Sunday, December 10, 2006

Simple roasted red pepper soup

What do you do when you buy four red peppers? Well, this time I decided to roast them. Makes them super-sweet and oh so flavorful. Then I thought I could make a pasta sauce with it. I've done that before (very nice), but I wanted to do something different, so I blended them instead, added some hot chicken broth, and voila! A beautiful, elegant, delicious soup. Can't be easier than this! Here's my recipe:

Roasted red pepper soup (serves 2-3)

4 red bell peppers
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
salt
pepper
olive oil

Preheat oven at 400 degrees F. Slice red peppers into thin strips. Place in bowl. Toss with some salt, pepper, and about 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil. Spread evenly on large baking sheet. Roast for 30-40 minutes. Three-quarters of the way through cooking, rearrange the peppers a little on the sheet. Remove after baking, blend in food processor or blender, and transfer to a bowl (or a saucepan if you want to keep it warm on the stove). Bring chicken broth to boiling on the stove or in the microwave (why not?). Add to blended peppers and whisk until of uniform consistency. Season to taste (not necessary if you seasoned properly in the beginning). You're done!

For a more classy soup, I would push the blended peppers through a sieve to remove the skins before adding the broth. I'm sure you could make many variations on this basic soup by adding a fresh herb (choose wisely) to the roasted peppers before blending, or by adding cream for a richer soup. Instead of cream, you could add some olive oil as a lighter option. But in fact, the soup tastes delicious without any extra lipids.

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