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Tomato soup and laddle with spoon
Image by Benito Martin / Contributor
November 12, 2020
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One of the best things about soup is how you can make one that's truly incredible with only a few ingredients, and this recipe is no exception. But making fresh tomato soup out of season can be difficult because it's harder to get good, flavorful tomatoes. Luckily, Danielle Alvarez has a plan for that: including carrots and peppers in the mix to bring in a bit more natural sweetness—the perfect solution for making this recipe in the autumn.
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A good hot tomato soup is one of my favorite things. I made this soup for a friend toward the end of summer, with few ingredients. It was delicious because everything was so sweet at that time of year.

However, even a great tomato can have too much acidity, so I included sweet red pepper, and the flavor was incredible. Look for a variety such as bullhorn or Jimmy Nardellos, which are superior to your standard watery bell pepper. The squash blossom leaves are not essential but add the loveliest texture. And, of course, basil—nothing says summer more than the combination of tomato and basil. 

Tomato, Red Pepper & Carrot Soup

Serves 4 

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Ingredients

  • 4 large red or yellow heirloom tomatoes
  • ⅓ cup olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 2 large carrots or 8 small heirloom carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 5½ oz. Jimmy Nardello sweet red peppers cut lengthways, seeds removed, finely chopped
  • 27 fl. oz. light chicken stock, or water
  • ½ bunch basil, plus extra leaves, to garnish
  • 1 oz. cold butter
  • 8 squash blossoms or zucchini flowers, to garnish 

Method

  1. Cut the tomatoes through the equator, gently squeeze out the seeds, and discard. Dice up the flesh and set aside. 
  2. Add half the olive oil to a large stockpot and sauté the onion and garlic with 1 teaspoon of the salt for 10 to 12 minutes until soft but without any color. Next, add the carrots, peppers, and tomatoes with the remaining salt. Sauté for at least 10 minutes before adding the stock and basil, then bring up to a simmer.
  3. Simmer for about 15 minutes until the carrot and pepper are tender. Remove the basil, then transfer to a high-speed blender and blitz until smooth. Add the butter and remaining olive oil while the machine is still running. Check for seasoning and add more salt if needed. Adjust the consistency with water until it is slightly thicker than heavy cream. 
  4. Bring back to a simmer. Serve hot with two flowers pulled apart over each bowl (discard the stamen first). Garnish with basil leaves and finish with a drizzle of olive oil. 
Excerpted with permission from Always Add Lemon: Recipes You Want To Cook—Food You Want To Eat by Danielle Alvarez; on sale November 10, 2020, from Hardie Grant.
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Danielle Alvarez
Danielle Alvarez
Chef & cookbook author

Danielle Alvarez is a professional chef currently living and working in Sydney, Australia. Danielle Alvarez is a force. Born to a food-loving Cuban family in Miami, the lure of the kitchen took her to California to work with some of America's finest, first at The French Laundry, then Boulettes Larder and finally Chez Panisse. She moved to Sydney, Australia, in 2016 when the Merivale Group asked her to head up the kitchen in their strikingly beautiful new restaurant, Fred's. She and the restaurant won fast acclaim—and continue to be rated among the best in the country. Her debut cookbook, Always Add Lemons, was published in 2020.