You already have a nice stockpile of frozen red peppers to get you through the winter, right? No? Well it’s time to get on that. I figure that here in Minnestota you can still get one, maybe two last visits in to the farmers market to stock up. If you come across a box or two of red peppers–buy them! You’ll be happy you did.
Now here’s what I want you to do with those peppers: broil them in the oven for just a few minutes until they are nice and black, then throw them in a large plastic resealable bag. The trick here is that the steam in the bag will loosen the blackened skin. When they’ve cooled a bit, slip off the skin with your fingers. Next, put the peppers in a food processor, or chop with a knife. Finally, place your chopped peppers in a plastic freezer bag, or vaccum seal it and freeze it. Now you’re set. Whenever you want to make this incredible soup this winter, you can do so in about 20 minutes. How’s that for a quick dinner plan?
This roasted red pepper soup is one of my favorites. It has a silky texture and amazing flavor. Drizzle a little olive oil on top, and serve it with a piece of crusty homemade bread. Of course, you can do so many other things with those roasted peppers, as well. You can make roasted red pepper hummus, or throw them in your favorite pasta dish. Really, the possibilities are endless. Just get them now and freeze those babies!
The Recipe: Roasted Red Pepper Soup
About 8 large red peppers (3 1/2 cups chopped roasted red peppers)
1/2 medium white onion (3/4 cup chopped)
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 quart chicken broth (4 cups)
1 large anchovy filet, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme ( or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano ( or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1 dried bay leaf
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and cracked black pepper
parsley, for garnish
To Prepare the Red Peppers: Place oven rack close to the broiler unit. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the peppers in half and remove the insides. Place peppers on baking sheet and press down with your hand to flatten them. Place under broiler and broil them for about 15 minutes, or until they are very black. You will need to move the pan around and perhaps even rotate some of the peppers using tongs. Keep a close eye on them. Once they are done, remove from the pan and immediately place in a large resealable plastic bag. The steam will loosen the black skin. After 10 – 15 minutes or so, remove from the bag and slip the skin off using your fingers. It should come off easily. Discard the blackened portion. Chop the peppers in a food procesor or by hand.
To Make the Soup: In a Dutch oven, heat about 3 tablespoons of olive oil at medium/high heat. Add the chopped onions and garlic and a generous sprinkle of salt. Sauté for a couple of minutes until tender. Then add the peppers, chicken broth, oregano, thyme, anchovy, bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 15- 20 minutes. Remove bay leaf and purée with an immersion blender or carefully pour the soup into a stand blender. Blend until smooth. Taste and re-season with salt and pepper, as needed. Since there are so few ingredients in this soup, the amount of salt plays a big role in bringing out the flavors– make sure to salt it properly. To serve, squeeze a bit of lemon to taste on the soup (also plays a big role), a drizzle of olive oil, and some fresh parsley. Enjoy!
Hope you all have a lovely weekend!