Roasted Leek & Yellow Pepper Soup by Liz Franklin

Serves 4

Crunchy sweet peppers are both low in calories and rich in vitamin C. Yellow peppers make an especially cheery, sunny-coloured soup and oven roasting them concentrates all those delicious flavours.

Ingredients

  • 4-5 plump yellow peppers
  • 2 leeks, topped, tailed and washed
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely diced
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 medium potato, cut into small chunks
  • 1.2 litres (2 pints) good tasty chicken or vegetable stock (home-made if possible)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Additional olive oil to garnish

Instructions

  1. Cut the top and base from each of the yellow peppers, remove the seeds and then cut into thin strips. Cut the leeks into strips the same size as the peppers. Place the leeks and peppers in a Roasting-Dish and sprinkle with the garlic. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the top, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and place in a medium oven for 40-45 minutes until nicely roasted and soft.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large casserole or saucepan and saut the onion and celery for 5 minutes until softened but not browned. Add the potatoes and carrot and cook for 3-4 minutes more. Add the leeks and most of the peppers (reserve a few for garnish), the stock, thyme and bay leaf and simmer for 30 minutes or so until the potatoes are nice and soft.
  3. Place the soup in a blender or use a Bamix , and whiz until smooth. Adjust the seasoning (adding a good grind of black pepper) and serve in bowls, garnished with a little of the reserved roasted peppers and a drizzle of olive oil.

Tip: Use the brilliant Bamix De Luxe hand-blender for whizzing everything up to a perfect ‘souper’-smooth consistency while it’s still in the pan so speedy and simple, and it really keeps the mess to a minimum.