We had some friends over for dinner and were looking for an interesting and tasty soup (since one of our friends made me an amazing soup last time I was at her place). Roasted red pepper sounded like it fit the bill.
To be honest, the soup using just the recipe was good, but not great. But after a few additions (including my favorite new spice, pimenton, which I put on everything), it came out wonderfully. Pimenton is also called "smoked Spanish paprika" and, as this name would suggest, has a fairly smokey and slightly spicy flavor (it's also available in a "dolce" or sweet form, but I prefer to use the spicy variety). Pimenton is used in a lot of Spanish cooking, including romesco, chorizo and paella and goes very nicely with chili, soups, stews, and omelets, to name a few.
Roasted red pepper soup - makes 8 cups
- 6 large roasted red bell peppers
- 3 tbspolive oil
- 2 cups chopped onions
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup chopped fennel or celery
- 6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 3 tbsp white rice (jasmine is fine, too)
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil or 2 tsp dried basil
- 1 tbsp chpped fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 to 1 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup milk (1%, 2% or whole)
- 5 to 6 drops balsamic vinegar
- 1 heaping tbsp pimenton (to taste)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- In a soup pot, warm the olive oil and cook the onions, carrots and celery for 10 to 15 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring often. You want the vegetables to be tender, but not browned.
- Stir in the roasted red peppers, stock, rice, basil, rosemary, fennel seeds and crushed red pepper flakes. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and allow it to simmer, partially covered, for about 30 minutes. The rice and peppers should be very tender.
- With an immersion blender (or cuisinart), puree the soup until it is smooth.
- Return the soup to the heat and add milk, vinegar, salt, pepper and pimenton.
- The soup can be served hot or cold.