- Yield: 4 Servings
- 5 red [bell] peppers, halved and deseeded
- 2–3 red chillies
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 Tbsp sweet smoked paprika (pimentón dulce)
- 3⅓ cups (800 ml) vegetable stock
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 quantity Cheesy Polenta Croutons, to serve (optional)
How to Make It
- Preheat the oven to 180°C fan (350°F) Gas 4.
- Put the peppers and whole chillies on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 Tbsp of the olive oil. Toss them around to make sure everything is well coated, then pop in the oven for 25–30 minutes, or until well softened and the skins are just beginning to char.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a large saucepan set over low–medium heat and add the onion. Cook for about 5 minutes until beginning to soften. Add the carrot, garlic and paprika, and continue to cook for about 5 minutes more. Raise the heat, add the stock, pop a lid on the pan and bring it to the boil, then lower the heat so that the liquid is simmering and cook for 10–15 minutes until the carrot is totally tender.
- When the peppers are cooked, add them to the pan. If you are confident the chillies won’t be too much, add them here too (whole is fine if you want the heat from the seeds, but do remove the stalks). If you’d like to add them a bit at a time, leave them out for now they are already cooked so can just be blended in at the end.
- Remove the pan from the heat and blend with a stick blender or transfer to a liquidizer and blitz until smooth. (Add the chillies here if you need to.) Taste and season with salt and black pepper.
- Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and top with a few freshly cooked and still hot cheesy croutons. Serve the rest in a bowl on the side.