- 1 long baguette
- ¼ cup (60 g) pesto
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 700 g red capsicums (3–4 capsicums, depending on size), seeded and coarsely chopped
- 300 ml vegetable stock, preferably homemade light or rich 300 ml tomato passata
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- salt and pepper
- 6 tablespoons crème fraîche
- 6 sprigs of fresh basil
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Cut the baguette across in half so that it will fit into the oven.
- Cut each half into 3.
- 5 cm thick slices, leaving the slices attached at the base.
- Hold the slices apart and spread each one thinly with pesto, then press them back together.
- Wrap the bread in foil and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a saucepan.
- Add the onion and garlic and fry gently for 5 minutes or until softened but not browned.
- Stir in the capsicums and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Pour in the stock and remove from the heat.
- Place the bread in the oven to heat for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, purée the soup in a blender until smooth.
- Return the soup to the pan and stir in the passata, thyme, cinnamon and sugar.
- Heat the soup gently without allowing it to boil.
- Season to taste.
- Ladle the soup into warm bowls and garnish each portion with a spoonful of crème fraîche and a sprig of basil.
- Serve with the hot pesto bread.
Preparation: about 20 minutes
Cooking: about 30 minutes