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Roasted Tomato and Pepper Soup Recipe by Chef Neven Maguire

This is a great soup to make when you have a glut of tomatoes or ones that are slightly past their best. Like many of the soups that we now serve in the restaurant, it uses no flour to thicken it, so it’s suitable for coeliacs. It’s excellent hot or cold and I often put it on the vegetarian menu.

Serves 4 – 6

Ingredients:

– 1kg (2 ¼lb) vine-ripened tomatoes, halved
– 2 red peppers, quartered and seeds removed
– 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
– 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
– ½ tsp chopped fresh thyme
– 2 garlic cloves, crushed
– 1 large onion, finely chopped
– 900ml (1 ½ pints) vegetable or chicken stock
– Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
– 4–6 tsp basil pesto
– Handful of fresh basil leaves, to garnish

For the croque monsieur

– 4 slices white bread (use gluten free bread if want to keep it gluten free)
– 4 slices cooked ham
– 75g (3oz) Cheddar cheese, grated
– 25g (1oz) butter, softened
– Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F/gas mark 5).
2. Arrange the tomatoes and peppers in a baking tin, cut side up. Drizzle over 1 tablespoon of rapeseed oil and then sprinkle the vinegar and thyme on top. Place in the oven and roast for 20–25 minutes, until softened and lightly charred.
3. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and sweat for 10 minutes, until lightly golden, stirring occasionally. Add the roasted tomatoes and peppers and the stock and bring to the boil.
4. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10–15 minutes, until slightly reduced, then blitz with a hand blender until smooth. Season lightly and pass through a sieve for a really smooth finish.
5. When ready to serve, return the smooth soup to a clean pan and reheat it gently, stirring occasionally. Do not allow it to boil for too long or it will lose some of its wonderful vibrant colour.

Make the croque monsieur

1. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Make 2 sandwiches with the bread, ham and cheese and then spread the butter on the outsides of the bread.
2. Add the sandwiches to the heated frying pan and cook for 1–2 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Cut each sandwich into 4 fingers.
3. To serve, ladle the soup into warmed bowls and swirl a teaspoon of the basil pesto into each bowl. Scatter over the basil leaves and add a good grinding of black pepper.
4. Put the bowls on plates and arrange the croque monsieur fingers on the side of each one.

RECIPE FROM NEVEN MAGUIRE’S THE NATION’S FAVOURITE HEALTHY FOOD COOKBOOK

Roasted Tomato and Pepper Soup Recipe by Chef Neven MaguireAward-winning chef, Neven Maguire, is Head Chef/Owner of MacNean House & Restaurant in Blacklion, Co. Cavan. One of Ireland’s most talented and innovative chefs, Neven has been named ‘Best Chef in Ireland’ at numerous awards. His MacNean House & Restaurant has also been presented with many awards for best dining experience, food and hospitality and most recently ‘Best Wine Experience’ at the Hotel & Catering Review Gold Medal Awards 2015/16. Fulfilling a long-held dream, Neven officially opened his ‘Neven Maguire Cookery School’ alongside his restaurant late 2013.

His latest recipe book –  – is on shelves now and his new series of Healthy Home Chef was broadcast to acclaim on RTÉ 1. Neven is currently filming his new series of Home Chef in Ireland and abroad. His previous series are being shown in the US (on PBS) and the UK (UKTV Food). His award-winning classic, Neven Maguire’s Complete Baby & Toddler Cookbook is also for sale in all good book stores or at Nevenmaguire.com.

MacNean House Neven Maguire

 

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