Thursday, January 26, 2012

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

Obviously, I am on some sort of soup kick these days. Since last week I made French onion soup that I really enjoyed, I decided to be extra bold today and attempt to make a version of Panera's creamy tomato soup (again). I have attempted to make this soup probably five times and each time I simply hate the way it tastes. The only tomato soup that I enjoy is the one from Panera so unless it tastes similar to that, I'm not a fan.

Since I have tried to make this soup before, I have looked over dozens of recipes. Similar to the French onion soup recipes, I found recipes that sounded super difficult or easy ones with terrible reviews. Soooooooooo I made this one up too! I used a bunch of ideas from other recipes, but then added stuff along the way. 

I based it mostly off of this recipe that I found on pinterest, but it called for all fresh ingredients. Fresh ingredients can get expensive and I didn't want to have to roast the tomatoes and red peppers so I cheated and threw in a can of fire roasted tomatoes. Anyways, I really loved the way this turned out. It's a little more red pepper flavored and spicier than the Panera soup, but I would say it comes pretty close!!

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp roasted garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
Pepper (freshly ground is best)

3 (14.5 oz) cans whole tomatoes with juices
1 (14.5 oz) can diced fire roasted tomatoes with juices*
1 (14.5 oz) can vegetable broth
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. dried ground thyme
1 tsp. Spanish paprika
½ tsp dried sweet basil
1 tsp. dried parsley
pinch of red pepper flakes (add to taste)

1 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

*This saves you the time of having to roast the tomatoes.

1.     Heat olive oil over moderate heat. Add garlic, onion and peppers and cook until soft but not brown, about 10 minutes.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2.     Stir in tomatoes, vegetable broth, sugar and spices. Bring to a boil. Cook over lower heat, and simmer for 20 minutes or until tomatoes and onions are tender.
3.     In a small bowl, melt butter and stir in flour. It might help to add some of the tomato juice to this mixture to thin out before adding to soup. Stirring slowly, add the broth/vegetable mixture.  Add more salt and pepper to taste.
4.     Use an immersion blender to blend the soup. Or place solids in food processor or blender, and process until fairly smooth. 
5.    Ladle into bowls and top with croutons or serve with grilled cheese. 

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