Red Pepper Summer Soup

Source: recipe from Jamie's America by Jamie Oliver
adapted by http://theresalwaysthyme.blogspot.com/

4 red bell peppers, seeded and roughly chopped
15-20 grape tomatoes
1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 quart chicken stock
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 red chile, finely chopped (or jalapeno)
olive oil, for the pan and for drizzling
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
small bunch of fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar (I used a sherry wine vinegar)
1/4 cucumber (seedless)
cayenne pepper or smoked paprika (if you like)
a touch of cream (optional)

Add a couple of dashes of olive oil to a large saucepan. On medium heat, gently fry the red peppers, onion, garlic and chile with the lid on for about 20 minutes. Stir every five minutes or so.

Add the chicken stock, bring to the boil then simmer the soup gently on medium heat with the lid on for about more 10-15 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.

Use an immersion blender to puree or you can very carefully pour the soup (it will be hot) into a blender (in 2 or 3 batches) and blend at high speed till smooth and silky. Add the vinegar and basil and whiz it again. Then strain through a strainer, if you like, and taste for seasoning.  Let it cool in the frig. Serve this soup cold with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, or even a drizzle of cream. Garnish with the diced cucumbers and celery, a little cayenne or smoked paprika.
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