October 27, 2012
Quick Soup: Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper
by Gareth Mark
A mug of hot soup on a crisp Fall day is a true delight. When the soup is made from scratch in just a few minutes from four ingredients found in the pantry and refrigerator, it's even better.
Okay, maybe I cheated a bit. The tomatoes were pre-strained, boxed Italian tomatoes. And the roasted red pepper was drained, chopped Chrourk M'teh that I had sitting in the refrigerator.
Technically, the soup I made was neither vegan nor even vegetarian, because the Chrourk M'teh has fish sauce in it. But if you want a vegan or vegetarian version, or don't want to make Chrourk M'teh just to make some soup, roast some red bell peppers and add some garlic confit.
In addition to the strained tomatoes and Chrourk M'teh, I used a small amount of kosher salt and some balsamic vinegar. If you don't have balsamic vinegar in your pantry, I feel sorry for you, but you could use a bit of some other richly-flavored sweetener, like brown sugar. The tomatoes are fairly acidic and need something to balance their flavor.
So, I opened the box of strained tomatoes and poured them into a pan. Then, I chopped the Chrourk M'teh and added it. A bit of low heat and a few minutes later, I tasted, salted, and added about a teaspoon of balsamic. After a bit more time for the flavors to marry and mellow, I adjusted with a splash more balsamic, and the soup was ready to serve.
Yes, it really was that simple.