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One pan romesco soup from In Praise of Veg

Servings: 4
Hailing from Catalonia, romesco is traditionally a vivid red sauce served alongside fish. Considering the hero ingredients, tomatoes and peppers, were both introduced to the region by merchants and sailors returning from the Americas, this would once have been quite a decadent dish. It can be as much of a soup as a sauce, with the simple addition of some extra stock, a little crispy crouton action and an entirely incongruous but delicious ball of burrata – a fresh Italian mozzarella-style cheese that should have no place here, but totally works.


  • 4 red peppers quartered, seeds removed
  • 1 garlic clove bruised
  • 250 g cherry tomatoes on the vine
  • 400 g tinned whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika plus extra to serve
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 500 ml vegetable stock see tip
  • 125 ml extra virgin olive oil plus extra to serve
  • 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 65 g slivered almonds
  • 4 small balls of burrata optional

For the garlicky croutons

  • 350 g sourdough bread cut into croutons
  • 2 garlic cloves finely grated
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 50 g unsalted butter melted


  • Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  • In a large casserole dish or roasting tin, combine the peppers, garlic and all the tomatoes. Sprinkle with the paprika and cayenne pepper. Pour in the stock, olive oil and vinegar, scatter with the almonds and give it all a stir.
  • Cover with a lid or foil and bake for 45 minutes, or until all the ingredients are softened. Remove the lid or foil, and increase the oven temperature to 210°C. Bake for a further 15–20 minutes, or until the almonds are slightly toasted.
  • Meanwhile, for the garlicky croutons, pop all the ingredients in a bowl and mix to coat evenly. Transfer to a baking tray and roast near the top of the oven for the last 15 minutes of baking. Remove from the oven and stand until required.
  • In quarter batches, transfer the contents of your roasting vessel to a blender and whiz until smooth, transferring each batch to a soup pot. (Alternatively, transfer the whole lot to a soup pot and purée with a stick blender.)
  • Bring the soup to a simmer and season to taste. Ladle into bowls and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with a pinch of paprika and scatter the croutons over. If using the burrata, add one ball to each bowl and use a knife to pierce the skin to let the cheesy goodness escape into the soup. Serve immediately.


This soup also makes for a killer chicken parmigiana sauce – it’s pretty thick already, so there’s no need to reduce it down, either.

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