Roast Red Pepper Soup with Pesto Oil

Roasted Red PepperThis a wonderful soup and incredibly easy to make. I made it this weekend for my fiancé as he was home for the weekend. I had a very busy weekend in the kitchen, I made home-made bread from scratch (I didn’t even make the dough in the bread maker!), shortcrust pastry for a pumpkin pie and puff pastry for my chestnut en croute. It was great to really break in the kitchen and see how much I can do in it in one day, finally having a dishwasher is a lifesaver!

It was a very wet and windy weekend in Oslo which also inspired the baking day as we spent Saturday outside getting soaked so wanted to spend Sunday nice and warm in the apartment. Making pastry in a warm kitchen is definitely a new experience for me! Our old kitchen used to be very cold so was perfect for pastry, yesterday I had to keep on putting the puff pastry in the fridge and freezer and the butter started to melt after a few turns. It still turned out great and if I had started earlier in the day would have had more layers but I had enough for what I wanted to do. I now have a huge piece of puff pastry in the freezer as it made plenty which is great. The only puff pastry I have found in Oslo are tiny sheets that can make an individual small tart but nothing else. I have wanted to make puff pastry for a long time but never had the need to but now I do so I will get a lot of practice over the next couple of years.

This soup is perfect for autumn and winter, it would also be nice with a little cayenne pepper in order to give it a little heat. I am calling it pesto oil as it pesto diluted with more extra virgin olive oil but a basil oil would also work.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Pesto Oil

 Ingredients

  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1 carton passata
  • 1 vegetable stock pot (or stock of your choice)
  • boiling water
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • Pesto (handful of basil leaves, 2 tsp toasted pine nuts, 2 tsp grated vegetarian parmesan, extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper)
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C. Chop up the red peppers into inch squares, place on a baking tray then drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Roast the peppers for 20-30 minutes or until they are soft and started to char on the edges (this gives it a nice smoky taste).
  2. While the peppers are roasting, finely chop the onion and celery and sweat down in a pan with olive oil until soft. Add the passata, stock and roasted peppers. Add water to make the consistency of soup you would like, mine was quite thick.
  3. Blitz the soup using a hand blender or food processor. Season to taste and add further water if required.
  4. For the pesto oil, either use a bought pesto and dilute with extra virgin olive oil or make pesto from scratch (handful of basil leaves, 2 tsp toasted pine nuts, 2 tsp grated vegetarian parmesan, extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper, blitz in a food processor), add further extra virgin olive oil until the pesto is runny.
  5. Pour the soup into bowls and drizzle the pesto oil over the top.

Enjoy! H x

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