Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

I think I've inherited my mother's love of soups. But really, who could not love them? They're almost impossible to mess up when you're making them. There's a soup for every occasion: light consommes; thick, chunky soups; piping hot ones for cold winter nights; deliciously refreshing cold ones for hot summer days; soups made from vegetables, soups made from fruits. The Chinese have elevated soup-making into an artform. You have your wintermelon soup that is slowly cooked inside the entire melon, soups made from a variety of medicinal ingredients that are healthful, soups with colourful names such as Buddha-jumps-over-a-wall. Today, however, I made a creamy roasted red pepper soup.

It was very simple, and complete in less than an hour. I can't give you the recipe, with quantities and such, because of copyright laws, but I can describe the general process. As I said, it's hard to screw up a soup; just use quantities as you see fit, and taste and test. First, you have to roast your red peppers and stick them in a plastic bag so that the steam will make it easier for you to remove the skins. Roughly chop them. Then, it's butter, onions and a sprig of rosemary into a pot until the onions are tender. Remove the rosemary. Add the red pepper and broth and simmer until it's all softened, then add some tomato puree. Puree the soup (easy, if you have an immersion blender!), add some heavy cream, and season to taste with salt, pepper and a bit of paprika. What could be easier?
Here, I swirled some heavy cream into the soup and sprinkled it with a little more paprika, as suggested in my recipe book for a nicer presentation.

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