Roasted Tomato Red Pepper Bisque
Adapted heavily from Girl Gone Gourmet
A sweet and savory soup to soothe your soul. Heirloom tomatoes are roasted with mini sweet peppers, carrot, onion and garlic to soften and intensify their natural flavors. The soup is then cooked and pureed with fresh herbs, a little light cream and Greek cream cheese. The result is as delicious as it is beautiful to gaze upon.
I had “rescued” a whole box full of mini sweet peppers from my mom and dad’s garden. Before I went to yoga, I set them out on the island and sorted them by color. The reds were overtaking the box … there were so many of them! And also in my rescued garden goodies box were some gigantic tomatoes that were getting verrrry impatient for me to DO something with them. My initial plan was to freeze the peppers and turn the tomatoes into tomato soup. I went off to yoga with this plan in my heart.
And then, on the way home, it hit me. The tomatoes and the peppers really needed to be TOGETHER in one soup! Yes! This is an even more brilliant plan, reminiscent of Romesco sauce, where smoky roasted tomatoes and peppers party with almonds and roasted garlic and olive oil and (typically) olive oil soaked toasted bread cubes.
I did a search for Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup and found this one from Girl Gone Gourmet. How lovely her pictures were! I loved all the garnish ideas … so I began making my soup, not following her recipe very much at all, but occasionally referencing it, just for curiousity’s sake. In the end I decided to go with her garnish, but the only bread we have in the house right now is Naan, so I cut up a Naan into squares and tossed it in a pan with some garlicky olive oil and toasted it. I couldn’t help but snatch a couple cubes as it was cooking … holy moley is that good! And it was even better with the soup.
- 1 teaspoon avocado oil
- About 2.5 lb. fresh garden tomatoes (or canned)
- 10 - 12 small sweet red peppers or 2 -3 red bell peppers
- 10 - 14 cloves of garlic, left in the peel
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled
- 1 - 2 carrots, peeled & chopped
- 1/2-inch piece of jalapeno (or other hot pepper)
- 1 teaspoon avocado oil
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup fat free half & half (or regular half & half or milk)
- 2 oz. Greek cream cheese (or Neufchatel)
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
- 1 sprig fresh oregano
- 2 Tablespoons ground almonds
- Squares of Naan toasted with garlicky olive oil
- Blue cheese crumbles
- Fresh thyme and/or oregano leaves
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray and then smear the avocado oil all over it. Slice the tomato in thick chunks. Lay all the veggies in a single layer in the prepared pan, set it in the oven and roast at 350 F for about 45 minutes.
- Once roasted, remove from the oven and let cool a while, until cool enough to handle. Peel the garlic cloves and chop the onion into smaller bits.
- Heat the avocado oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion, carrot, peppers and garlic and cook briefly to ensure the onion is very soft and translucent. Add the tomatoes, broth and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for 20 - 30 minutes.
- Let the soup cool slightly, then remove the bay leaf and pour the soup into a blender. Add the half & half, the cream cheese, herbs and almonds and blend until smooth.
- Return to the pot and heat until nice and hot (but not boiling). Serve garnished with toasted Naan, blue cheese crumbles and fresh thyme and/or oregano leaves. Enjoy!
For a gluten free recipe, skip the toasted naan or use gluten free croutons in place of the naan.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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