I desperately wanted to post about warm weather treats like Vanilla Milk and Crème Brûlée, but the sky has just dumped about 5" of cold flakes, leaving me snuggled up in fleece. Fleece. (I loathe fleece, and do not take its wearing lightly.) So tonight, you're getting soup.
This recipe is named not for an exotic sort of ruby-hued garlic, but simply for the fact that it's red. Very red, made so by red bell peppers and lots of tomatoes.
It's so simple, and to carry on the laziness I felt while making it, I'm not even going to type it up properly. As with most soups, there's a huge margin for variation here, so skip the onion, add different vegetables, stir in some cooking sherry. Lazy.
It goes like this: In a large stockpot, saute 3-4 diced stalks of celery, a diced onion, and 4-8 crushed cloves of garlic for about a minute. Add 3-4 cups diced mixed vegetables (I used a frozen package of carrot, corn, and green beans), along with 2 diced red peppers. Saute until slightly soft, then stir in 1 13-ounce can tomato sauce, 2 13-ounce cans diced tomatoes, and 1 or 2 cups water. Transfer about a third of the soup to a blender, blend completely smooth, and return to the pot. Add about 1/2 teaspoon each of dried basil, oregano, thyme, and sea salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer about 30 minutes or as long as you like. Salt to taste; this will depend on the amount in the tomatoes, and which vegetables you use, so taste well. The juice of a lemon, stirred in at the end, also gives the soup a lovely tart punch.
Serve each portion with a swirl of Cashew Crema or a sprinkling of fresh herbs, if you like.