Saturday, October 1, 2011

Red Pepper Soup

Happy October!

I love Fall.

Fall means warm clothes, jeans, and sweaters. It means boots and umbrellas (okay, every season means boots and umbrellas in Vancouver, but still). It means tucking away my self-tanner (and my razor!) and not smelling like a chemical-laden tropical smoothie while I try to figure out which looks worse: eerily pale or unnaturally streaked thighs.

But almost best of all, it means soup! I found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen and fell in love. I ended up halving the recipe for the boy and me, and cutting down the onion, and it was the perfect amount to keep us fed for a few days. The boy liked it best with croutons, and I liked to dip bread in mine. We're a carb family.

Red Pepper Soup
Adapted from the Smitten Kitchen

Makes 6 large servings, 12 demitasse size.

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 1/4 cup sliced onions (I cut this amount down my nearly half)
3 large cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup dry white wine
12 large red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock or broth
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme (I didn't have any, and it turned out fine!)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
Salt and white or black pepper
Crème fraîche for garnish
Thyme sprigs for garnish.

Put the oil in large pot, and heat over a medium-ish setting. Add the onion when the oil is hot, and cook onions until they begin to soften and take on color. Add the garlic and cook another minute, until everything smells rather pungent. 

Add the wine (and drink the surplus) and cook everything down quickly and on high heat, until only one tablespoon or so is left. 

Add the peppers, stock, thyme and red pepper flakes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer until peppers are tender, about 30 minutes. In food processor or with an immersion blender (or your magic bullet), puree mixture in until smooth (if a food processor, in batches. In a magic bullet, even smaller batches). Adjust seasonings to taste.

Soup can be served warm or chilled, topped with a dab of crème fraîche and a tiny sprig of thyme. This soup freezes well, or lasts in the fridge for a couple of days.


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