For (birthday) parties I always prepare loads of food. Friends and family will wholeheartedly agree that there is a 0% chance of leaving our house hungry. I suspect some of them to actually skip lunch as a precaution but would take that as a compliment. 😉 Knowing this, online grocery shopping for a birthday party in combination with a long Easter weekend (although the bulk of the Dutch supermarkets turned out to be open on Easter Monday anyway) turned out quite hazardous…

Besides getting cheeses, tapas-style snacks and dips for Turkish pide bread – which would have fed a small army on their own – I wanted to make this light oven-roasted pepper soup. However, when the groceries were delivered, I had totally forgotten that I had ordered all the ingredients for a creamy asparagus soup as well. As asparagus don’t keep well very long, I had to change plans and made the asparagus soup for the birthday party instead.

After a couple of days of working our way through the leftovers, I finally came around to making this delicious smokey oven-roasted pepper and tomato soup. It is not a very quick recipe (it will take about an hour), but it’s well worth the effort.

The recipe

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, finely diced
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic, finely diced or grated
  • 3 red bell peppers / 6-8 pointed sweet peppers, cut in quarters/halves and de-seeded
  • 300ml / 11oz sugo
  • 500g  / 18oz cherry tomatoes
  • 300ml  / 11oz vegetable stock
  • fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  1. Pre-heat the grill in your oven on high
  2. Put the peppers skin-side up in a single layer on a lined baking tray and roast them under the grill until the skin is blistering and fully burnt. It took me about 10-15 minutes, but do keep a close eye as all of a sudden it can go very quickly
  3. After removing the peppers from the oven, put them in a container that can be sealed or covered with clingfilm and let them cool for about 5 minutes. This will facilitate peeling the skins from the peppers. After peeling, slice them in small ribbons
  4. In the meantime, sauté the onions and garlic in a saucepan over medium-high heat until softened (about 5 minutes). Add the peppers and sauté for a further 5 minutes
  5. In the meantime, take the stems from the cherry tomatoes and blitz the tomatoes in a blender or Magimix for 3 minutes and add them together with the sugo and vegetable stock to the pot and simmer for 20 minutes
  6. Finally, stir through the basil and parsley, season to taste and serve (a dollop of fresh pesto will be great too!)

Verdict: 8/10; worth making again

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