The end of summer delivers bushels of sweet peppers, corn and tomatoes to my kitchen. At the same time, the whisper of fall in the air brings a craving for warm soups layered with flavor and fragrant with smoke and char. This soup has a little bit of all that. I roast garden peppers and tomatoes in the oven, which slowly coaxes out their flavor and natural sweetness, then blitz them with aromatics. The roasted veggies create the stock for a healthy and comforting soup.
This soup is studded with juicy sweet corn kernels, which pop with every bite. I like to keep them al dente, so I don't roast them with the tomatoes and peppers, but if you prefer, you can also roast them. For a vegetarian soup, vegetable stock or water can be substituted for the chicken stock -- just be sure to taste the soup and adjust the seasonings accordingly.
While roasting in the oven is an easy method to prepare the vegetables, don't be shy about using the grill for slow roasting if you wish to keep the heat out of the kitchen. Simply grill the veggies in a grill pan over indirect high heat to achieve the same slow roasted results.
Slow Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Soup With Sweet Corn
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
6 ripe medium plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
2 large red bell peppers, seeded, quartered lengthwise
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
2 to 3 cups chicken stock
Corn kernels from 1 ear of corn, 1/4 cup reserved as garnish
4 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Arrange the plum tomatoes and peppers, cut-sides down, in an oiled baking dish. Roast until the vegetables are softened and slightly charred, about 30 minutes. (If using canned tomatoes, only roast the peppers.) Transfer the vegetables to a bowl and cover. Let cool 15 minutes, then peel away the skin from both the tomatoes and peppers and coarsely chop.
Heat the olive oil in a medium pot over medium. Add the onion and saute until translucent without coloring, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, peppers, cumin, paprika, salt, black pepper and cayenne and saute 1 to 2 minutes. Add 2 cups stock. There should be enough to cover the vegetables. If not, add more as needed. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Partially cover the pot and simmer the soup for 15 minutes.
Carefully transfer the soup to a food processor (or use an immersion blender). Puree the soup until smooth; return to the pot and taste for seasoning. Stir in the corn and simmer 5 minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with the reserved 1/4 cup corn and cilantro and serve warm.
CAPTIONS AND CREDITS
Caption 01: Photo by Lynda Balslev for TasteFood.