It’s using the oven, actually, that makes this soup so good. Red peppers and onions are cooked in plenty of olive oil on the stove top, tomatoes are added, and then the whole pot goes in the oven uncovered so that the vegetables roast and become slightly caramelized.
Once pureed, the soup can be served hot, but I think I prefer it cold. You can eat it plain or served with some yogurt and fresh herbs, goat cheese, croutons, at tomato or cucumber salad, salsa verde…you get the idea.
Chilled Red Pepper and Tomato Soup
1/2 c olive oil
3 onions, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, smashed
3 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
2½ # (about 1 kg) ripe tomatoes, chopped
4-5 sprigs each, fresh parsley and cilantro (cilantro haters can leave it out)
optional: one small hot pepper
salt and pepper
1. Preheat the oven to . Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a heavy, oven proof pot. Add the onions, garlic and peppers, season, and cook several minutes until the onions are soft. Add the herbs and tomatoes, give it a stir, and put the whole pot in the oven, uncovered, and roast for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until everything is soft and starting to caramelize on top.
2. Let everything cool off, then purée the mix in batches in your blender, or right in the pot with an immersion blender (I love this tool). Pass the soup through a strainer fine enough to catch the tomato seeds, but preferably not so fine as a chinois, which won’t allow enough of the solids to get through.
3. Chill the soup thoroughly before serving.