Blend tomatoes and bell peppers to make yummy soup
Bell peppers are known as the Christmas ornaments of the vegetable world. Like their relatives, the chilli peppers, bell peppers originated in South America.
Bell peppers have a crunchy texture and come in an array of colours ranging from green, red, yellow, orange, purple and brown to black. Peppers are available throughout the year. Sweet peppers are plump, bell-shaped vegetables. Inside the thick, glossy flesh is an inner cavity with edible bitter seeds and a white, spongy core. Bell peppers are not hot. Green and purple peppers have a slightly bitter flavour, while the red, orange and yellows are sweeter and almost fruity. Pimento and paprika are both prepared from red bell peppers.
While choosing peppers, select those that have vivid colour, firm skin, are free of soft spots and darkened areas. Their stems should be green and look fresh. Peppers should be heavy and firm enough so that they will gently yield to slight pressure. Unwashed sweet peppers stored in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator will keep for up to one week.
Besides looking good on the plate, they are an excellent source of vitamin A and C and fibre.
Now, for a recipe.
Roasted Bell Pepper and Tomato Soup
Tomatoes: 10 to 12
Bell peppers: 2
Onion, cut into thin wedges: 1
Large garlic cloves, peeled: 4
Olive oil (preferably extra virgin): 2 tbsp
Fresh thyme leaves: 1 tsp
Method: Wash and cut the tomatoes into half (lengthwise). Cut the peppers into four and deseed them. Arrange the tomatoes (cut side up), bell peppers, onion and garlic cloves on a large baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 450 degree Fahrenheit. Drizzle oil and sprinkle salt and pepper. Roast the vegetables until they turn brown, turning them occasionally for 30-40 minutes. Leave them to cool. Transfer the vegetables to a processor. Add some thyme leaves. Heat the puree with water if it is too thick and check the seasoning. Serve the soup hot and garnish it with a thyme sprig.
The author is Chef de Partie in Taj Connemara, Chennai