It’s too hot for skin today. So, why am I posting about soup?
A few weeks ago, my friend Karen Beth asked for a good gazpacho recipe, and it got me thinking and craving and obsessing about one of my favorite summer lunches: Jamie Oliver’s Fresh Tomato and Red Pepper Soup with Smashed Basil and Olive Oil.
The fresh tomatoes, roasted red peppers, chili pepper, and basil form a unique mix that you can swing Italian or Tex-Mex. It tastes just as good with a toasted mozzarella, tomato, and basil sandwich as it does with a nice hunk of Cheesy Mexican Cornbread.
My research has been intense.
If you’re looking for a slow-cook, feel free to lovingly blanch, peel, seed, and chop the tomatoes … and grill, peel, and chop the red bell peppers. For a quick cook, pick up a can or two of plum tomatoes and a jar of roasted red peppers, which I’m sure God created on the Eighth Day, because I love them so.
So, Karen Beth, this isn’t gazpacho, but it IS just as amazing cold as it is straight off the stove. Again, intense research. Hope you like it!
Fresh Tomato and Red Pepper Soup
Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s “The Naked Chef”
- 15 ripe plum tomatoes
- 3 medium red bell peppers
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh seeded red chili
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, or to taste
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock*
- 2 handfuls of fresh basil leaves
- Score the tops of the tomatoes, blanch in boiling water for about 20 seconds, or until you can remove the skins and seed. Set aside.
- Grill or roast the peppers whole, rest in a covered bowl, then peel and finely chop them.
- Put the chopped peppers in a warmed, thick-bottomed pan with 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil and the chopped red chili. Add a pinch of salt and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add the chopped garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
- Then add the roughly chopped tomatoes and cook for about 10 minutes with another pinch of salt and the red wine vinegar.
- Add the stock and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste.
- For the Basil Topping: In a food processor, chop the basil. Add a pinch of salt. Stir in the remaining olive oil and a drop more red wine vinegar. Drizzle the mixture generously over your soup.
*Gluten-Free Tip: Make sure the stock you use is gluten-free.