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Roasted Red Pepper Soup | Relishing It

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.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup | Relishing It

Roasted Red Pepper Soup | Relishing It

Roasted Red Pepper Soup | Relishing It

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?

Roasted Red Pepper Soup | Relishing It

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!

Roasted Red Pepper Soup | Relishing It

The Recipe:  Roasted Red Pepper Soup

(serves 4)

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

1 lemon

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!

xo

Laurie

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Black Bean Soup with Pineapple via Relishing It

Greetings!  With another wave of snowstorms moving into Minnesota this weekend, it’s time for a new soup recipe here at Relishing It.  You already know that I’m soup-obsessed, so I won’t go into that again.  But I always find that Winter is a bit more bearable knowing I can eat soup as often as I like.  Honestly, if you were to take a peak into our refrigerator on any given day this time of year you’d find a couple of soups.  And the leftovers are just easy, quick lunches.  I think so many soups actually get better after sitting for a day or two.

Black Beans via Relishing It

This particular soup takes me back.  Many years ago, I flew out to the East Coast for my best friend’s wedding.  A few days before the ceremony, we found a cute little restaurant that made an amazing black bean soup with pineapple chunks.  Having spent my whole life in North Dakota up to that point, I’d never eaten anything like it.  Black beans with pineapple simply weren’t a pairing you’d find in the local Midwest diners.  The soup was so delicious that we went back for it several times that week.  Since I’ve thought about that soup so often, I finally decided to create my own version of it at home.

Roasted Red Peppers via Relishing It

First up are the beans.  These fantastic little legumes are delicious and good for your body.  More on that here.  I love how versatile they are– they’re staples in Mexican, Indian, and Caribbean cuisine.  Add to that the fact that they’re inexpensive, and it’s a total win.  I put beans in so many dishes that it’s ridiculous.  In this soup, the pineapple makes for a perfect pairing with the black beans.  It adds a nice subtle sweetness to contrast with the savoriness.  And the acidity from the fruit gives this soup a fresh flavor that you don’t often find in bean-based dishes.

Black Bean Soup with Pineapple via Relishing It

I also delved into my frozen supply of roasted red peppers from this past summer.  They worked great in this soup.  If you can’t find any roasted red peppers, feel free to use a regular one, but be sure to sauté it a bit before adding it to the soup.   The cilantro on top gives it another burst of freshness, and the jalapeño lends just the right amount of heat.  So gather up your ingredients and get this one simmering for the snowfall this weekend.  Cozy-up, my friends!

Black Bean Soup with Pineapple via Relishing It

The Recipe:  Black Bean Soup with Pineapple

(serves 4-6)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 2/3 cups dried organic black beans, soaked overnight (or 4 – 15 ounce cans, drained)

1/2 cup white onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1/2 cup roasted red peppers, chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons cumin seed, toasted then ground

1 teaspoon coriander seed, toasted then ground

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 dried bay leaf

1 pineapple, cut and cubed,  yielding about 2 cups (canned can also be substituted)

4 cups water

kosher salt and pepper, to taste

Sliced jalapeños and chopped cilantro, for garnish

In a large Dutch oven, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat for a couple of minutes.  When the onions are soft, add the ground cumin, coriander, and smoked paprika.  Sauté for about 30 seconds.  Add the roasted red pepper, soaked beans, water, bay leaf, and salt and pepper.  Cook for about a half hour over medium heat or until the beans start to feel nice and soft.  Add the pineapple and continue to cook for another 20 minutes, or until the beans are completely soft and tender.  When they are, carefully remove about 1 cup of the black beans and place it into a blender.  Blend until smooth, then return to the pot.  If you want the soup thicker, blend a few more beans.  Like your soup thinner, add a bit more water.  You get the idea.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary.   Top with chopped cilantro and sliced jalapeños.  Keeps well for days in the refrigerator.  Enjoy!

Have a lovely weekend!

Laurie

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