Well it is high time I got back on the horse and added something to this blog despite still knowing so little about the how to’s!
Right after Christmas it seems that most of us want to get back to the basics. We have had enough sugar that should keep us stoked for a few months; however, sadly that sugar high just doesn’t seem to last. Rather than come crashing down I have found a perfect solution: Roasted veggies.
Come January, I always have a hankering for roasting vegetables. As I said, I am sure this is caused by the need to keep the sugar level sustained and roasting always brings the sugars out of the veggies. So even when faced with veggies that I don’t like, (hello brussel sprouts and beets I’m talking about you) I find that roasting makes them amenable to almost anyone, particularly with a drizzle of balsamic or some other fabulous olive oil.
I still had plenty of veggies in the fridge from New Year’s raclette having gorged mostly on cheese, meat and potatoes (really could there be a much more indulgent meal to “eat in” the new year?) I figured a refreshing roasted tomato and pepper soup would be a good start to the cleanse.
When I am roasting veggies, I almost always tend to roast a few extra peppers, tomatoes, garlic or whatever else I have on hand as they are great in other meals later in the week such as salads, pastas or sandwiches so don’t be afraid to throw a few more onto the pan and then create a second or third meal from them.
Roasted red pepper and tomato soup
6 long sweet peppers
1 yellow bell pepper
1 small onion
Several cloves of garlic, roasted (I usually just roast a whole head and then use the remainder in other dishes – garlic is so much mellower when roasted)
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
8 Campari tomatoes (or other medium size tomatoes)
Olive oil for grilling
Turn on the oven to 450 degrees. The first step is to roast all of the vegetables, so you will need a large cookie sheet or two.
- De-stem your peppers, cutting them lengthwise and taking out any remaining seeds.
- Peel the onion and cut it in quarters.
- Slice the tomatoes in half.
- Cut just the tips off the garlic head with one fell swoop so that you can see the garlic inside.
- Place the peppers, tomatoes and onion on the cookie sheet and then drizzle them with oil (just enough that they have a slight glisten). You could also spray them or use a pastry brush to give them a light coat. If you are really watching the calories, you can leave the olive oil off completely.
- Drizzle the head of garlic with oil and put it on the sheet too.
- Cook for approximately 30 minutes keeping a close watch for burning. You may have to turn your oven down to 350 half way through.
- Once the veggies have roasted, take a food processor or blender and puree them. I prefer to leave the skins on the peppers but if you wish to peel them, you can do that too. Be careful if putting them in the blender while still hot as it is easy for the puree to burn if it escapes.
- Gently add two cups of cold broth to the puree. You may then heat it on the stove or if you have a Vitamix, use the hot soup setting to heat your meal.
Enjoy with a big spinach salad and you are well on your way to setting the tempo for a healthy new year!