Friday, October 2, 2009

Smokin' Hot

Roasting has become a favorite way to cook vegetables like broccoli, potatoes, and cauliflower. Just toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic, bake on high heat and the veggies come out crisp with a smoky garlicky flavor. (Last week I squeezed lemon over the broccoli after it came out of the oven and grated Parmesan cheese at this suggestion - so good!)

That's why I was excited to find this recipe for roasted tomato and red bell pepper soup today. It's gotten much more fall-like in Chicago. Granted we've had a cooler summer than usual but suddenly the temps are more 40s and 50s than 60s and 70s. All I want to do is turn on the oven and eat hot food.

Fresh off Wednesday's colorful box of CSA produce, I wanted to use up the tomatoes and red bell peppers as soon as possible because of dinner plans tonight and tomorrow night. This easy recipe calls for roasting (yay!) those two ingredients plus several cloves of garlic and sliced onions.

Aside from my smoke detector going off mid-roast and having to haul out the ladder to unplug the battery (bad, I know, but I couldn't make it stop and worried that my neighbors would call the fire department) and having to open windows to let out some of the smokiness (also bad, now that the heat is on), the veggies charred beautifully.

They might have charred a little too much, actually, because when I pureed all of this in the blender, there were bits of what looked like huge black pepper flakes everywhere. If I was more concerned about the appearance of the soup, I might have strained those out. But to me, it didn't affect the flavor, which had a nice balance between the peppers and tomatoes.

That reminds me, I better go plug that battery back in.

Roasted Tomato and Red Bell Pepper Soup (adapted from Bon Appetit)

2 T olive oil
3 tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
2 red bell peppers, deseeded and sliced in wide strips
1 onion, sliced in thin wedges
5 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/2 t dried thyme
2 cups water
1/4 c crumbled goat cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Arrange tomatoes, peppers, onion, and garlic on baking sheet (even though this creates an extra dish to wash, I like to toss all the veggies with olive oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl before placing on the baking sheet, or you can sprinkle it on after they are arranged). Roast for 40 minutes. Afterwards, place roasted veggies in the blender with thyme and water and puree to your consistency of choice. This soup can be chilled for a few hours and served cold or hot with crumbled goat cheese and fresh sprigs of thyme.


Rachel said...

Hey! I made that soup several weeks ago. I had the same problem - the veggie roasting temp is too high and too long. Mine was a little bitter because of the charred skin. Tonight I made tomato sauce with the orange tomatoes from my garden. I roasted them with onions and garlic and orange pepper at 450 for about 30 mins. YUM!

Lindsay said...

Oooh, will you send me orange tomatoes from your garden so I can try that?


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