Yesterday, my dad came round for a barbecue. He brought me a freshly baked loaf of bread. My dad has baked this particular bread throughout my entire childhood, and both my sisters and I love it. Determined to eat it all before it went dry, I decided I should use some of it with my dinner, and nothing goes better with bread than soup, right? Also, I was feeling a need to be a little bit healthy, and this soup, my friends, is healthy.
Tomato soup with grilled peppers and cannellini beans:
5 large, ripe tomatoes
3 red peppers
6 large cloves of garlic
1 litre of tomato juice
Small handful of fresh basil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
1 tin of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed.
Cottage cheese, creme fraiche or similar.
Cut the stems off the tomatoes and peppers. Cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds. Place the tomatoes stem-side down and the peppers skin-side up on a baking tray lined with baking paper, and place the garlic gloves, skins left on, on the baking tray as well. Put the tray into a hot oven at 200 degrees C. Once the tomato skins have loosened and the garlic cloves are soft, remove tomatoes and garlic cloves from the oven. This should take about 10 minutes. Leave the red peppers in the oven for another 5 or 10 minutes, until charred. Once charred, remove the peppers from the oven and place them in a sealed plastic container. Meanwhile, remove the skins from the tomatoes and squeeze the soft garlic cloves out of their skins. Roughly chop the tomatoes and garlic cloves, and add them to a large saucepan. Add the tomato juice and bring to a boil. While the tomato juice is coming to a boil, peel the skin off the peppers. Roughly chop just one of them and add this to the saucepan. Let the tomato juice simmer for about 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and liquidize the soup using a hand-blender, and return to the heat. Roughly chop the remaining grilled peppers, and add these, cannellini beans and roughly chopped basil to the soup. Season with balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Serve with a slice of nice, wholemeal bread and a spoonful of cottage cheese or creme fraiche.