Most food and recipe blogs will start off with a long introduction about how the idea for the recipe came to them, how they developed it and why they love it etc… whilst there is nothing wrong with this at all, and I’m sure dozens upon dozens of people enjoy reading cosy descriptions about evenings in front of the fire spent as a child being the inspiration for a recipe. I am one of the people who slides straight past that information to see what’s in the recipe, have I got it at home already, and how much of my day is going to be spent producing this food that I have, spur of the moment, decided to put energy into.
I am, however, going to touch on the benefits of the components to this soup, despite it being delicious, this is a Nutrition Blog after all it would be criminal not to.
‘Antioxidant’ is a buzzword that is frequently thrown around in the diet and wellness space. It’s often over complicated to lead consumers and the public to believe these mysterious compounds can only be accessed by consuming food supplements and powders like wheatgrass powder amongst other things.
Truthfully it could not be more simple: antioxidants are found in highly pigmented fruits and vegetables. For example, you will find the antioxidant resveratrol in foods with purple pigments, like aubergines and black grapes. Red foods like tomatoes contain the antioxidant Lycopene. The more varied your diet is in colourful fruits and vegetables the more antioxidants you will be benefitting from.
What are the benefits?
Despite the word antioxidant being thrown around to no prevail, the benefits are less clearly explained. There have been rigorous studies investigating the benefits of antioxidants in foods. Antioxidants are known to be implemented in the reduction of inflammation – rounding up or ‘scavenging’ harmful free radicals that everyday life exposes us to.
You will need:
4 Red peppers
3 to 4 large vine tomatoes
3 to 4 cloves of garlic
1 red onion
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1.5-2 vegetable stock cubes (use low salt variety to lower sodium content)
black pepper to taste
pinch of sea salt to taste
Splash of balsamic vinegar
Splash of Olive oil
Chopped parsley to serve.
- Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C.
- Chop the peppers, tomatoes, and red onion into large chunks. It doesn’t have to be neat, about the size of the onion and tomatoes quartered is sufficient.
- Crush the garlic cloves with the flat side of a large knife, this should loosen the skin enough to peel it off easily.
- Place all of your chopped veggies and garlic into a large glass or ceramic ovenproof dish, coat with a splash of olive oil, and season with black pepper. It is not strictly necessary to season the veggies with salt at this stage as the stock cubes provide some seasoning, but you can sprinkle with sea, kosher, or Himalayan pink salt at this stage if you so wish. Ensure all the veggies are coated and seasoned evenly and place in the oven for about 30 minutes.
- While the veg is roasting dissolve 1-2 vegetable stock cubes in 300 ml of boiled water and set aside. Also, open your tin of chopped tomatoes and if using a food processor or blender, blend briefly until smooth.
- When your veggies are almost finished roasting (you may want to move them around the dish a couple of times throughout cooking so that they are evenly roasted), in a large saucepan add the chopped tomatoes (pureed or not) and the stock and place on low heat, to begin cooking the acidity out of the tinned tomatoes, for about 5 minutes
- Remove your roasted peppers and tomatoes from the oven. I used a Nutribullet for this stage so added the veg in batches and blended them before adding them to the saucepan. Alternatively, you can place all the veggies whole into the saucepan and use a stick blender until you have a smooth consistency of soup with no lumps! Add a splash of balsamic vinegar or a squeeze of balsamic glaze and stir through, continue to simmer on low for an additional two minutes.
- Serve with ciabatta, crusty sourdough, or any other good quality bread, with a sprinkling of chopped parsley, black pepper, and a little more olive oil on the top if you so wish.