Pick a pot of roasted peppers

Hubby bought me an immersion blender two Christmases ago; a gift I had specifically requested and only managed to use recently for the second time ever. Good intentions notwithstanding, it’s just not that often you think to whip up a big pot of something that requires immersion blending.

Last week, hubby was subjected to some violent-sounding dental surgery, which called for a liquid diet during the few days immediately following. A little background here — hubby is in great shape and perfectly proportioned, but he turns into a girl when it comes to monitoring his weight. A two- or three-pound bump up or down is either reason to rejoice, or an excuse to spend the next few days whining “I’m fat, I’m fat!” In some sick way, I think he was actually looking forward to a few days of nothing but smoothies in the hopes of a crash slim-down. Not that he needs it. Anyway, after two or three glasses of liquified fruit and yogurt, he started to complain, so I went online for soft-food inspiration.

It’s recently turned chillier — perfect soup weather. I remembered a cookbook of sorts I assembled a couple years ago as part of my coursework for an Ivy Tech culinary arts class, and hauled it out. Specifically what I was after — a recipe for Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Soup.

Hubby’s not a big soup fan, especially not cream soups, but he was drugged up and in no position to protest, so I knew I had a captive audience. The red peppers roasted in the oven, out came the immersion blender, and the recipe came together like a charm. Remember when you didn’t feel well as a child and your mom would make you a steamy bowl of Campbell’s tomato soup with cream instead of water? It’s like that, only way better. The roasted red peppers aren’t overwhelming, but you can definitely taste them, along with a little garlic and herbs (minus the onions for hubby’s version, of course). The texture of the soup is silky and luxurious. In short, it’s pretty damn tasty stuff.

Hubby dragged his anesthesia-ed ass out of bed to eat and, after letting his bowl of soup cool (the first bite was a little too shockingly hot on his sensitive gums), pronounced it delicious.

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Soup

8 red bell peppers
2 tb. extra virgin olive oil
2 tb. butter
1 small onion, chopped
3 minced garlic cloves
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1 qt. chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 c. fresh basil leaves
1/3 c. heavy whipping cream

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place red peppers into a baking dish and roast for 45 minutes until soft and slightly charred. Let peppers cool, peel off the outer skins and discard stems and seeds (save any liquid that was released during the roasting).

In a stockpot over medium heat, lightly sauté the onion in the olive oil and butter until translucent. Add the red pepper flakes and the garlic, continue to sauté for 1 more minute. Add the roasted peppers plus any liquid that was released during the roasting, tomatoes, thyme and stock.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.

Add the basil, then puree the soup with an immersion blender until smooth (can use a regular blender and return to the stockpot). Stir in the cream.

Garnish with a little parmesan cheese and a few croutons and it’s good to go!

Makes about 6 servings.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

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