Tomato soup is a classic. This spicy comforting version is packed with flavour by roasting the tomatoes, red peppers and red onions with fresh thyme, garlic, chilli flakes, cumin seeds and sweet smoked paprika. The addition of the tinned kidney beans not only thicken the soup as half are blended with the roasted vegetables also give a great texture as the other half are left whole.
Its a lovely soup to have after a winters walk to warm up yourself and your friends. It makes a hearty main course served up with some great bread a few cheeses and a green salad simply dressed in a lemon (using the zest from the lemon too) and olive oil dressing.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 red peppers, deseeded, cut into chunks
- 600g tomatoes, cut into quarters ( I used cherry tomatoes so left them whole )
- 1 red onion ( about 180g ), peeled,cut into chunks
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 level tsp cumin seeds
- A good pinch of chilli flakes ( go easy if you don't like the heat from the chills you can always add them when you are heating up the soup in step 7 of the method or just miss them out! )
- 1 heaped tsp sweet smoked paprika
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled, cut into chunks
- Cooking chorizo cut into 20 thin slices (optional)
- 1 x 400g tin red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 500ml vegetable stock
- 1 heaped tbsp tomato puree or sun dried tomato puree
- flaky salt and freshly ground black pepper
- zest from 1 lemon
- small bunch of fresh coriander or parsley, roughly chopped
- Creme Fraiche, sour cream or natural yoghurt to serve.
- Preheat the oven to 180℃ / gas mark 4
- Put the tomatoes, red pepper, red onion, garlic, cumin seeds and thyme leaves into a baking tray. Stir in the olive oil and sprinkle over the chilli flakes and sweet smoked paprika.
- Put the baking tray into the oven and roast the vegetables for 30 minutes, allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.
- Whilst the vegetables are roasting heat a frying pan over a medium heat ( no oil needed, the chorizo will cook in its own oil ) add the sliced chorizo and fry until browned.
- Put the roasted vegetable mixture into a blender or food processor with half of the red kidney beans and the vegetable stock and blend/process, keeping a little texture.
- Pour the soup into a saucepan, add the rest of the red kidney beans and tomato puree, heat gently to a good simmer. Do not allow the soup to boil.
- Taste the soup and season with flaky salt and freshly ground black pepper. If you like it spicier add a little more chilli flakes or chilli powder to taste.
- Ladle into bowls and top with lemon zest, chopped fresh parsley or coriander and some slices of the fried chorizo.
- Put some creme fraiche, sour cream or natural yoghurt into a bowl and serve alongside the soup.
If like me you like chilli but don’t like it to blow your head off just go easy with the chilli flakes when adding them to the roasted vegetables. You can always add more at a later stage but you can’t take them out!
The roasted vegetables that give this soup a great flavour and brilliant red colour.
Tinned/canned red kidney beans just need rinsing and draining for this recipe so are easy and convenient to use. Dried kidney beans need soaking and should be cooked carefully following the packet instructions as they contain toxins on the outer skin when raw, which are rendered harmless by boiling.
Thyme is one of my favourite herbs to grow in the garden as you can pick it all year round. There are hundreds of species of thyme but Thymus Vulgaris or garden thyme is the popular culinary herb. It has a strong flavour and is commonly used in the making of bouquet garni the classic herb mix used in casseroles and soups.
Thyme is a drought loving plant so plant in well drained soil and it prefers a sunny sheltered spot. It also grows well in pots, just make sure you do not over water it.
Thyme leaves can be used to flavour vinegars and oils that can be tuned into wonderful dressings and marinades. Lemon thyme (another favourite) is enhanced with a wonderful lemony essence and fantastic added to the pan when roasting chicken.
Making soup is one of my favourite culinary processes and eating it is one of my favourite pass times. I hope you enjoy making and eating this soup too.
Thank you for taking the time to read through this recipe, happy cooking!