Regardless of the fact that it’s summer, soup is always on my menu. This recipe is one that is a go-to for me, and during the school year when I am working, I will even make it in a crock pot. The secret to this creamy, but healthy, tomato soup is the potato. When pureed, the potato adds a silky, creamy texture without adding the fat of half-and-half for full-fat cream. I use potatoes in any “cream of” soup that I make including cream of broccoli broccoli or cauliflower. Give it a try sometime!
I find the the combination of tomatoes and sweet peppers is just delicious! These gypsy peppers are very delicate and have a pleasing favorite that even people who “don’t like peppers” can’t pass up. If you have a family member or friend who has sworn off peppers, try to get them to try something cooked with a gypsy pepper. I’ve found that they are a gateway into other veggies. I have not been a fan of peppers in the past, but since I’ve started cooking with gypsy peppers, I’ve found that I like bell peppers and other stronger peppers even more. You never know what you’ll develop a taste for when you start cooking with a new ingredient. That’s why I always try new things.
Roasted Tomato and Gypsy Pepper Soup
2 1/2 lbs. fresh tomatoes
1/2 lb. gypsy pepper (use any sweet pepper you like!)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
one large onion, chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
one large russet baking potato, peeled and cubed
two cloves garlic, minced (use more if you like garlic)
two sprigs fresh thyme, removed from stem and chopped
4 c. vegetable broth (or chicken if it’s what you have on hand and are not a veggie!)
sour cream (garnish)
Cut up the tomatoes and the peppers, removing the seeds and ribs from the peppers. Arrange on a rimmed baking sheet (things are going to get juicy!) and drizzle with the 2 tbsp. of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roast in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until soft and broken down a bit, not burnt!
Prep the other ingredients while the tomatoes and peppers are roasting. The smaller the cube on the potato, the quicker they will cook down.
When the tomatoes and peppers are nearly roasted, start to saute the onions in 1 tbsp. of olive oil. After the onions reach a translucent appearance (about 5-7 minutes on medium heat), add the garlic. Saute for another 3 minutes without browning the onions! Add a bit more olive oil if things start to get dry, or lower your burner a bit…slow and steady is the best for onions and garlic.
Add the potatoes and thyme, stirring for a minute or so.
Remove the tomatoes and peppers from the oven. Carefully take the peppers off of the pan and chop them up a bit more.
Add in the now roasted tomatoes and peppers (with the juices that resulted from roasting) and top with the vegetable broth. The broth should cover the tomatoes, but not much more than that.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer the soup for 30 minutes to an hour. The longer you simmer the soup, the more the flavors will come together. Be sure to taste your soup toward the end and add a bit of salt and/or pepper to match your desired palate!
After simmering, use an immersion blender to puree your soup. You can leave it a bit chunky, if you wish, or continue to puree until it’s smooth without and chunks of tomato, potato, etc. It’s up to you! If you do not have an immersion blender, carefully use a standing blender, blending only half the soup at a time, making sure to be careful with the hot liquid.
Garnish as you wish. I chose to use sour cream and parsley, as it’s what I had in my fridge. This soup is good with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese, or even gold fish crackers!