Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup with Cheese Toasties
Recipe: Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup with Cheese Toasties
This recipe is a sophisticated twist on a summer camp classic. As a young boy, Cow House Co-Director Frank Abruzzese spent several summers in New Hampshire on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee at Camp Tecumseh. Grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup were most definitely a camper favourite and gathering from other peoples’ experiences, this particular combination is a popular one.
A few tweaks elevate this dish, the first simply substitutes a good quality cheddar for the more standard American cheese slice. We shred our cheese to ensure an even melt. As always, Kerrygold butter on the bread is key and finally, the added flavour of roasted peppers in the tomato soup is a big step up from the canned variety usually served.
The recipe for this soup is derived from the fantastic Avoca Soup cookbook. Throughout the year, we rely heavily on this book for several delicious recipes and whether we’re hosting artists for one of our residencies or students during our gap year or summer program, the soups never disappoint. Many copies of this book have been purchased at Avoca’s city center location during our trips to Dublin simply because our guests sample so many of their great creations.
Usually, we reserve this particular lunch for days when we’re having critiques. It’s a favourite amongst our students and a comforting break from the hard work of providing thoughtful and constructive feedback about each other’s work. One of the best things about this recipe is how easily it can be scaled up or down. You can feed an army with this meal without too much effort.
The recipe in the book suggests cutting the peppers into large pieces for roasting and while this method is quicker, if you have a bit more time you can roast the peppers whole. Frank’s grandmother used to roast them on high heat in the oven until they were charred black on the outside. This method uses no oil and the peppers retain their delicious juices inside. The only drawback is you need to leave ample time to let them cool before peeling the black skin off. It’s well worth the time but this soup turns out delicious either way. Enjoy! And remember, if you’re not dipping your sandwich in the soup you’re really missing out!
Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup: Ingredients
- 2 red peppers
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 750ml vegetable stock
- 400g can of chopped tomatoes
- 1 sprig of thyme
- a pinch of ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp lime juice
Remove the seeds from the peppers, cut into large pieces and place them skin side up on a tray. Grill the peppers and once they are charred, remove from the oven, place into a bowl, cover in tin foil, and leave them to cool. Saute the onions in the olive oil for about 10 minutes, until they are translucent then add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add in the stock, tomatoes, thyme, cinnamon and some salt and pepper. Bring everything to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in the roasted red peppers and then blitz the soup with a stick blender. Add in the lime juice and season to taste.
Cheese Toasties: Ingredients
- 100g butter, melted
- 250g grated cheddar cheese
- 8 slices of your favourite sliced bread
Preheat your grill oven to 250 Celsius. Brush one side of the slice of bread with melted butter. Put the bread with the butter side down on a baking tray.
Heap on the grated cheese and cover with another slice of bread, butter side facing up. Repeat this step until all of your sandwiches are made. Put the sandwiches in the grill oven on the top rack until they are golden brown. Remove the tray, flip over the sandwiches, return the tray to the oven and grill until golden brown. Remove your cheese toasties from oven and serve hot, with a bowl of roasted red pepper & tomato soup.