For some reason, I’m just not feeling traditional fall flavors lately! I’ve tried to get behind the pumpkin things; even savory style, without the traditional spices. I guess some may consider it a shame, but I’m good with tomatoes and peppers right now, because we’re at the end of tomato season! We found these tomatoes from a farm near Palomar State Park a week ago, and I couldn’t resist. The peppers are from my local farmer’s market, small, but mighty and packed with flavor.
I love fire-roasting things. It concentrates the flavor, and you get depth with the charred bits.
To make this a more hearty dish, add good fats and proteins, we soak some cashews. These will soften, and when blended with the tomatoes and peppers, will lend a creamy texture that is more filling than if we had left them out. For the colder days that are ahead of us, we’re going to need that extra boost.
This is about the color you want on the tomatoes – about 30-40% char as you see here. This recipe does require that you have a broiler – it can be electric, or gas (I’m partial to gas), but the procedure remains the same. The goal is to apply enough heat to the surface of the food, that it starts to evaporate the water inside, and char. There is no other heat applied to the food, but it still gets piping hot!
After sautéeing onions and garlic in a little olive oil, we add in the cashews, roasted red peppers, roasted tomatoes, and onion mixture to a blender, and blend until we have a velvety smooth and creamy roasted tomato & red pepper soup!
If you have any land at all, plant basil! Having it fresh like this for any recipe is the best type of eating – it just doesn’t get any fresher than that! You can leave it in a pot – this is a whiskey barrel, or you can plant it directly in the ground. The height of the barrel makes snipping a snap though, so it’s what I prefer. This plant is an old monster, but with younger herbs, you could plant basil, dill, parsley, rosemary, and oregano with no problem! In fact, I may just add them to my big monster anyway!
Finish The Soup
We’ve got our herbs that just need a second or two in the blender, and we’re ready to serve. Four bowls, and some good bread, and you’ll be right as rain in no time.
Roasted Tomato & Red Pepper Soup
- 8 Whole Tomatoes Large
- 4 Whole Red Peppers Medium
- 1 Cup Onion diced
- 1 Tablespoon Garlic fresh, diced
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil extra virgin
- ½ Cup Cashews
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- ½ Cup Basil fresh, loosely packed
Soak cashews for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
Preheat broiler. Halve and de-stem the tomatoes and peppers, placing the tomatoes cut-side-up on a rimmed sheet pan, with the peppers facing cut-side-down. Use two pinches of salt to lightly salt the produce.
Place under broiler, and allow to completely char the skins of the peppers, and allow the tomatoes to char to about 30%-40% of the surface. The peppers took the least amount of time, at about 5 minutes. I removed those to a cutting board to cool while the tomatoes continued cooking for an additional 5-8 minutes.
Using a large pot, turn heat to medium, add the olive oil, onion, garlic, and salt. Sauté for 5-7 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and golden brown.
When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel the charred skin off, and discard to your compost bin, and give the resulting flesh a rough chop.
To a blender, add the soaked cashews, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, and onion mixture. Blend on high for about 30-60 seconds or until velvety smooth.
Add fresh basil, and blend for 2-3 seconds more to incorporate.
Return the blended mixture to the pot, and stir with a wooden spoon, scraping up any bits left from the onions. Heat through for 1-2 minutes.
Divide soup among four bowls, and top with additional fresh basil leaves.