Hospitality legend Maura O’Connell Foley, shares accessible and delicious Irish recipes contained within her new cookbook, My Wild Atlantic Kitchen – Recipes & Recollections.
“The flavour in this soup will be predominantly red pepper – the poor tomatoes get lost; however, they are necessary to give a balance and reduce the intensity of the pepper flavour. I have included two chillies in this recipe which gives a mild heat to the soup; add or omit chillies depending on the level of heat you would like.”
What you need:
• 4 red peppers, split and seeded
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 55g butter
• 3 onions or 6 shallots, sliced
• 4 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped
• 900g ripe vine or sweet tomatoes or very good
quality tinned tomatoes, chopped
• 3 tablespoons good quality tomato purée
• 2 red chillies, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
• 1 litre vegetable stock or chicken stock
• Sea salt and cracked black pepper
• 2 tbsp pesto for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to fan 200°C / fan 400°F / gas mark 7.
2. Lay out the peppers on a baking tray, drizzle over the olive oil and season. Roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until softened but not charred. Set aside to cool and slice with the skins on.
3. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over a low heat, along with any oil/juices from the baking tray. Add the onions or shallots and garlic, cover and sweat with the lid on for 20 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the tomatoes, tomato purée, red chillies and sliced red peppers. Stir together, cover and sweat for 10 minutes.
5. Add the stock, turn up the heat and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat and blitz using a hand blender, or food processor, in batches. If using a food processor, return to the saucepan and heat it very gently.
6. Season to taste and serve hot, with a swirl of pesto.
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