Roasting, we all know, brings out deeper, richer flavor in vegetables. This soup is a prime example. The soup can be eaten cold, room temperature, or hot–perfect for these changeable late summer/early fall days. The roasted vegetable purée, without the added liquid, is a delicious sauce on its own for pasta or other cooked grains.
2 lbs or so tomatoes, halved
2 large sweet red peppers, quartered and seeded
1 medium to large onion, peeled and sliced into thin wedges
3 – 4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 fresh chile pepper, seeded and chopped, optional
2 – 3 T vegetable oil, divided
salt and pepper, to taste
3 c broth, stock or water, plus extra if needed
ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, or yogurt, for serving
fresh chopped herb, for garnish
hot pepper sauce, optional (if not using optional chile pepper, or in addition to)
1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Put tomatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, and chile pepper, if using in a bowl. Add 2 T oil, salt, and pepper and gently toss. Use remaining 1T oil to grease a baking sheet. Transfer vegetables to baking sheet, tomatoes cut side down. Or, put vegetables on baking sheet, drizzle with oil and gently toss on baking sheet. Make sure, if doing this, that the surface of the baking sheet is covered with oil, to prevent any burning of the vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2. Roast for about 40 minutes, occasional turning vegetables over. Don’t worry if the tomatoes collapse when you turn them; they’re going to be puréed anyway.
3. Remove from oven and transfer roasted vegetables and juices to a food processor. You may need to do this in batches. Purée. The consistency of the purée is your call. If you’re going to serve this cold, transfer purée to a bowl and add enough broth, stock or water to create a soup. Start with 2 cups. Stir well to combine and refrigerate for a few hours. If serving hot or at room temperature, combine purée and liquid in a soup pot and heat through.
4. Serve with a dollop of ricotta, cottage cheese, sour cream, or yogurt. Garnish with some fresh chopped herb and a dash of hot sauce, if you like.