With the evenings being soooo cold I thought this would be a good time to try out this tomatoe and red pepper soup. It’s really soooo cold at night I even went to bed with my coat on! I started this soup on Sunday afternoon as I need good light while using my phone to take half decent pictures. We were then invited to a braai so had to put the cooking on hold, hence the end result pic looking a bit blegh as it was dark…
As with my last post; there are 3 elements to this soup – basil pesto, the soup, croutons. (I am trying to impress you guys 🙂 ) We’ll start with the pesto:
- 250 grams basil leaves – I used 4 packs from Checkers which is not 250 grams but ah well it worked
- 2 garlic cloves
- 4 tablespoons pine nuts – I used cashew nuts – Woolies let me down, well actually poor planning did. Pine nuts are also very expensive about R 90.00 a small pack. The cashew nuts worked very nicely also.
- 5 tablespoons Parmesan cheese – also quite pricey but really makes a big difference and I still have a lot of the cheese left.
- 120 ml Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- 1 x chilli (optional)
These ingredients are a bit expensive but its really worth it as you get about 3 – 4 jars of pesto from this recipe. You would normally buy the ready made pesto for about R 50.00 for a good ish brand. I wont hate if you bought the ready made pesto, its really no biggie. (but still, homemade is life)
Method for the Basil Pesto:
In a food processor add the basil, garlic, nuts, cheese, salt, pepper, chilli and blitz. While the food processor is running add the olive oil until it forms a paste – pesto – like consistency.
Once done decant into a jar and store in the fridge. You can use the pesto as a side with literally everything, its sooooo gooood!
We will now move on to the soup. I suppose to save time you can first put the veggies in the oven and then make the pesto.
Ingredients for the soup:
- Approx 6 large tomatoes
- 3 red peppers
- 1 onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 600 ml vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 30 grams butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Cream – optional
Method for the soup:
Preheat the oven to 180°. Cut the tomatoes and peppers roughly and place in a roasting dish along with the garlic, salt and pepper. Drizzle generously with olive oil and roast for about 40 mins. Once done allow to cool and remove the skins of the tomatoes and peppers – it comes off quite easily.
Dice the onion and saute in a large pot with a little olive oil until the onions are soft, add the cayenne pepper and paprika until fragrant – about 30 seconds. You will then add the tomatoes, red peppers and garlic from the roasting dish along with the vegetable stock and sugar.
Melt the butter in the microwave and once melted add the flour and mix until a paste forms. Stir the paste into the soup – this will give your soup a nice texture. Once all is done use a stick blender or transfer to a blender to iron out all the big bits.
Once done, place on heat again and once the soup boils add the lemon juice and remove from heat. At this point I added fresh cream simply to add a touch of richness but its really not needed as the basil pesto does that anyway. Season with salt and pepper the way you like it.
Lastly; the croutons – all you need is canola oil, a baguette or any bread really, salt and pepper.
Cut / tear the bread into pieces – crouton size pieces.
Heat the oil, use one piece of bread to check if the oil is hot enough. The bread should sizzle once it touches the oil. Fry the bread pieces until crispy and once done place on a paper towel to drain excess oil – season with salt and pepper
To serve; dish soup into a bowl, add a dollop of pesto in the middle and scatter with croutons. Dinner is served 😀