Hearty and rich with just 5 ingredients in this Roasted Red Bell Pepper and Heirloom Tomato Soup. Freeze with ease to preserve for winter days ahead. Vegan + GF
Looks like pumpkin, doesn’t it? I haven’t quite jumped on the pumpkin train yet, although, I am eye’n those beauties and am looking forward to Fall flavors. There are still heirloom tomatoes to be had and bell peppers continue to make their appearance at farms and markets!
It gave me an opportunity to tell you a bit more about the International Food Bloggers Conference (IFBC) and the recipe it inspired; Roasted Red Bell Pepper and Heirloom Tomato Soup.
California Olive Ranch was there; a sponsor of the IFBC this year. I was excited to see them because I’ve been using their olive oil since I first tasted it several years ago at an olive oil tasting.
Since then, I’ve been telling friends and family about it. I just never knew olive oil could taste so good. It’s like seeing the best movie of all time and telling everyone to go see it. California Olive Oil is that movie!! It’s smooth, buttery and has a mild finish with a hint of pepper. I use the everyday variety for all of my vinaigrettes and for finishing soups, veggies and pastas. It is my olive oil of choice.
Thierry Rauteureau, an award-winning Chef from Settle was at IFBC too. He hosted a cooking demonstration on preparing simple yet flavorful meals. His style of cooking is seasonal, local and fresh which is something close to my heart. I appreciate his reminder to use what’s on hand, instead of making an extra trip to the store for items forgotten.
I heard his whispers Monday night when preparing a veggie burger recipe… oh my, no black beans. I rummaged around in my pantry and found kidney beans. That’ll work. It turned out to be a favorable change, even Rob agreed, and I’ll be further developing this recipe for y’all!
Chef Rauteureau’s skill and wit kept me engaged for the time I spent scribbling notes and giggling between the wafting aroma of browning butter or sizzling chanterelles. It was one of his recipes that inspired this soup.
For this recipe, mini or large red bell peppers can be used. My CSA share provided sweet mini reds. I supplemented with a large bell pepper as I needed two large for the recipe. For the tomatoes, I used a mix of heirloom and cherry. But this recipe can be made with all heirloom tomatoes, if that’s what you have on hand.
Heirloom tomatoes and bell peppers share a variety of health benefits. Both are high in vitamin E and C, potent antioxidants, and are anti-inflammatory; important factors in reducing cancer risk. Tomatoes help reduce LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and are protective against heart disease.
And where do I start with olive oil? It too is anti-inflammatory, cardio protective, reduces cancer risk and reduces LDL cholesterol. It also improves cognitive function among older adults and bone health.
This soup is creamy, rich and hearty. It makes a filling dinner paired with crusty bread and salad. Or, you might be thinking, how about an Almond Sage Pesto Grilled Cheese? Oh yeah, you know it…. dipin’ time!
This soup whips up in no time after roasting and peeling the peppers. It freezes well too, which is a gift come mid winter and one is craving those late summer/early fall veggies. Hello freezer!
Roasted Red Bell Pepper and Heirloom Tomato Soup
- 1 lb Red Bell Peppers about two large (or a mix of one large and small)
- 3 lbs Large Heirloom Tomatoes (or 2 large heirlooms with a few handfuls of cherry )
- 4-5 Leaves Large Basil
- 1/4 C Olive Oil + 1 Tbs for saute'
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- Optional Garnishes:
- Diced Tomatoes
- Drizzle of Olive Oil
- Ground Black Pepper
Roast the Peppers (2 options):
Roasting the Peppers:
Oven Roasting Peppers: Preheat oven to Broil. Place the peppers on a sheet pan and char large peppers for about 15 minutes rotating every 4-5 minutes so that all sides are blackened. Minis take less time, rotate about every 3 minutes.
Stove Top Open Flame Method: Place the peppers on the grate over a medium open flame, using tongs to turn the peppers as they char. Getting them good and blackened. You'll need to make sure to stay with the peppers the entire time while roasting. This takes about 10-15 minutes.
- The peppers should be charred on all sides when finished. Place in a bowl and cover for 15 minutes to steam (this will help the skins come off with ease). Peel, remove the stem and deseed. If the seeds are sticking, gently run the pepper under a stream of water. Slice the peppers in large chunks and place in a high speed blender, I use VitaMix.
- Destem and cut tomatoes into large chunks. In a large skillet, add 1 Tbs of olive oil. Heat on low, then add the tomatoes and basil leaves. The tomatoes need to be softened and heated through, for about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Alternatively, the tomatoes can be roasted in a 425F oven for about 35 minutes.
- Pour the tomatoes in the blender with the bell pepper. Place the lid on, leaving the steam vent plug off. Hold a thick towel, folded several times, over the vent as to let some steam escape while blending. Starting on low, increase the speed of the blender to medium high. Puree' the tomatoes and bell peppers for about one minute on medium high speed.
- Turn the blender down to low and slowly add the olive oil. Add the sea salt. Turn back up to medium high and puree' for another minute or until desired consistency. Water can be whisked in to thin the soup if needed.
Taste for seasoning adjustment. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, diced tomatoes and ground pepper.
To freeze, pour in lidded jars and allow to cool in refrigerator. Transfer to freezer for storage.
To find out more about the benefits of eating whole foods, visit World's Healthiest Foods.
Recipe inspired by Chef Thierry Rautureau
Disclosure: I attended the International Food Bloggers Conference at a reduced rate in exchange to write three posts about any aspect of the conference. All opinions are my own. This is my second post.
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