My love for roasted red peppers truly knows no bounds. Every few weeks red peppers will be on sale for $1 each at Meijer and I can’t help but buy at least a half a dozen of them. I usually won’t have any specific plans for them either, I’ll just roast them and either blend them into a sauce (sometimes with tomatoes) or keep them in the refrigerator to put on sandwiches.
It is unseasonably warm today (almost 50!) but we had a cold spell a few weeks ago that coincided with a red pepper sale at Meijer. So when I came home I decided that I would make some soup. This is a nice easy recipe with just a few ingredients that serve to complement the taste of the peppers. It’s no surprise that I think it is served best with some toasty bread, this was some of the pumpkin sourdough I made before Thanksgiving.
That gets me thinking, is there some type of bread sommelier, someone who would tell you what type of bread to pair with a given meal? I remember reading an article a few months ago about a restaurant that had a different type of bread with each course. Some searching turns up that a few very swanky restaurants do have such a person but there is no recognized certification.
After watching the movie Somm, which is about four people preparing to take the master sommelier exam I can’t imagine I would rush at the chance to take such a test for bread as much as I enjoy it. For now, I’ll stick with watching the characters on Parks and Rec demonstrate they know about as much about wine as I do. Why not cozy up with a bowl of this soup and a few episodes of the show? Enjoy!
Roasted Red Pepper Soup
- 8 red bell peppers, halved and cleaned
- 5 cloves garlic
- 2 C chopped onion
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 sprigs thyme, or 1 Tbsp thyme leaves
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 C chicken stock
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
Cut each pepper in half and remove the seeds and membranes, then flatten with your hand. Lay them with the skin facing out on a foil linked baking sheet and place the garlic cloves on the sheet too. You may need to spread the peppers across 2 baking sheets.
Place your oven rack in the top position and turn on the broiler. Place the peppers on the top rack and broiler for 15- 20 minutes, turning after 10 minutes. The outside skin should blacken when they are ready.
When ready remove from the oven and place in a paper bag or wrap completely in foil. Set aside for 15 minutes. This will allow them to steam and make it so the skin comes off easier.
Peel the skin off each pepper and place the peppers in a bowl. Set aside.
Preheat a large pot over medium heat. Add in the olive oil, thyme, bay leaf, and onions. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the onions have softened. Then add the broth, salt, pepper, roasted garlic cloves, and peppers.
Reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 20 more minutes. Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs. If you used thyme leaves, do not worry about fishing them out.
Use an immersion blender to blend the soup until smooth, or your desired consistency. If you do not have a hand held immersion blender a food processor or regular blender will be fine, but be very careful blending the hot liquid! It may be easiest to let it cool before blending.
Recipe adapted from A Spicy Perspective.