Tomato & Sweet Chili Pepper Soup

Make sure the tomatoes are ripe or this soup will be too tart. Thai finger chilies work well in this.



3 lb (1-1/2 kg) ripe tomatoes

With a sharp knife, cut an X on stem end of each tomato. Drop into a large pot of boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain and plunge into a bowl of cold water. Drain, peel and coarsely chop, discarding seeds.
Or, use 2 large tins of diced tomatoes.
3 red bell peppers

On a medium-high barbeque or under broiler, grill sweet red peppers about 15 minutes, turning occasionally, until charred on all sides. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic and allow to cool. Peel and finely chop, discarding seeds.
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp chopped, seeded, hot red chili pepper
salt to taste
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
3 tsp balsamic vinegar
2-1/3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
freshly ground pepper, to taste

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chopped sweet peppers, chili pepper and a pinch of salt. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the garlic. Cook 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, vinegar and a pinch of salt. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more salt, if desired, and pepper.
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
In a food processor or using a mortar and pestle, chop the basil leaves with a pinch of salt. Stir in the remaining teaspoon of vinegar and remaining olive oil.
Serve soup hot or cold with basil mixture drizzled generously over each serving.
Serves 6 from Jamie Oliver, The Naked Chef, as reprinted in the Globe&Mail, October 11, 2003