September 17, 2012

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup Recipe

We had a very nice weekend with family in town to visit. I ate myself silly. Mmmmm. And that means that I'll be starting my diet again today tomorrow. First, I *have to* eat all the rest of the junk food that's still here so it won't be around to tempt me on my diet. :)
 I've noticed that A LOT of people are getting sick around here. Including us. My little guy is only just well enough today to return to school again. So I decided that I'd post a recipe of my favorite thing to make during cold and flu season.
Seriously this is the BEST thing in the world when  you're sick. Move over chicken noodle! 
Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup
6-8 red bell peppers
4 TBS sesame/olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed
2 TBS thyme
2 TBS basil
1/2 tsp cayenne (or to taste, I always use at least twice this much)
2 tsp salt
1 can coconut milk  (NOTE: Must be the kind in a can, not a carton. And don't get the lite/low fat version, it's nasty and this is just freakin coconut milk for heaven's sake.)

OR you can use some heavy cream instead of the coconut milk, about 1 cup to 1 pint of that. Whatever.

2- 32oz cartons of broth (vegetable or chicken)
Cut peppers in half, remove seeds and stem. Score the inside with a fork (helps to cook faster).

Place peppers skin side up.

Broil on high for 10-15 minutes, until most of the outer skin is black.
Remove from oven and allow to cool. (If you cover them while they cool, they sort of steam and the skins are SO much easier to get off!) Remove (and discard) as much skin as you can, but don't be too fussy.
While peppers are broiling, in a large soup pot, heat oil, onion, celery, thyme, basil, and salt. Cook until veggies are tender (10-12 minutes) stirring often. Add the garlic and cayenne for the last couple minutes of that. Then add the broth and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes.
Add the roasted/peeled peppers to the soup. Then you can either use an immersion blender to make it all smooth, OR you can do what I do, and just stick it in your upright blender. If you do it in your blender, it will fill it twice, so you'll need an "in between" pan so that unblended soup doesn't meet blended soup... because all of it needs to be nicely pureed.
After all of it is blended, return it to your pot over low to medium heat and stir in the coconut milk (or cream). Simmer for 10 minutes.

I make TONS of this in the summer when I have lots of bell peppers growing in my garden, and when the store has halfway decent prices on them. Then I freeze it in pint sized freezer bags. It gets us through cold and flu season every year. Seriously, I can NOT survive a bad cold without this.