Cheat’s Tomato and Roasted Capsicum Soup with Passata Recipe
When I was a kid my dad was in hospital for an extended stay after a heart attack, and I remember mum taking us along after school to visit him. We often turned up around meal time, and I have a vivid memory of some of the other men in dad’s room offering me their bread rolls on tomato soup night. Perfect, pillowy white bread rolls were served with the most delicious tomato soup I have ever eaten. I know it was the most delicious I’ve ever eaten, because despite my parent’s efforts, I would never eat another bowl of tomato soup again – it just “wasn’t like the hospital soup” I remember arguing. (In those days, I think all the hospital meals were still cooked at the nearby prison, and you just can’t beat a prison cook!)
I hate tinned tomatoes, mainly because of the skin and seeds (and seedless, skinless tins of tomatoes are not failsafe), so I pretty much never eat homemade tomato soup because I’m afraid of finding something unwanted in my bowl. I like my tomato soup to be more like a watered down pasta sauce than a tinned tomato soup. I even like to use my Vegetable Soup for Fussy Eaters recipe and blitz that up, making it quite watery/stock-y.
I’ve suggested you top it with some crunchy garlic croutons but you could always just cut the bread into fingers, grill it and rub it with garlic if you prefer something to dip into your soup. If you like your soup thicker, just adjust the quantities of passata and stock until you have the consistency you want.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 brown onion, finely diced
- 2-3 cloves garlic, finely diced (I like 5-6 cloves, but 2-3 is good for normal people)
- 3 chargrilled roasted capsicums from a jar
- 500ml tomato passata (sieved crushed tomatoes)
- 500ml water or stock (chicken or vegetable)
- A handful of fresh basil leaves (optional)
- 4 slices Italian bread, torn into small pieces (use any bread you like)
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
Heat a pan over medium heat and sweat the onions in a tablespoon of oil until translucent. Add the 2-3 cloves of finely diced (or crush it if you like) garlic and stir for one minute to release their flavour. Add the roasted capsicums (you can slice them up if you prefer) and continue cooking until they are heated through. Add the passata and stock, and cook for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 180 degrees celcius. Toss the bread, the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, and the garlic together in a bowl. Tip onto a baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden and crispy.
Once your soup is ready, you can either leave it chunky or as I would prefer, blitz it with a hand blender or a normal blender until smooth. Roughly chop or tear the basil and add to the soup. Serve with a dash of cream, sour cream, or a sprinkling of parmesan if desired, and your croutons.