I admit I said the break was going to be only for a week but here I am, after more than a month. I did come back from the holiday in a week but have been running around to sort out a lot of things, hence the delayed break on the blog front. I missed a couple of events which I try to participate every month. And the most important thing is that my unread folder in the reader is over flowing with all your lovely posts!
As for the holiday it was great & a much needed break from the routine. We went to Cornwall for a week and stayed in a chalet with another family. The weather did try to dampen our spirits (literally!) but we managed to have fun anyway. Here are a few pictures.
Another significant part of this holiday was that for the first time we did all the cooking while there. It was fun and a great experience rushing to make something while getting the kids ready to go out. Especially since it was our first experience with a hot plate. I have a new found respect for all those who manage to cook on a hot plate every day and manage to dish out perfect rice, gravies etc, basically anything! Even making simple tea took 2-3 attempts for us to get used to it.
Although I have been cooking regularly, I havent made anything new or that is not already on this blog but I did have this recipe waiting in the drafts folder, so I am finally posting it.
As I have mentioned earlier, Soup for a long time only meant Tomato soup and an unadulterated one at that. I did not want to add anything to it for fear of ‘ruining’ (altering actually) the taste. I did try some canned versions and even managed to finish my portion most of the times but I was still not convinced. That is until I tried the roasted red pepper version.
Red peppers have a special place in my fridge, the rule is there should always be at least one red pepper in the fridge to be used whenever the need arrives. And it is needed every 2 days usually. Apart from adding them to stir fries, Fried rice etc, we also like to have a simple sandwich with houmus (also spelt as hummus) and roasted red pepper. The best use is of course in this soup which is so simple to make that it leaves you doubtful about the way it will turn out. But it is super delicious and a great change from the regular Tomato Soup while giving you the same satisfaction.
Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup
- 3 Red Peppers
- 3 Medium sized tomatoes
- 1 tblsp Olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1/4 tsp Crushed Red Chilli
- 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
- Salt & Pepper
Roasting the red peppers:
a) The red peppers can be roasted directly on the flame on your gas, in which case keep turning them to cover each area and roast them till the skin chars (turns black) and starts to loosen. This method gives a firmer result as in it is easier to handle the peppers. Just wait for them to cool down, then peel the skin, which comes off easily and then chop them coarsely.
b) The other method is to use the oven. Pre heat the oven to 220 deg C on the grill setting. Lightly grease the Peppers and place them on an oven tray as close to the heating coil as possible. Remember to keep the oven door open for the grill to work. Keep turning the peppers to get the skin charred throughout. This does take a bit more time than the earlier method but you are free to do any thing else while the oven is on. Once the peppers are roasted thoroughly, remove them into a box and close the lid or use a zip lock bag. Wait for them to cool down and all the juices to collect. Peel the skin, chop coarsely and retain the juices.
To prepare the tomatoes, bring a saucepan full of water to boil and immerse the tomatoes in the boiling water for a minute or two. Take them out when you see the skin cracking. Allow them to cool and then peel them and chop coarsely.
To make the soup, heat the olive oil in a deep pan. Add the chopped onion and garlic and fry for about 2-3 minutes. Add the crushed red chilli, the tomatoes and the Red Peppers along with the retained juices.
Add the smoked Paprika and season with salt & pepper. Add about 2 cups of water and bring it to boil. Then simmer for about 10-12 minutes until the soup has reduced a bit. This simmering will bring out the flavour in the tomatoes. The time depends upon the consistency that you want. We like the soup to be quite thick so I wait until almost all the water has reduced.
Switch off the heat and wait for it to cool down. Then blend the mixture, I use a hand blender.
Once ready to serve, heat through and adjust the seasoning.
My Notes: As simple to make as it is, it tastes way better than the canned ones. You can do the roasting part a day in advance and keep the roasted, peeled peppers in the fridge and use them the next day, which makes it even quicker to make.