Fire roasted tomatoes and red peppers make a bright, spicy and slightly smokey soup that’s equally delicious hot or chilled.
I don’t generally think much about making soup in the summer; except of course when it comes to chilled soups (like this one or this one), even better if they do double duty and can be served either hot or cold like this roasted red pepper and tomato soup.
While we all tend to think of soup as cold weather comfort food a chilled soup shooter at a summer soirée can be just as nice. After all, summertime is prime tomato and red pepper season, so why wait?
The soup is quite simple, a velvety blend of red peppers and tomatoes in a rich rust-colored shade. It’s got a little sass and spunk thanks to harissa and the smokiness of the fire-roasted vegetables. The peppers and tomatoes are sliced in half then arranged on a baking sheet cut side down and placed under the broiler until their skins blacken and char (you can also do this on an outdoor grill), then left to steam for a few minutes. The steam will soften the skins, making them easy to remove.
Fire-roasting the peppers and tomatoes this way gives the soup an extra sweet and smokey depth of flavor you wouldn’t get just from simmering them together on the stovetop.
Speaking of stovetop, once the vegetables are ready, you quickly simmer them in a mixture of olive oil, garlic and harissa paste, and then blend until silky smooth. If you prefer a bit of texture in your soup, simple blend half and add it back to the pot for a chunkier version.
I find the flavor improves with an overnight rest in the fridge so I like to plan on making the soup a day ahead of time. If you’re serving it cold, all that’s left to do is to pour it into some chilled glasses and serve. Or if the weather permits and you’d prefer to serve it warm, simply re-heat and serve when ready. A little dollop of yogurt (I like this coconut one) on top is a nice finishing touch in either case. Enjoy!