Saturday, January 26, 2013

Yummy Red Pepper Soup



    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


 


In case you're unfamiliar with it, this is a bulb of fennel (sometimes called anise)  For this recipe, cut the bulb in half from top to bottom.  You'll see a little triangular-shaped piece in each half (the core).  Cut that out with a paring knife and then slice the bulb.



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!!
   
     


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