For Christmas this year, I received (amongst other things):
Two Terry’s Chocolate Oranges
A bar of Swedish chocolate
A bar of chocolate in the shape of Father Christmas
Some chocolate snowballs
Some chocolate coins
I don’t know about you, but I can’t manage that amount of chocolate as well as normal meals. If I ate normally, this chocolate would take months to get through. So here’s a light soup recipe that will leave enough room in your belly for all the chocolate you could want.
I love how healthy this recipe is – it’s basically just some roasted vegetables blitzed up, but it’s so much more satisfying than it sounds. Roasting the vegetables gives them an amazing rich, sweet flavour, and served with a little warm bread, this is a really delicious soup. Plus, since the soup is so good for you, you have guilt left over to spend on chocolate.
This soup was made with my brand new blender (another Christmas present) – expect to see more soup recipes shortly!

Roasted tomato and red pepper soup with roasted garlic and chives

Serves 3-4
2 large red peppers
500g tomatoes
6tbsp sunflower oil
3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 onion
Handful chives
1 vegetable stock cube
Black pepper
Drizzle of cream to serve

Preheat the oven to 200°C (Gas Mark 6 / 400°C).

Halve the red peppers and remove the seeds. Lay in a deep baking tray and drizzle with half the oil. Put on the top shelf of the oven.

Halve the onion and cut each half into approximately four wedges. Lay them in another deep baking dish with the tomatoes and unpeeled garlic cloves. Put in the oven underneath the peppers.

After around 40 minutes, remove the peppers from the oven. Place them in a plastic freezer bag, seal, and leave for 20 minutes, or until cool. Set aside the other roasted vegetables.

After 20 minutes, remove the peppers from the bag and remove the skins with a knife. Transfer the pepper flesh to a blender with the roasted tomatoes and onion. Squeeze the flesh of each garlic clove into the blender too. Also add the chives and black pepper, and crumble in the stock cube. Do not blend  quite yet.

Pour a little boiling water into each baking dish (now empty), and scrape around the pan to allow the juices and flavours to mix with the water. Add this to the blender. Blitz the contents until smooth, and transfer to a large saucepan to heat through. Add a little water to make the soup thinner if you need to.

Serve hot with a drizzle of cream and a few more chopped chives.