During the colder months I love a hearty and warming soup. This roasted tomato and red pepper superfood soup has a wonderful fresh flavour unlike the tinned variety we all know and love. Don’t get me wrong, I do love the tinned variety but this homemade soup is in my opinion, worth the effort.
It also has some amazing health benefits thanks to its ingredients.
Did you know, one tomato can provide 40% of your daily recommended vitamin C and also contain folate, potassium and vitamin K?
Vitamin C strengthens the body’s natural defences whilst vitamin K helps with blood clotting. Folate, or Folic Acid as you may know it is a B vitamin which helps to make and repair DNA and produce red blood cells. Potassium regulates the heartbeat and muscles need it to contract.
Tomatoes also contain lycopene which has significant antioxidant properties, reduced risk of heart disease and cancer and this can be boosted by cooking the tomato.
They also contain Vitamin A which supports vision, skin, health and immunity.
The pepper contains more than 200% of your daily vitamin C intake and they are packed with antioxidants.
Consumed on a daily basis, garlic helps lower cholesterol levels and it is beneficial to regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
The onion is loaded with organosulfur that may offer some serious health benefits. These are powerful antioxidants. Onions also supply a modest amount of vitamin C.
Black pepper is brilliant at extracting nutrients from food. Best added when the food has been cooked, one pinch is enough for a meal.
It also contains piperine which makes it spicy and also improves metabolism, the immune system, memory and raises dopamine and serotonin levels.
High quality honey is a good source of antioxidants which can help lower blood pressure and honey also helps to lower cholesterol.
Olive oil is rich in the healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants.
This recipe makes two generous portions.
1 red pepper
2 cloves of garlic
1 medium onion
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 sprigs thyme
For the croutons (optional)
Two slices of stale or robust bread, such as rye bread
Half a tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 200c/390f/Gas 6
Slice the tomatoes and arrange over the baking trays flat side up
Drizzle the honey over the tomatoes.
Add the sprigs of thyme and drizzle a tablespoon of the olive oil over the tomatoes.
Slice the pepper in half and remove the seeds. Place on a baking tray along with the garlic cloves.
Put them into the oven for around 20 – 30 minutes so they are nicely roasted.
Slice and dice the onion and fry off in a tablespoon of the olive oil over a low heat for about 10 minutes. Cooking them slowly releases a sweeter flavour.
When the tomatoes are done, take them out of the oven and leave them to cool for 5 minutes.
When the pepper is roasted and soft put it in a plastic bag and seal, leave this for about 10 minutes and when it has cooled the skin should come off easier.
For the tomatoes it is quite a messy job but the skins come off easily. Put the tomato flesh and the bits of thyme into a large bowl along with the pepper flesh.
Pop the garlic from its papery skin and by using the flat of a sharp knife you can squidge it into a mash. Add this also to the tomatoes.
Add the fried onions to the bowl along with the water.
If you have a food processor, put the ingredients in and blend until smooth.
If you are using a hand blender, blend all ingredients together in the bowl until smooth.
To serve, reheat the soup and crack some black pepper over the top.
You can make your own croutons by slicing stale bread into chunks, lightly fry in a little olive oil then tip onto some kitchen roll to soak up any excess oil and season with a little salt and pepper.
I served mine with some rye bread and goats cheese.
If you fancied a creamier soup you can add some soft cream cheese and stir until it has melted into the soup.
Enjoy this delicious soup and think of all the super health benefits!