Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Roasted Tomato & Red Pepper Soup

I'm going to admit, first and foremost, that this first recipe is kind of a cheat. It currently appears on another blog I did for a while called In The Kitchen with Krista. In fact, it was an Aldi post on that blog! Well, I've been playing and tweaking this recipe for a while now and have it where I just adore it. And so does my oldest daughter (who, mind you, would snub a tomato and a red pepper in any other state of existence). And last night, my 8 year old son said "Mom, you make the best soup".

This recipe originated from my desire to preserve some grape tomatoes that were on sale at Aldi for 99 cents. I have adapted to make it with the Roma Tomatoes that they sell there, simply because they are cheaper and because the actually have a more balanced taste in the soup this way.

Roasted Tomato & Red Pepper Soup

2 lbs Roma Tomatoes
2 cloves Garlic
1 Red Pepper, sliced in strips
1 half medium onion, cut in 8ths
1 stalk celery, sliced in 1" chunks
2 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 Chef's Cupboard chicken bullion cubes (can use beef or veggie too)
2 Cups freshly boiled water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut an "X" into the bottom of each tomato and place in a pot of boiling water for about 2 to 3 minutes, until the cut edges start to curl up. Immediately place in an ice water bath (this is called "shocking"). Peel off and discard tomato skins. Cut tomatoes into quarters and place in roasting pan. Remove skins from garlic cloves and add to tomatoes. Add red pepper, onion and celery to the pan. Pour olive oil over vegetables, sprinkle with red pepper flakes.

Place vegetables in oven and roast for 25-30 minutes - until vegetables are soft and just starting to brown A LITTLE (carefully, if you burn even one...it will make it yucky). While the veggies are roasting, boil some water.

When the vegetables are done, pour into a blender or food processor (depending on the size of blender or food processor, you may need to do this in batches). Liquify the vegetables. Open blender/food processor and add the bullion cubes and boiling water. Cover blender/food processor with lid, liquify again. Add more water if necessary. You may add salt at this time too, if you feel the need. If you do need to process in batches in your blender and food processor, you can put 1 boullion cube, and 1 cup water in each batch, then mix together before serving. OR...if you have one, pour all the roasted vegetables into a big pot and use an immersion blender.

Either way you choose, process until very smooth and creamy in texture. It really has a creamy taste and texture without the fat of adding cream. Now...if you want to add cream, milk or half and half for the richness, you can do that instead of the water.

Serve, and enjoy! Top with croutons, cheese, fishies, saltines....whatever you like in your tomato soup.

Now. For the tally of ingredients. My most recent batch, which would make 6-8 1 cup servings, cost $5.34. That makes it $.89 to $.67 per serving.

NOTE: When using a blender to blend hot liquids it is BEST to leave the center cap off the lid and cover with a towel. Secure the towel with your hand while the blender is running. If you do not do this, pressure from the steam can build up and cause harm or injury. So don't do that, it will ruin your dinner.

ANOTHER NOTE: If you add less water when processing, this is more of a "sauce" and would be great over pasta.

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