Nothing warms the cockles more than saving money and not wasting food. Save squidgy peppers and bring some Mediterranean sun to a cold winter’s day with this delicious recipe.

Ingredients

  • 4 large red peppers
  • olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, trimmed and sliced
  • 1 tblsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 3 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup double cream
  • slices of stale bread
  • fresh thyme
  • olive oil

Method

  • Place rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 200c/180c fan/Gas Mark 6.
  • Place whole red bell peppers in a roasting dish. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and rotate to lightly coat each pepper in oil.
  • Roast in the oven for 25 - 30 minutes until blackened on the top, carefully turning them halfway through to roast evenly. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  • When cool enough to handle, peel the charred skin and discard. Discard the stem and the seeds and slice the red pepper flesh into large chunks.
  • To make the soup, place a large pot over medium heat and warm two tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Add the onions and garlic and cook gently until the onions are softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, and parsley. Cook for 3 minutes more. Add the cumin and chilli flakes. Stir to combine before adding the roasted peppers.
  • Add the stock, turn the heat to low, place a lid on the pot and simmer for 20 minutes or until the carrots and celery are softened through.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and use a handheld blender to blend the soup mixture smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Make the croutons by slicing bread into chunks. Fry the bread in a drizzle of olive oil and picked thyme leaves.
  • Ladle soup in bowls. Drizzle the soup with cream and top with crispy croutons.