Sunday, February 22, 2015

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup

Soup for Supper?  Absolutely!  Brrr, it is cold here in Kansas and a nice hot soup that is thick and as smooth as velvet is just the ticket.  I typically don't get very excited about cream or bisque soups, but this one is absolutely yummy.  A bowl of this is perfect for family suppers yet stunning and impressive enough to serve dinner guests.

You can adjust the hot sauce to your taste, but it has a nice "after burn" to it as written.  Serve it with grilled sandwiches made with my Pimento Cheese Spread or make a grown up grilled cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, provolone and bacon on ciabatta bread with a smidgen of mayo and yellow mustard) or simply serve it with some Ritz or your favorite crackers.

I won't lie, this recipe takes a bit of time to make, but I assure you that if you do make a batch, your tastebuds will be tickled pink.  Besides, what's better than spending time in the kitchen on a cold winter day making a tummy warming soup?

Be on the lookout for bell peppers on sale.  My local grocery occasionally has red bell peppers on sale 10/$10 and when that happens, you can guarantee that this will be on my weekly menu.  As written, this recipe is perfect for one or two people.  However, it  is easily doubled, so don't hesitate to double it for a larger batch if you have more mouths to feed or want leftovers (trust me, you will).

I hope you enjoy this recipe and keep warm this winter!

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup

Serves: 4


5 large red bell peppers
2 cloves of garlic, peel on
2 cups chopped sweet onion
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 bay leaf
2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar


Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.
Cut the bell peppers in half and remove all the seeds and membranes.
Press the pepper halves flat with your hand and lay them skin side up on the foil lined baking sheet along with the garlic cloves.

With the oven rack in the uppermost position, turn on the broiler and put the pan on the top rack.
Broil the peppers and garlic for approximately 15 minutes.  They will "talk" to you as they blister and char.  Keep an eye on them.  
Once the pepper skin is blackened, using tongs, place the peppers into a plastic bag and seal it to further steam the peppers for another 10-15 minutes.

While the peppers are steaming, preheat a heavy pan (I used my enameled cast iron) over medium heat.  Add the olive oil, chopped sweet onion, thyme and bay leaf.  Cook for 10 minutes, until the onions are soft.

Add the vegetable broth, hot sauce, salt, and pepper.  Squeeze the garlic out of the peels into the pot.
Peel the charred skin off of each pepper, half each pepper piece and add them to the pot.

Reduce the heat and simmer covered for another 20 minutes.

Remove the bay leaf.
Add about 1 1/2 cups of the mixture to your Vitamix and puree the mixture.  Pour the pureed mixture into another bowl and repeat the process for the remaining mixture.  If you have a stick blender, you can easily puree the mixture in the pot.  I happen to prefer the velvety smoothness I get from using the Vitamix.

Note: If you use a blender or Vitamix, remove the plug from the top and cover it with a cloth, otherwise you might have an explosion when you go to blend up the hot ingredients!

Once all the mixture is pureed, give the pot a quick clean up to remove any remaining chunks of onion, etc.  Add the puree to the pot and stir in the vinegar and adjust seasonings as desired.  I ended up adding a bit more salt.

Serve with crackers or homemade grilled cheese.

...and that's What's Cooking at Cathy's ~ Enjoy!

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My career is in IT.  Cooking and photography are among a few of my hobbies. In my spare time, which is most weekends I tie on my apron and exercise my creativity by trying new recipes and adapting them to my tastes. I also have a passion for photography that I incorporate by taking photographs to go along with the recipes I post on my blog.  
I also enjoy travel, both near and abroad. Meeting new people, new experiences and cultures and oh, not to mention the food! I hope you enjoy my blog.