SATURDAY COOKING: SPANISH CAPSICUM AND TOMATO SOUP

SPANISH CAPSICUM AND TOMATO SOUP from “The Slow Cookbook” by Heather Whinney (DK Collection, a fabulous book, full of really good recipes).

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1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
salt and pepper
2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeld and chopped
pinch of dried chilli flakes
pinch of paprika ( I used smoked paprika)
6 red capsicums, deseeded and roughly chopped
3 tomatoes, roughly chopped
1.4 litres vegetable stock

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based pan over medium heat, add the onion, and cook for 3-4 minutes until soft. Season with salt and pepper, add the celery, garlic, and carrot, and cook for 5-10 minutes until soft, stirring occasionally.
  2. Stir through the chilli flakes and paprika and cook for a minute, then add the capsicums and tomatoes. Cook on very low heat about 20 minutes, stirring so they don’t stick. Pour in half of the stock and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer, partially cover with the lid, and cook on a low heat for 45-60 minutes, topping up with the reserved stock as the cooking liquid reduces.
  3. Use a stick blender to blend the soup until smooth, or transfer in batches to a liquidiser and blend. Add a ladleful of hot water if too thick. Pour the soup into a clean pan, taste and season as needed and heat through.
  4. Eat!

It seems a long time to cook a soup . But the end result is very nice!
If you have time and feel like a Michelin-star chef, pass the soup through a sieve so you won’t get the skins of the capsicums and tomatoes and end up with a velvety texture. For extra flavour, you could also roast the capsicums before.
Serve with feta cheese, and some bread (like the caramelised onion and cheddar pull-apart bread).

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