February is a strange month, equally full of obnoxiously pink items and overpriced flowers as it is dreary days and bluebird skiing. Long-time readers will know I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day but as it is my anniversary with M it becomes more special. Each year I bake a cake to celebrate and this year will be no different – check back in two weeks for this year’s (hopefully successful) endeavor. Valentine’s desserts are typically quite indulgent, which makes today’s recipe a great option if you’re planning to eat in this “holiday”.
As part of last month’s Mindful Eating challenge I was looking for recipes that were delicious and wholesome and things that I felt good about eating, emotionally and physically. This soup definitely fits the bill. It’s fairly light which makes it pair great with bread or even grilled cheese, and requires simple ingredients and relatively chill preparation.
I used a whole package of the large bell peppers from Costco, but if yours are smaller you may want closer to 8. Once flattened they should completely fill the cookie sheet to make sure you have plenty of red pepper flavor. The addition of crushed red pepper flakes adds a little kick, and a dollop of sour cream is a great garnish. This recipe is easily made vegetarian or vegan by using vegetable broth (and nixing the sour cream), which makes it versatile for a whole slew of different diets.
I served mine with some quick drop biscuits, but you could invite added flair with some fancy grilled cheese (think sourdough bread and Gruyère, or focaccia and brie) or a whole grain loaf. Add a side salad or some roasted veggies and you have a complete meal – with plenty of room for dessert and leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch.
Roasted Red Pepper Soup
Adapted from House of Yumm
Makes 4-6 servings
6 large red bell peppers
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup sour cream (optional)
- Heat your broiler to high and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Cut the bell peppers into flat strips, removing seeds and membranes.
- Place the peppers skin side up onto the prepared baking sheet, flattening them as much as possible.
- Broil until skins are at least half blackened, about 15 minutes. Remove from baking sheet and place immediately into a sealed container to steam.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and saute until onion is translucent.
- Retrieve the bell peppers, peeling off the charred parts of the skin, and add to the pot. Add broth and spices and bring to a simmer.
- Remove from heat and use an immersion blender1 to puree the soup completely. Taste and adjust spices as necessary.
- Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream (optional) and some extra crushed red pepper flakes or oregano for garnish. Goes great with a hearty bread.
1 If you don’t have an immersion blender, use a regular blender to puree the peppers, onion, and garlic before adding the broth and spices (thinning with some of the unheated broth if necessary to get a fine puree), then return to pot and follow directions as normal.