Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

oh good Lord that's an awful photo

I lurve the Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato soup from Trader Joe's - problem? Sugar.
That crystallized enemy of South Beachers everywhere, that turns up in just about every processed food. No wonder Americans have such a sweet tooth, there is some version of sugar in nearly every packaged food, sauce or condiment we eat! We eat 71 pounds of it a year. Oof.
While I don't foresee cutting it out of my diet completely (hello fruit), I certainly want to be the boss of how much goes into my meals.
A hankering for crispy cheese and yummy tomato soup led me to making my own version of the TJ's staple. And you know what? I like that it's not as sweet. So there.

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup
1/2 of a chopped onion (1 cup or so)
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 large cans of tomatoes (I got the 365 whole tomatoes from Whole Foods; the big size, not the standard soup can size)
2 1/2 red peppers (I had a half of one on hand; you can go with two peppers, or three)
basil (I used 3 frozen cubes, probably about 2 tbsp of chopped basil, but you can use dried or fresh, whatever you have)
pinch of something sweet (sugar, Splenda, whatever)
1-2 tbsps of something creamy (ff half and half, sour cream, cream, milk, etc.)
olive oil
salt & pepper

Roast the peppers (either in the oven or if you have a gas range, over the burners) until the skin is blackened. Place in a bowl with plastic wrap over the top to steam; this makes it easier to remove the skin.
In a soup pot, add a tbsp or so of olive oil and saute the onion and garlic until translucent. Add the cans of tomatoes and set to simmering, stirring occasionally.
Peel the peppers and slice them, removing the stem and seeds. Add to the tomatoes and simmer some more. I probably only let this simmer for about half an hour, but you can definitely cover it and allow it to go longer.
Toward the end of the simmer cycle, add the basil.
Puree with a hand blender (or in a regular blender) til smooth. Season with salt and pepper and add your cream. Mix in, and serve with yummy crispy cheese. You can garnish with more cream (a dollop of sour, or a swirl of liquid) and a basil leaf if you're feeling fancy in the pants.

1 comment:

Quinn said...

I ate it and it was better than the beloved TJ's box. Also, Jen, fruit says hello back.