An easy to make soup recipe with a distinctive taste

Icy cold winter and warm soups go hand in hand. This recipe, picked from well-known chef and TV host Vicky Ratnani’s book “Vicky Goes Veg” (Collins) uses red peppers, once a difficult ingredient to lay your hands on and now pretty ubiquitous.

Ratnani says you can serve it hot or cold, depending on whether it’s a cold winter day or muggy summer afternoon

Roasted red pepper soup

Ingredients

3 medium/large red bell peppers

2 tsp olive oil

1/2 stalk of spring onion, diced

30 gm leeks, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

1 tbsp ginger, diced

1 cup cherry tomatoes or

ripe tomatoes, diced

1 tsp smoked pakrika powder

1 medium red chilli

60 ml tomato juice

1 ltr vegetable stock

Orange zest from ½ an orange

1 tsp flat leaf, chopped

1 tsp parsley

A few sprigs of oregano

3-4 basil leaves

1 bay leaf

Method

In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat the oil and sweat down the red bell peppers, spring onions, leeks, celery, a bay leaf, ginger and tomatoes for five-six minutes. This is literally the best flavour, says Ratnani.

Add the smoked paprika powder, red chilli and tomato juice. Cook for six minutes.

Add the vegetable stock and cook for 20 minutes till all the veggies are soft.

Blend the soup in a mixer or with an immersion blender to get it silky-smooth. Strain into a bowl.

Finish with orange zest, flat leaf, parsley and oregano.

Garnish with fresh oregano leaves or sprigs of basil.

Serve.

(Vicky Ratnani is a chef, TV host and food connoisseur. He hosts a popular cookery show on NDTV Good Times, and is the corporate chef at Aurus, a fine dining restaurant in Mumbai.)

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