- 4tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 6 large yellow peppers, halved and deseeded
- 1.4 litres (2½pt) good-quality vegetable stock
- 1tbsp white wine vinegar
- pinch caster sugar
- 100ml (4fl oz) double cream (optional)
- flat-leaf parsley, to garnish
In a heavy-based pan, heat the olive oil, add the onions, garlic and peppers and cook over a fairly high heat for about 15 minutes, stirring, until the vegetables are browned.
Add the stock, vinegar, a pinch of caster sugar and some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until the peppers are soft and pulpy.
Allow the mixture to cool slightly, then transfer to a liquidiser and blend until smooth. Pour into a bowl through a fine sieve. Adjust the seasoning, including the sugar and vinegar, for a balanced taste.
Add the double cream, if you like, and stir well. Serve hot or chilled, garnished with flat-leaf parsley.
Chef’s secrets 1) Browning the vegetables is important, as this initial caramelising provides much of the flavour. 2) It’s simply not worth using top-quality olive oil for frying – it burns too quickly and will spoil the flavour. It’s better to use a safflower or vegetable oil.