An Italian twist on an old classic
I’m not sure where this capsicum and tomato soup recipe came from. Although it has lots of classic Italian flavours, I don’t think it’s a traditional Italian recipe and can’t recall having anything like it in Italy. Maybe I ripped it out of a newspaper years ago or had something similar in a Melbourne café and got inspired. What I do know is somewhere along the line my classic cream of tomato soup recipe got an Italian twist and it’s become a fall back for a quick dinner mid-week.
Using a combination of tomatoes and roasted capsicum (aka red peppers) gives the soup a depth of flavour and a smoky, sweet flavour lacking in a plain tomato soup. Roast capsicum is available from your supermarket and other delis or if easy to make by placing whole or large sliced of capsicum in the oven, drizzled with olive oil to roast. You can also use tinned tomatoes as well as fresh, although with the latter you will need to decide if you want to bother taking the skin off or not. Off is perhaps better, but it is an extra fiddly step so you don’t mind some tomato skin whizzed up in the soup it really makes little difference to the end result.
Served with a dollop of basil cream gives this capsicum and tomato soup recipe an extra dimension and marries classic Italian flavours together. If you enjoy pizza margherita or a simple tomato and basil pasta bake – you are going to love this express soup recipe!
Lovely on its own, this soup is even better enjoyed with some buttery garlic bread or some melted cheese on toast. The latter has a hint of deconstructed pizza about it – never a bad thing in my book!
If you’re looking for another speedy soup with an Italian edge, try this pea and pesto soup recipe.
Capsicum and tomato soup recipe
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 large clove garlic – minced
- 1 medium onion – finely diced
- 3 cups canned or fresh tomatoes – peeled and chopped
- 3 cups roasted red peppers – chopped
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 cup cream
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 tsp. sugar (optional)
- Double cream
- Basil leaves – chiffonade
- Heat some olive oil in a medium sized pot. Fry the onions on a low-medium heat and when they start to soften and turn translucent, add the garlic. Fry garlic for another minute or so and then tumble in the tomatoes and capsicum and stir. Reduce heat, pop on the lid and simmer for around 10 minutes.
- Blitz using a hand wand or pour into a blender, puree and return to pot. On a medium heat add stock and stir.
- Add cream, stir through and taste. Season with salt and pepper – the quantity will depend on how salty your stock was. If the tomatoes are a bit acid/sour tasting, add a few teaspoons of sugar.
- In a small bowl, combine fresh cream and shredded basil.
- Serve this soup in bowls with a dollop of the basil cream on top and some bread of your choosing.
If you liked this recipe, you should definitely try my Romesco sauce recipe, a wonderful Spanish recipe using red peppers, tomatoes, nuts and paprika. It is truly delicious!