Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Roast Pepper and Tomato Soup with Feta and Basil

..... and more soup. The wind is howling a gale, the rain is biting, you know the kind that stings when it touches your skin,.I can't see the hills for thick, black clouds and I have been soaked and frozen three times today already. I am miserable, its only the beginning of winter, we have months of this ahead of us and already I think it is time to break out some of the produce I preserved over the summer.
I've got jars of roasted red peppers and garlic olive oil waiting to liven up winter greens and all too ubiquitous root vegetables. There is also a windowbox full of basil, so today I just want to taste the sunshine.

Roast Red Pepper and Tomato Soup with feta and basil
1kg tomatoes
2 tsp sugar 
2 tbsp olive oil 
3 roasted red peppers (or 1 jar of roast pepper antipasti)
1 red onion
1litre vegetable stock
Black pepper
200g Feta cheese, crumbled
1 generous bunch of basil
4 cloves garlic
100ml olive oil

Half the tomatoes and sprinkle with sugar and a drizzle of olive oil then roast in a hot oven (180C) for 20 minutes until they start to colour. Roasting winter tomatoes in the oven with a little sugar will help enrich their flavour.
Gently saute the 4 cloves of garlic in the 100ml olive oil to infuse the oil with spiky garlicky flavour. 
Remove the garlic and pour all but 2 tbsp of the oil into a bowl. 
In the remaining oil, saute the onion till soft. Add the peppers, tomatoes and stock. Cook gently for 30 minutes. Season to taste with black pepper, you should not need salt as the feta is very salty.
Blitz in a blender till smooth. 
Serve topped with a little crumbled feta cheese, a good glug of the remaining garlic oil and a handful of basil leaves.

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