Tuesday, April 14, 2009

tomato and red bell pepper soup

i personally dislike bell peppers, but oddly, i LOVE this soup!!! that's how delicious it is.

2 large red bell peppers
1 large onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, trimmed and chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 1/2 cups fresh vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
2 14-oz cans plum tomatoes
salt and pepper
2 scallions, finely shredded, for garnish
crusty bread, to serve

preheat broiler. halve and seed bell peppers, arrange them on broiler rack and cook, turning occasionally, for 8-10 minutes until softened and charred.

leave to cool slightly, then carefully peel off charred skin. reserving a small piece for garnish, chop bell pepper flesh and place in large saucepan.

mix in onion, celery, and garlic. add the stock and bay leaves. bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. remove from heat.

stir in tomatoes and transfer to blender. process for a few seconds until smooth. return to saucepan.

season with salt and pepper to taste and heat for 3-4 minutes until piping hot. ladle soup into warm bowls and garnish with the reserved bell pepper cut into strips and the scallion. serve with fresh crusty bread.