Sometimes there is nothing better than a brilliantly-colored soup on your table. Well, excepting chocolate perhaps. But that’s another story.
Today’s story is all about peppers and the too-oft talked about beauty of roasting them. Need I go on? We all know this already. Roasting sweet peppers is labor intenstive but worth it for an incredibly rich, smoky flavor. Eat and I found this recipe when we were first married, from another newly-married couple.
Sweet peppers are the color of traffic lights for a reason: to stop you in your tracks. Look at us. Buy us. Eaaaaaat us. Many a time I have heard their screechy siren song, usually gasping at their overprice, tortured by their tempting rainbow of colors (purple like amethyst! red as blood! orange, the color of Carnivale!), and walk away quickly, searching for strawberries on sale or a dumpy russet potato to comfort me instead.
But truthfully, one cannot resist the pepper. Eventually, we surrender to the versatility: raw, stir-fried, or roasted. chopped, matchsticked, diced, or brunoise. Mexican, Hungarian, or Thai. A kitchen is never bored with a pepper at hand. This recipe is one that will make your peppers even more irresistible.
- 2 red bell peppers (yellow and orange peppers work just as well) (or use jarred roasted peppers and skip Step 1)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 2½ cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
- 8 ounces ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded (I used canned fire-roasted tomatoes)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons cream or milk (optional)
- Preheat broiler. Rinse peppers and cut in half, discarding the seeds. Place, skin side uppermost, on a sheet of foil in a broiler pan under the broiler. Broil for 5-10 minutes, until skins have blackened and blistered. If using a gas range, place uncut peppers directly on range and blacken as above. Remove skins with edge of spoon and roughly chop.
- Heat oil in pan and saute onion and garlic for 5 minutes, until transparent.
- Add chopped peppers and stock.
- Roughly chop tomatoes and add to pan with salt and pepper. Boil then cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes, and peppers will be soft).
- Cool and puree in food processor or blender.
- Serve soup hot or cold. If cold, chill at least one hour. Serve swirled with cream or milk. I often forget to add the cream and the soup doesn't miss out on flavor without it. Serves 4 people or one Story.