Today's recipe may look very unassuming, maybe even plain, but let me assure you, it's really, well, YUMMY! If you're looking for a spicy-hot red pepper soup....keep looking. If you only like chunky soups filled with all sorts of meat and veggies....this isn't for you. BUT...if you love the idea of a rich, creamy, savory-sweet soup and you love the flavor of roasted red peppers.....you're gonna love this! It makes a great lunch or light dinner with the addition of some great rolls or a grilled sandwich and a salad. The recipe comes from The Italian American Cookbook by John and Galina Mariani.
Red Pepper Soup (serves 6)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
1/2 fennel bulb, sliced
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
Salt, preferably kosher
Freshly ground black pepper
3 roasted red peppers, coarsely chopped (see *Note)
1 medium potato, peeled and cubed
2 1/2 tblsp. tomato paste
5 1/2 cups chicken broth (you can make this vegetarian by using vegetable broth)
2/3 cup ricotta cheese
Heat the olive oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Add the onions and fennel and cook, stirring, until they're softened and lightly browned, about 8 minutes or so.
Add the garlic and cook another couple minutes, stirring. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the red peppers, potato, tomato paste, and chicken broth. Give it a stir and bring to a boil. Then Reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes.
Transfer the soup to a food processor or blender (or use an immersion blender right in the pot) and puree. Taste and add seasoning, if needed. Serve from the pot or pour into a soup tureen. Dollop each serving with some ricotta cheese and, if you want to be a little fancy, add a sprig of fennel fronds. The ricotta starts to melt down into the soup and adds a nice cheesy richness! I love it!
I know I've said that I'm not really a big soup person, and actually, pureed soups are usually my least favorite. But, with the freezing cold weather we've been having lately, I thoroughly enjoyed this! It really warmed me right up!
*Note: You can use jarred, roasted red peppers or roast your own. I show you how here.
Good to the last drop!!