The strong monsoon signal was hoisted by the weather department, a cool wind was gathering intensity and the threat of a downpour was imminent. Today was the perfect soup making day and so I set about making this soul warming Spicy Roast Red Pepper and Tomato Soup.
In fact I didn’t just make one soup but two delicious, soul warming soups. I had the oven going so I decided to roast two lots of vegetables and make two very different but equally delicious soups. As well as this Spicy Roast Red Pepper and Tomato Soup, in a separate tray I roasted Aubergines, Carrot, Sweet Potato, Onions and Garlic to create a Spiced Roast Winter Veg Soup.
This Spicy Roast Red Pepper and Tomato Soup got a BIG thumbs up from my eldest daughter – who ate it for dinner and was still raving about it over breakfast this morning – that I decided to write this one up first.
Spicy Roast Red Pepper and Tomato Soup: The Inspiration
This Spicy Roast Red Pepper & Tomato Soup is a truly soul warming meal. I took inspiration from this recipe and made my own adjustments to ensure the flavours were just as I wanted. That is, bold in colour, soul warming with intensely deep flavours. A soup, where, spoon after spoon, your taste buds ignite and tingle with excitement in anticipation of the next spoonful.
Instead of using sun dried tomato paste I soaked a few sun dried tomatoes in boiling water and in addition to the chilli flakes I added smoked paprika. I think the smoked paprika just rounds it off perfectly with it’s deep, smoky, warmth.
Paprika does not have the same blow-your-socks-off heat effect, as does, say a cayenne pepper or dried chilli flakes…. Instead, it gives your dish a warming, agreeable heat with a smoky profile. There are many varieties of paprika, the Spanish, sweet paprika, dulce, is the sweetest and mildest. The brand I’ve always used is La Chinata, which I’ve been bringing back from the UK every Summer, but thankfully I’ve now seen it here in the major Hong Kong supermarket chains.
Success also lies in roasting the vegetables, which greatly intensifies their flavours. The chilli flakes provide a decent kick and the smoked paprika brings it all together with it’s unique, sweet, smoky intensity. The sun dried tomatoes and tomato puree give it added richness and depth. Heating the chilli flakes and paprika unlock their naturally intense flavours (be careful not to overcook the paprika as it can easily burn).
I served our Spicy Roast Red Pepper and Tomato Soup with a swirl of creme fraiche, a drizzle of olive oil and a small sprinkle of flaked chilli flakes. And of course we had a beautiful hunk of Traditional Irish Brown Soda Bread, which was a recipe given to me by the mother of a very good friend of mine.
We think this recipe is a keeper and hope you will too!
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- 3 red peppers halved & de-seeded
- 500 g Cherry Tomatoes
- 1 white onion quartered, not peeled
- 2 stick of celery sliced and chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic whole with skin on
- 4 in sun dried tomatoes soaked in boiling water
- 1 lt vegetable stock I use marigold bouillon
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 2 tbs tomato pureé
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
- 20 g butter
- salt & black pepper
Pre heat oven to 200C. Place the pepper, onions, tomatoes & garlic cloves into a baking tray. Do not crowd them. Drizzle with a little olive oil and roast for about 30 mins or until the vegetables are tender.
Soak your sun dried tomatoes in a cup of boiling water for for at least 10 minutes. Once soaked chop and set aside. Reserve the liquid.
Melt the butter in a large pan over a medium heat and sauté the chopped celery for 4-5 mins.
Add the smoked paprika, chilli flakes and tomato pureé to the pan with the celery and cook for 1 minute. Be careful not to burn the spices.
Add all the roasted vegetable to the pan with the celery and spices.
Add the hot stock and bring to the boil then let simmer for a few minutes.
Blend using a stick blender, until velvety smooth.
Season to your taste with salt & freshly ground black pepper.
Delicious served with Irish soda bread (see recipe within post)
Delicious served with Traditional Brown Irish Soda Bread with plenty of salted butter.