tomato and red pepper souprating:
This is an easy and delicious soup. Try it once and you may find you're hooked.
To make a good big panful (enough for 4-6 people):
one sliced or crushed clove of garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
jar of Lidl pickled sweet red peppers (or other make, but Lidl's are great and very cheap) If buying another make, go for approx drained weight 400g
One 400g can chopped tomatoes
1 carton passata
Salt and pepper
Optional chilli - fresh or dried
Optional tablespoon or so of tomato puree
Open the jar of pickled red peppers; remove peppers and slice into thin strips. The pickling liquor tastes quite nice, so don't bother to drain them.
Put a good glug of olive oil (about 2 tablespoons) in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil has heated up, put in the crushed clove of garlic. (If you like a bit of 'bite', add a sliced chilli at this stage). Stir for about 30 seconds, to stop the garlic from going brown. If it goes brown, it will spoil the taste of the soup by adding a bitter note.
Then flop all the sliced peppers into the pan. Put on the lid and allow the garlic and peppers to cook together gently for about ten mins. Then pour in the tin of tomatoes and the passata. Put the lid back on and let the lot cook for about 20 minutes.
Taste to see whether you want to add any salt and/or pepper. If you want it to taste more tomatoey, add a couple of tablespoons of tomato puree.
If you like your soup smooth, use a blender to reduce the lot to a fine pulp. If you prefer it lumpy, leave it as it is.
* Try adding some dried or fresh tarragon at the same time you put in the tomatoes.
* You can add orange juice to the soup once it's finished cooking. This is especially good in the summer if you want to serve the soup chilled.
* This soup can be made more hearty by putting a couple of spoonsful of boiled rice in the bottom of each soup bowl/plate before you ladle in the soup.