2 large garlic cloves left unpeeled but crushed slightly
1 large brown onion, peeled and cut in half
1 large fennel bulb, cut in half
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup vegetable stock or water (optional)
A handful of basil leaves, torn
Crusty bread, to serve
1Preheat the oven to 180°C conventional, or 160°C fan-forced. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
2Cut the capsicums in half, then remove the membranes and seeds. Place the capsicums cut side down on the baking tray, along with the whole tomatoes, garlic cloves, and the onion and fennel halves. Drizzle with the olive oil, then roast in the oven for 1 hour, or until slightly browned. It's fine if the veggies catch and burn a little in patches – just call it 'caramelisation' and enjoy the added sweetness!
3When the vegetables are nicely roasted, peel the garlic, and transfer everything to a blender or food processor and blitz until smooth (no need to peel tomatoes or capsicums).
4Pour the soup into a saucepan and warm over low heat. If the soup is too thick, slowly stir in stock or water until you reach the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5Serve scattered with fresh basil and plenty of crusty bread on the side.
Tip: For a spicy 'Bloody Mary' flavour, add 3 finely diced celery stalks when frying the onion. Just before serving, add a few dashes of hot sauce and vegan Worcestershire sauce ... and if you want to add a shot of vodka as well, we won't tell!