A perennial comfort-food favorite, tomato soup gets a little kick and extra depth of flavor by blending in a chipotle chile, putting a grown-up spin on this childhood favorite, which makes a sensational meatless Monday meal. Roast your own bell peppers over a gas burner or under the broiler, or, to save time, purchased roasted bell peppers in a jar.
Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup with Thyme Croutons
For the croutons:
- 1 small loaf ciabatta
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
- Pinch of kosher salt
For the soup:
- 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce
- 1 can (28 oz./875 g) crushed tomatoes
- 2 Tbs. tomato paste
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) vegetable broth
1. Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C).
2. To the make the croutons, trim the crust from the ciabatta and cut the bread into 2-inch (5-cm) cubes. Spread the bread cubes on a baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the thyme and salt. Toss to coat the bread cubes evenly, then spread the bread in a single layer. Transfer to the oven and toast until the croutons are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
3. To make the soup, in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion, celery and garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the roasted peppers, chipotle chile, tomatoes, tomato paste and a pinch each of salt and pepper and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. Transfer the contents of the pan to a blender, let cool slightly and carefully blend until it forms a smooth puree. Return the mixture to the pan over medium heat. Stir in the vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
4. To serve, ladle the soup into individual bowl. Divide the croutons evenly among the bowls and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen