.

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