Tomato and Red Pepper Soup

This is a fantastically easy recipe to make a stunning spicy soup with a rich tomato and red pepper flavour. The smashed basil mixture on top, helps bring out the freshness of this dish. Like most dishes with tomatoes, it needs a combination of sugar and salt to enhance the flavours.

Ingredients

4-5      Large grilled red peppers

1          Red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

400g    Tin of chopped tomatoes

500ml  Chicken or vegetable stock

1 tsp     Sugar

½ tsp    Salt

3 tbs     Balsamic vinegar

Olive oil

Large bunch of fresh basil Leaves

Preparation and cooking

Chop the red peppers and gently fry in a little olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Cook for about 4-5 minutes then add the finely chopped chilli, cooking for a further 2 minutes. Now add the tin of chopped tomatoes, a few basil leaves, sugar, salt, and stock, and simmer gently for about 10-15 minutes. Use a hand blender to blitz the soup and puree into a smooth consistency. Add 2 tablespoons of the balsamic vinegar and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Now make the smashed basil, by placing a large bunch of basil leaves into a pestle and mortar with a little rock salt, and pound for a few minutes to turn into a green smooth paste. Then 1 tbs of balsamic vinegar and 3-4 tablespoons of good quality olive oil and mix so that it resembles a vivid green pesto.

Serve up the soup in warmed serving bowls and add a swirl of the smashed basil mixture on top of the soup.

Variations

Can be done without the chilli or the smashed basil, but personally, I think this is a vital ingredient.

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