A bright tomato soup is a crave-satisfying, sandwich-pairing staple, and this one is made even more desirable with the addition of roasted red bell peppers.
You can easily roast your own red bell peppers under the broiler, on the grill or directly on the flame of a gas burner. However, jars packed with roasted red peppers are easy to find in groceries stocked with the olives and pickled products, and the flavor can be better than what most can achieve with only a simple kitchen stove. The taste of the roasted peppers marries beautifully with that of the tomatoes, yielding a deep and tangy tomato-like profile that is greater than the sum of its parts.
Any tomatoes can be used, and canned offers good quality over fresh as they lose some of their fruity taste. One preferred substitution is to find the fire-roasted variation on the canned, diced tomatoes as that brings yet another roasty element to the soup that matches that of the peppers. Of course, roasting your own tomatoes is always a good option.
The slight addition of half-and-half is not enough to transform this into a cream of tomato soup, but it is just enough to smooth out the texture and round off some of the sharper flavor components of the tomatoes and peppers. Carrots and granulated sugar ensure just a hint of sweetness to enhance the natural sugars of the other vegetables.
Pair this soup as a lunchtime sandwich combo, and garnish as you would any bowl or cup of tomato soup using shredded cheese or fresh basil. Of course, goldfish crackers are a preferred choice.
Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Soup
14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
12-oz jar roasted red peppers
1 yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 T tomato paste
2 c chicken stock
½ c half-and-half
1 T basil
1 t sugar
1 Chop the onion and carrot, and mince the garlic.
2 Sauté the onion, carrot and garlic in the oil until soft, about 5 min. Stir in the tomato paste.
3 Add the tomato, red pepper and stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, 25 min.
4 Add the dairy, sugar and basil, and season to taste.
5 Purée in batches until smooth.