Monday, July 22, 2013

Chilled Red Pepper Soup


Chilled Red Pepper Soup Recipe

I wasn't looking for a chilled soup recipe. I already have a favorite gazpacho recipe {Ina Garten's} and who needs more than one chilled soup recipe in one's arsenal? Plus Mr SSS is incapable of joining the cold soup fan club. Plus there are no inhumane, oppressively hot temperatures egging me on {a high of 70 degrees yesterday, really}. But then I saw this recipe and as a red bell pepper fanatic, I had to stop and read on. Red peppers sauteed with onions and sage...add stock and puree...throw in a few handfuls of diced red pepper, celery, garlic and lemon zest. Chill and dress with parsley, basil, sour cream and a drizzle of olive oil. {Or in the case of Mr SSS, warm up and dress with parsley, basil, sour cream and a drizzle of olive oil. Yep - he says this is a great warm soup.} And I say this is a great chilled soup. Your choice.  

Chilled Red Pepper Soup

1 large onion, roughly chopped
3 T olive oil, plus extra for finishing
8 sage leaves, finely chopped
4 large red bell peppers
2 bay leaves
2 t ground cumin
1 t sugar
pinch of crushed chili pepper flakes
500 ml vegetable stock {approx 2 c + 2 scant T}
1 celery stalk, diced
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1 garlic clove, crushed
25 g basil leaves, roughly chopped {just under 1 oz}
10 g Italian flat leaf parsley {just over 1/3 oz}
100 g sour cream {3.5 oz}
salt

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and sage and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Onion should be translucent.

While the onion is cooking, halve the peppers lengthwise and remove seeds and white flesh. Dice 1/2 of 1 pepper and set aside for later. Roughly chop the remaining peppers and stir them in with the onions. Add 3/4 t salt, bay leaves,  cumin, sugar and chili flakes.

Saute for 5 minutes and then add the stock and bring to a light simmer. Cover the pot and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. The peppers should be soft.

Remove and discard the bay leaves and use and immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth.

Let the soup cool and when just warm stir in the diced red pepper, celery, lemon and garlic. When the soup is room temperature, cover and refrigerate for a few hours or, better yet, overnight.

Remove the soup 1/2 hour before serving. Stir, taste and adjust seasoning. Divide among 4 bowls and sprinkle with generous amounts of basil and parsley. Add a spoonful of sour cream to each bowl and drizzle lightly with olive oil.

Serves 4.

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Source: Ottolenghi

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