Red, it’s one of my favorite colors.
It’s the color of LOVE…
…strawberries, raspberries, cherries…
…and fall leaves.
Red can be powerful, romantic…
Rose petals are often red…
…anger is red…
Red is patriotic, bold, juicy, delicious and gorgeous.
And it’s the color of the soup that I am sipping while I sit in front of the fire waiting for the snow to arrive once again.
Roasted Tomato Soup with Yellow Pepper Puree
2 -14-ounce cans of fire roasted diced or crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon oil
1 small carrot, diced
1/2 red or yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic without the husk removed
1 vegetable or chicken bouillon cube mixed with 1-cup water, or use 1-cup of chicken or vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 large yellow pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup heavy cream, optional
Pinch of sugar
Lay a piece of foil across a sheet pan and brush with oil. Split the yellow pepper in half, remove the seeds and place the two halves on the sheet pan skin side up. Place the garlic cloves with the husks still on and onion on the pan as well.
Place the pan under the broiler for 3-5 minutes. Broiler heat varies so be sure to check often. The onions should soften and have browned edges on them when they are done. The garlic husk may smoke and turn black on the edges. Remove when the onions have softened and transfer the onions and garlic to a plate.
The yellow peppers will take a bit longer to roast so put the peppers back under the broiler until the skins are bubbled and somewhat blackened (but not too much as you want to keep the bright yellow color). Take the peppers out of the oven and either put them into a paper bag to sweat and cool or you can place a piece of foil over them on the pan which will have the same effect. Cool.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium-low heat, add the two cans of tomatoes, carrot, roasted onion and the bouillon cube with water or stock. Once the garlic is cool enough to handle, remove the husk and roughly chop it and throw it into the tomato mixture. Add half of the basil, the bay leaves, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 20 minutes.
While the soup is cooking, under cold water, remove the skins from the yellow peppers and then puree in either a food processor or blender. Set the mixture aside in a small container.
Remove the bay leaves from the tomato mixture and pour soup into the processor that you used to puree the peppers (no need to wash in-between). Pulse the soup a few times and then let it run until the mixture is completely smooth.
Return the soup to the pan to heat. Season to taste with salt, pepper and a pinch or two of sugar if the mix is too acidic.
At this point you can serve the soup, garnishing it with dollops of the yellow pepper puree, crème fraiche (or sour cream) and fresh basil, or you can add 1/2 cup cream and warm through and then garnish.
Makes 4-6 servings.