Cream of Tomato and Red Pepper Soup

Why not sip your soup from a teacup? One less spoon to wash…

This soup was inspired by a cold and dreary night many years ago, made a bit brighter by a good friend who sat me down and fed me a grilled cheese sandwich and cream of tomato soup. A classic combination, but one I’d never had before, and it made me feel so much better I remember it to this day.

There are some good canned and boxed tomato soups, but they are often loaded with sodium, so I tried to come up with a less salty homemade soup that wasn’t too difficult to prepare. I realize it’s not fair to post this recipe at the end of tomato season, but I couldn’t help myself. There’s nothing quite like a vine-ripened dry-farmed early girl tomato, and I’ve been running around buying the last of them, and freezing and canning them to later enjoy as a little bit of summer in the middle of winter.

Cream of Tomato & Red Pepper Soup (makes approximately 4 teacup servings)

2 lb. (900g) ripe tomatoes, cut in half (I used early girl)
2 medium red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, sliced
2 medium purple onions, sliced
3 Tbsp. (45ml) olive oil
1/2 teaspoon (2.5ml)  salt
Pinch cinnamon
Pinch+ red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you like your soup)
6 cloves garlic, peeled
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 cup (240ml) vegetable stock
1/2 cup (120ml) milk, half and half or heavy cream (depending on how rich you like your soup)
2 teaspoons (10ml) chopped fresh basil

Preheat over to 400° F (205° C) degrees.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. The first time I made this soup I used aluminum foil (as seen in the photos) and the juices the tomatoes released burned on the foil. The second time I used parchment and that worked much better.

Whisk oil, salt, cinnamon and red pepper flakes together, then toss with tomatoes, red bell pepper, onion and garlic until well coated.

Scatter the tomato mixture evenly across the baking sheet.

Roast for 45 minutes, tossing once or twice during the cooking time.

Let cool.

Process the cooled mixture in a food processor or blender until smooth.

Pass mixture through sieve or food mill.

Add sieved mixture to saucepan and whisk in stock and cream.

At this point you can store the soup in the refrigerator for one day.

When ready to serve, slowly bring soup up to temperature over low heat. Simmer, don’t boil the soup. At the last moment, add the chopped basil.

Garnish with a bit of olive oil or basil flowers or both.