During the winter, we all crave something warm. Something earthy and warm. Despite popular belief, tomatoes won’t make you fat, in fact this recipe is nutritionist-approved since tomatoes are only mildly acidifying and are nutritionally dense. I’ve been making this for a year or two and I even have it in the summer sometimes! The best thing about this recipe is that it’s very versatile, some days I’ll skip the garlic and some days I’ll skip the onions. You can change up the seasoning and you can replace the red bell pepper with carrots and celery! I sometimes even skip the olive oil when I’m trying to avoid added fat to my diet on a certain day. Aaaand you can have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner! Since the typical Cairene home isn’t equipped with heating, here’s a blanket in a bowl for you!
Roasted Tomato and Red Bell Pepper Soup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Baking Time: 35-45 minutes
4-5 ripe tomatoes*
1 red bell pepper
1 red onion
2 cloves of garlic
A splash of olive oil
A dash of salt and pepper according to taste
1 tbsp of oregano or basil (or both!)
1 glass of water
Balsamic vinegar and herbs for serving
A slice of bread or crackers for dipping
*I noticed that when I use unripe tomatoes, the soup tastes slightly acidic so the more ripe the tomatoes, the better!
**Using a deeper glass dish or a Pyrex, from my experience, is a lot better.
***When the ingredients aren’t spread out, they cook in their own juices and they don’t dry out or stick. The result is a beautiful bright red color and a smoother taste without the smokiness.
Step 1: Preheat your oven. I don’t really set the temperature; I turn it on to the maximum setting.
Step 2: Slice the tomatoes and onions into rings, the red bell pepper into thin slices, and the garlic into halves. Take care not to thinly slice the onions or garlic since they burn very quickly.
Step 3: Spread everything on an oven tray or Pyrex, drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle the peppers and herbs.
Step 4: Place the tray in an oven for 30-45 minutes but make sure to check on it every once in a while after the first 20 minutes have passed. The tomatoes would have released their juices at that point so stir the ingredients if they look like they’re drying out and the juice from the tomatoes will prevent sticking.
Step 5: While everything is roasting in the oven, boil one glass of water (or a bit more in case you like your soup thinner)
Step 6: When everything is browned and aromatic, take it all out of the oven, dump all the ingredients in a blender along with the boiling water and blend until smooth. I like mine very thick but feel free to add more water if you like yours lighter.
Step 7: Transfer to a bowl and drizzle with balsamic vinegar (optional) and herbs. Serve with bread or crackers, or even better a light green salad!