Tomato and red pepper soup with Crottin de Chavignol crotes
- September 2007
- 4 red peppers, halved lengthways and deseeded
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1kg vine tomatoes
- 2 garlic bulbs, halved horizontally
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 300-400ml vegetable stock, hot
- 1 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon leaves, plus extra to garnish
- 1 small crusty baguette, sliced into 4
- 2 Crottin de Chavignol AOC cheeses (from cheesemongers), sliced into 8
- Preheat the oven to 200C/ fan180C/gas 6. Put the peppers into a roasting tin and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Put the tomatoes and garlic into a separate roasting tin, season, and toss with another tablespoon of the oil. Transfer the peppers to the top shelf of the oven and the tomatoes below. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until the skins are blistered and the garlic is soft. Transfer the peppers to a freezer bag and seal. Set aside for a few minutes to allow the skins to loosen with the steam.
- Heat the remaining oil in a large heavy-based pan, add the onion and gently fry for 5-8 minutes or until soft. Squeeze the garlic flesh from the bulbs into the pan along with the tomatoes. Discard the skins from the peppers and add the flesh to the pan. Add the stock, sun-dried tomato paste and tarragon and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer until ready to serve.
- Preheat the grill to medium-high. Place the bread slices on a baking tray and grill until toasted on 1 side. Top each untoasted side of bread with 2 goat’s cheese slices and season with black pepper. Return to the grill until just melted.
- Meanwhile, transfer to a food processor, in batches, and whizz briefly until roughly puréed. Season and divide between soup bowls. Garnish the goat’s cheese croûtes with a sprig of tarragon.
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