Ma’s panicking about a dinner party she has to host on Saturday. She’s a very good cook, no one can make a better lemon meringue pie like she can (if you’re reading dear Mama, you couldn’t send me the recipe could you?) and her stir-fries are the best. However, one of the guests coming along this weekend was a semi-finalist in Masterchef so you can imagine she’s a little nervous. Anyway she’s making a soup for starters that I have the recipe to and I’ve just emailed it to her and I thought to myself, it sounds so nice why don’t I put it on the blog? It’s not one of mine, it’s from a now out of print book called The Pocket Soup Cookbook published by Penguin. It’s well worth seeking it out, it’s rather good. No photo of it as I’ve never made it so here’s a [not very good] artists impression of the hot steaming bowl of goodness that’s perfect for these rather miserable winter days..
Red pepper soup with coriander pesto
2 large red peppers
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
400g tinned plum tomatoes
4 cups veg stock
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons sugar
Salt and pepper
1 bunch fresh coriander, leaves trimmed and stems discarded
1 bunch parsley, leaves trimmed and stems discarded
2 cloves garlic
60g roasted cashew nuts
60g freshly grated parmesan cheese
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
To make coriander pesto, blend first five ingredients in a food processor, then gradually add oil until a smooth, creamy sauce forms
Cut peppers in half and remove pith and seeds. Grill until skins are blistered and black. Remove to a bowl, cover with cling film and cool for five minutes. When cool, remove skins and finely chop flesh
In a saucepan heat oil and add onion and garlic. Cook over a gentle heat for 3-4 minutes. Add pepper, tomato and stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool a little. Add Lemon zest and juice, sugar and salt and pepper.
Place in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Check seasoning and return to the saucepan. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with coriander pesto.
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