I had been planning to make a mushroom pate for our starter on Christmas Day but, because the weather had been so awful, there were no decent mushrooms to be found anywhere; this festive-coloured soup was a very good second choice – I served it in teacups and saucers with some toasted ciabatta.
It was light, tasty and warming; just right before a heavy main course and pudding.
400g tomatoes, quartered
2 red onions, peeled and cut into eighths
2 red peppers, cored and cut into large chunks
4 cloves garlic, peeled
few grinds of black pepper
½ tsp dried thyme
2tbsp olive oil
1l vegetable stock
Small jar of horseradish cream to serve
Put the tomatoes, onions, red peppers and garlic in a large roasting tin; drizzle over the olive oil, sprinkle with the black pepper and thyme then mix well with your hands so the veg are coated in oil. Roast at 200C for about 30 minutes until the veg are cooked and starting to char at the edges.
Transfer the cooked veg and all the tomatoey, peppery juices to a large saucepan, add the stock then bring to the boil and simmer gently for 10 minutes. If you like, you can scoop out and discard any loose tomato skins that rise to the surface, but I don’t worry too much about leaving the skins in. Take the pan off the heat and blitz the soup with a hand blender.
Serve in warmed bowls with a spoonful of horseradish cream.