Simple red pepper and tomato soup have a lovely rich flavour from roasting the peppers, shallots and tomatoes. The soup can be served hot or cold.
For the sweet red pepper and tomato soup
2 red peppers
2 banana shallots, halved and trimmed
500g/1lb 2oz plum tomatoes
4 garlic cloves
2 tbsp olive oil
450ml/16fl oz chicken or vegetable stock, hot
For the ciabatta toast
100g/3½oz jarred roasted red peppers, chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh chives
75g/2½oz butter, at room temperature
1 ciabatta loaf, cut into slices
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.
Place the peppers over an open gas flame until black all over. Place in a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to stand for 1–2 minutes.
Remove the peppers from the bowl and peel off the black skin, rinse underneath a running tap to get the remainder of the skin off. Remove the seeds and set the pepper aside.
Place the shallot halves (cut-side down) along with the plum tomatoes and garlic cloves onto a baking tray and drizzle with the olive oil. Bake at the top of the oven for 30 minutes, or until the shallots are cooked
Melt the butter in a large pan over a medium heat and add the roasted shallots, peppers and garlic.
Add the hot stock and cook for 5 minutes.
Blend with a stick blender until smooth and place back in the pan to warm through.
For the ciabatta toast, mix in the roasted peppers and chives into the butter. Form into a long log shape and roll in cling film.
Heat a large griddle pan and drizzle a little olive oil over the cut ciabatta, and toast either side for 1–2 minutes or until bar marks appear.
To serve, ladle the soup into serving bowls and serve the toasted ciabatta topped with pepper and chive butter on the top.