One of the best things about summer (or late spring, because it’s not even June yet) is the simple pleasures. They’re all around you right now: a warm breeze on your face, the smell of green grass, longer days with plenty of sunshine.
I like to head to the farmer’s market every few weeks during the spring and summer to pick out a few vegetables, herbs and maybe some cheese. Sometimes I’ll grab a treat to eat or drink while I walk around, like a freshly squeezed orange juice. There’s no shortage of simple pleasures–food and otherwise–at the farmer’s market!
Simple food is best right about now. This past Saturday I picked up some yellow bell peppers, garlic, jalapeños and handmade preservative-free corn tortillas from the Guelph farmer’s market. As a born and bred Northern Ontario girl, I definitely don’t take for granted the fact that I now live in the heart of the province’s agricultural industry. It really is a food lover’s paradise.
On the drive home I let my mind wander, brainstorming what I could make with these ingredients. The yellow peppers got me thinking about a nice yellow puréed vegetable soup, kind of like a gazpacho. So I swung by the regular grocery store to pick up yellow tomatoes to go along with my farmer’s market haul (by the time I thought of the tomatoes, I was nearly home and the market was closed).
The resulting soup was more of a roasted pepper and tomato soup rather than a gazpacho because the components are cooked, not raw. But I did serve it cold, so I suppose it fits the definition of gazpacho at least partially.
If yellow peppers and/or tomatoes are hard to come by, then by all means use red ones. It’ll taste the same. In that case it makes sense to use canned diced (red) tomatoes since they have a great taste and everything is puréed anyway. But if you’re aiming for the beautiful yellow hue of this soup, then go for ripe yellow tomatoes and roast them along with the peppers.
You could serve this soup (hot or cold) in clear shot glasses for a creative party appetizer, or just enjoy as a light lunch with a hunk of bread and a piece of cheese. Garnish the soup with some chopped parsley or basil, a swirl of plain yogurt or extra-virgin olive oil, or a couple spoonfuls of diced tomatoes.
As far as simple pleasures go, this roasted yellow pepper and tomato soup takes the cake!
What simple pleasures are you savouring right now?
- 4 medium yellow bell peppers, halved and seeded
- 6 medium yellow tomatoes, halved, cored and seeded
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 English cucumber, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 375F. Arrange the peppers and tomatoes on a baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tbsp of the olive oil and roast until softened and lightly browned, about 40 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Heat the remaining olive oil in a small pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallots and cook until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a blender and add the cooked peppers, tomatoes, cucumber and jalapeno. Puree until smooth.
- If you can't find yellow peppers or tomatoes, simply use red ones. If desired, canned diced tomatoes can be used in place of fresh.
- This soup can be served cold or hot.