Among all vegetables, peppers arguably have the most unique flavor! Romano peppers are sweeter and caramelize wonderfully when roasted, which makes them a great addition to a tomato-based soup, balancing its acidity and gaining depth in return.
If this isn’t enough, like most Italian soups this recipe makes use of the classic celery/carrot/onion soffritto both as a thickener and for its flavor. Again, roasting is key to cause browning and the development of the many aromatic compounds that go with it.
The predictable addition of chili powder adds yet another layer of complexity and, of course, the nerve endings stimulus that we perceive as heat (please check out my very first podcast titled Salty and Spicy to hear more about the chemistry involved.)
Oh, this recipe happens to be vegan 🙂 Enjoy!
- 1/4 onion, chopped
- 2 celery sticks, sliced
- 1 carrot, cubed
- 2 red 'Romano' peppers, sliced
- 200 g 'passata' strained tomatoes
- 20 g tomato paste
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- olive oil
- chili powder
- black pepper, ground
- Roast the peppers in olive oil, with some salt, in a frying pan at medium heat until tender - 15 minutes (add a splash of water from time to time if the peppers start to burn).
- Meanwhile, roast the other veggies in olive oil for 10 minutes at high heat in a medium pot.
- Add the roasted peppers, the strained tomatoes, the tomato paste, and the veggie stock to the pot with the vegetables. Bring to a boil.
- Lower the heat and cook for 1/2 hr stirring from time to time.
- Strain the soup using a strainer or a food mill with a fine mesh.
- Re-add the strained soup to the pot and resume cooking for another 1/2 hr stirring occasionally.
- Add chili powder to taste and adjust the salt.
- Serve with a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper.