Last week at the market I got a few bags of cheap tomatoes. Since it is still winter, I didn’t feel like making salad with them (despite the weather actually being quite mild), so soup it was.
Roasting the tomatoes not only helps to intensify their flavour, but cooking tomatoes with a small amount of oil makes the lycopene, an antioxidant which gives tomatoes their red colour (present in all red fruit and vegetables), more readily available and biologically active.
Studies have shown that lycopene can stop cancer cells from attaching to a blood supply which they need to be able to grow and spread. The amount of lycopene required to be effective is thought to be attainable through simply eating food. As it is known that lycopene tends to accumulate in prostate tissues it is suggested that lycopene is particularly protective against prostate cancer, so boys, eat cooked tomatoes!
In this soup I combine roasted tomatoes with roasted capsicums, which team so well together. Although I could have roasted the capsicums myself, I took a short-cut and used the ‘cheat’s’ form or fire roasted peppers that you buy in a jar from the supermarket.
The soup is then topped with crunchy roasted chickpeas to serve, or you could just use some fresh herbs like basil, coriander or chives to finish it off. If you don’t want to use them on the soup, the roasted chickpeas make a great protein rich crunchy snack. You can actually buy roasted chickpeas. They are available in the supermarket, and are called chicnuts.
Served alongside The Grumpy Baker’s Roasted Garlic and Olive Sourdough, this was a most delicious combination…
Roasted Tomato and Capsicum Soup with Roasted Chickpeas
- 2kg ripe roma tomatoes, cut in half
- 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 6 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 large brown onion, chopped
- 1 red chilli finely sliced
- 2 roasted red capsicums, or 2 fire roasted peppers, rinsed and deseeded
- 8 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C. Line both a large and a medium baking tray with baking paper.
- Slice the tomatoes in half and place them in a bowl. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, 2 cloves garlic, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and some freshly ground pepper. Toss to coat well, then place them on the large baking tray
- Roast for about 60 minutes until golden brown.
- Meanwhile, toss the chickpeas with 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1 clove garlic, salt, paprika and cumin and spread over the medium baking tray.
- Roast in the oven for 60-70 minutes until golden and crispy. When cooked allow to cool on the tray.
- Meanwhile heat a large saucepan over medium heat. When hot add 2 teaspoons olive oil and the onion and sautee until soft and the onion starts to brown.
- Add the chilli and 2 cloves of garlic and continue to sautee for a few more minutes.
- When the tomatoes are done, add to the onions along with the roasted capsicum and vegetable stock to the onions.
- Bring the heat up to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Using a stick blenders, blend to a smooth texture. Taste and season if necessary.
- Serve hot sprinkled with roasted chickpeas.