Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Olives, Lemon & Yoghurt

Adapted from recipe by Tessa Kiros

from Falling Cloudberries

Serves 4


4x red peppers

2 tablespoons olive oil

2x garlic cloves, finely sliced

2x shallots, finely sliced

2x ripe tomatoes

400g (14 oz) tin tomatoes

flaky sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

To serve:

plain Greek-style yoghurt

black olives, remove pits and finely chop

freshly grated lemon zest

fresh basil leaves, finely shredded

extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F).  Place peppers in a shallow baking dish, and roast in the preheated oven, turning from time to time, until the skin has blackened in places on all sides, and the peppers are slightly soft.  Remove from the oven and put the peppers into a plastic bag.  Set aside for about 10 minutes to sweat - this will enable the skins to slide off easily.  When cool enough to handle, peel the skins off the peppers and discard, at the same time removing and discarding the seeds and core.  Work over a bowl so that you catch all the juice that comes out of the peppers.  Tear the flesh of the peppers up into largish pieces and set aside.

Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the flesh of the fresh tomatoes, then discard the skin - much easier than peeling and chopping.  Roughly chop the tinned tomatoes (hint - in my experience, it is always better to buy tinned whole tomatoes and chop them, than buying tinned chopped tomatoes).

Heat the olive oil in a large pan, over moderate heat.  Add the garlic and shallots, and saute for a couple of minutes until the shallots have softened and the garlic is fragrant.  Add both the grated fresh tomatoes and the tinned tomatoes, and cook until it begins to bubble.  Add the chunks of roasted peppers and all the juice that came from the peppers (straining the juice as you do so if there are any errant seeds you want to get rid of).   Season liberally with flaky sea salt and pepper.  Fill the empty tomato tin with warm water, swirl it around a little to loosen any tomato juice that might be clinging to the sides of the tin, and then pour into the soup pan.  Bring up to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pan, and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Remove pan from the heat and puree the soup (a stick blender is ideal here if you have one).  The soup should be quite thick, but just add a little more water if it seems too thick.  Alternatively, if it's not thick enough, return to the heat and simmer uncovered for a little while longer.

Check and adjust the seasoning, then serve topped with a dollop of yoghurt and sprinkled with chopped black olives, lemon zest, and basil.  Finish if desired with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil or infused oil of your choice.