Roast tomato and capsicum soup

This weekend I was feeling a little under the weather. I lost my appetite (which never happens!) and only craved tomato soup. When I felt up to being back in the kitchen, it was the first thing I set about making. This works best with really ripe tomatoes, it doesn’t really matter if they are a little bashed or bruised. The riper the fruit, the quicker they cook and break down.
I will warn you, this takes a little time to roast and peel the capsicums, but once that chore is done it’s all down hill from there.
3 large red capsicums
8 tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic, skin on
1 medium brown onion
1/4 cup olive oil, plus a little extra to drizzle on tomatoes to roast.
2 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 225 degrees Celsius.
Cut around the green stalk of the capsicums, then pull them away (they should take the majority of seeds and membrane with them). Cut them in half lengthways, pull away any remaining membrane and lay them cut-side down on a foil lined oven tray.
Cut the tops off the tomatoes and place them on a foil-lined oven tray also. Drizzle the tomatoes with a little olive oil.
Wrap your garlic cloves in a small piece of foil and pop on tomato tray.
The roasting time differs for the veg. The tomatoes and garlic should take around 35 minutes, while the capsicum should be closer to 45 minutes. The tomato skin should look wrinkled and lifting from the flesh, while the capsicums should bubble and blacken a bit. The garlic should be soft and caramelised.
Let the tomatoes cool a little while you place the capsicums in a plastic bag to sweat for 10 minutes. This helps you to peel them.
Peel away the skin of the tomatoes and discard. Peel away the skin of the capsicum and set flesh aside on the tray with the tomatoes. This way all the juices from both veg can be collected on the foil and added into the soup for flavour.
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan on a medium heat. Roughly dice your onion and add this to the pan. You want to make the onion soft and translucent, not fried, so don’t have the heat too high.
Remove the skin from the garlic and add to the pan. Add the tomatoes, capsicums and all the collected juice. Add 2 cups of vegetable stock. Simmer this on a low heat for 5-10 mins, breaking the vegetables down a bit further.
Whizz the mixture in a blender until a smooth consistency is achieved (you may need to do this in batches).
Place the soup back in the saucepan on a low heat and add the honey, paprika and vinegar. Heat through. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Makes 4 serves.

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