Red peppers and tomatoes both contain lycopene, which needs heating to reach its full nutritional benefits. These two recipes allow the lycopene to be released, so you can get the full benefits. It has been found that lycopene, also found in watermelons, can help men reduce their risk of prostate cancer and also help with erectile dysfunctions. As for women, it can help during the menopause and perhaps reduce the risk of breast and ovarian cancers.
In the second recipe I give here, a fennel bulb can be added, and instead of basil I have used rosemary and oregano to give it more body. You can make this hot winter soup with home-made chicken or vegetable stock, or plain water but try not to use a stock cube as I think these give a synthetic flavor to food, and they have a high sodium (salt) content so could damage your health rather than give it a boost.
First of all here is the summer recipe for a chilled soup:
Chilled Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup
- 1 large red pepper, cut length-ways de-seeded and de veined
- 1 lb tomatoes
- 1 large red onion cut into quarters
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- olive oil for drizzling
- 4 fl.oz water
- 1 inch piece of peeled ginger root cut into five or six thin slices
- 1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, shredded
- 1 tbsp fresh basil leaves, shredded
- 1/2 pint natural yogurt
- 1 pint tomato juice or passata
- freshly ground black pepper
- fresh chives snipped to garnish
Preheat the oven to 220°C / 430°F / Gas Mark 7.
Place pepper halves, skin side up with the tomatoes, onion and garlic cloves on a baking tray and drizzle them with olive oil. Cook for 45 minutes until the tomatoes have a few blackened patches on the skins. Remember to turn the vegetables regularly so that they roast evenly.
Allow the tomatoes and peppers to cool so that you can handle them. It makes them easier to peel if you put them in a bowl and cover this with cling film, so that they steam for 10 minutes.
Peel the tomatoes and pepper, and put the tomato juices and the peeled tomatoes and peppers in a blender with the water and pieces of ginger root, and zap them quickly.
Add the onion quarters, garlic, coriander, basil, tomato juice or passata plus the natural yogurt to the blender and blend until smooth.
Add freshly ground pepper and blend once more.
Chill for 30 minutes and serve garnished with the chives and a swirl of natural yogurt.
Hot Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup
- As above, but less yogurt as you only need it for garnish.
- 1 bulb fennel, quartered
- rosemary and oregano instead of coriander and basil
- chicken or vegetable stock instead of passata.(no water necessary)
Follow the roasting method as above and peel the vegetables.
Now, heat the stock and add the vegetables and cook for about 45 minutes or until the fennel is tender.
If you want to you can serve the soup as it is or blend it before serving and reheat.
Add a swirl of yogurt to the bowls of soup before serving.
http://www.herbs-treatandtaste.blogspot_com If you enjoyed these recipes, why not visit this site for a lot more plus information about the food we eat and its health benefits.