Ever since I made this soup, I’ve thought of it as the vegetarian version of chicken soup for the soul. This roasted red pepper tomato soup is perfect at this time of the year where the weather is constantly changing – first it’s hot and humid as ever, 20 minutes later it’s cool, breezy, pouring rain. Everyone is bound to get sick. I’ve always heard people go on about chicken soup and how it’s the best thing when you’re unwell. This soup is the vegetarian answer to chicken soup – it’s packed with everything vitamin C, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. You’d be surprised but red bell peppers have more vitamin C than an equivalent amount of oranges.
This is my go-to “sick soup” when I’m down with a cold or the flu, because it’s so comforting and easier to make than any other soup. It’s also vegan, gluten-free and grain-free. To make this roasted red pepper tomato soup, all you have to do is bake bell peppers, tomatoes, garlic and onion, puree, add water/vegetable stock and fresh herbs. I’ve experimented with adding in a grain to make it a little more filling – barley, farro and quinoa are all good in this soup. You can also play around with which fresh herbs you’d like to use – I’ve used basil, rosemary and sage. And of course – add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, croutons or a dollop of butter for extra comfort – because what’s a good soup without a delicious garnish?
I know that many people swear by a glass of orange juice or Vitamin C drinks when they catch a cold, but this is better – it has all the nutrients and vitamins packaged into a warm bowl of soup. You can even add a little turmeric and/or ginger for an extra immunity boost. Let me know what you think of it – post a picture on Instagram or Facebook and tag @theindiaedition #theindiaedition.
- ½ red bell pepper, de-seeded
- ½ yellow bell pepper, de-seeded
- 2 tomatoes, cut in quarters
- 1 medium onion, cut in quarters
- 3-4 cloves of garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 250ml or 1 cup water or vegetable stock
- 5-7 leaves of fresh herbs or ¼ tsp dried herbs, such as basil, rosemary, oregano, sage
- A pinch of salt/pepper, as needed
- ½ carrot or a large piece of carrot, peeled (optional)
- On a silicon mat/baking tray, lay the veggies cut side up. Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil.
- Bake on 250C for 15-20 minutes, until the skins are lightly browned and loosened.
- De-skin if you like (I prefer to do so) and allow to cool for a few minutes. Puree in a blender or mixer.
- Transfer to a pan, add water/veg stock and chopped herbs. Add in the piece of peeled carrot as is - this helps to cut the acidity. Heat on low until it's hot enough.
- Taste for seasoning - add salt and pepper if needed. Sometimes vegetable stocks contain salt so taste before adding.
- Serve hot, with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, butter and/or croutons.