I’ve been waiting all summer for this moment—the time of year when I can open all my windows AND turn on the stove without suffering from heat stroke. And since I’m not breaking a sweat while my oven comes to temp, I can actually stand over the stovetop and create some of my favorite fall dishes—mainly soups, stews and chilli.
Pardon my French here, but I f—ing love soup. There’s nothing better for lunch on a cool fall day then a cup of hot soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. I’ve also been obsessed with roasted peppers as of late, and when I found red peppers on sale for 53 cents a pound, I knew a Roasted Red Pepper Soup was in order.
Everyone—unless you’re my brother, Louis, who for some reason doesn’t like “warm liquids”—likes soup. For me, at least, creamy soups rank at the top of the list. What most people don’t realize is that cream soups don’t actually have to have cream added to them—how about that, dieting naysayers?
Any soup can go from a broth soup to a cream soup in a few short minutes. Simply puree the soup in batches with a blender—you know, the one you keep around just for making margaritas—and voila! You have a cream soup. Of course, you can still add a splash of cream or crème fraiche to the pureed soup if you’re feeling naughty. Top the soup with the chopped fresh herb of your choice, and you have a creamy masterpiece.
This Roasted Red Pepper Soup is a great soup to start the fall with because it’s still reminiscent of summer. The roasted peppers make it rich and sweet, the crushed tomatoes bring some acid to the party, and a pinch of red pepper flake adds a pleasant warm heat. Throw away that box of roasted red pepper soup you got at Trader Joe’s and make this one from scratch. Your stomach will thank you.
Roasted Red Pepper Soup
This rich and creamy soup will keep you satisfied for hours after eating. If you wish to freeze the leftovers, hold off on adding the cream, as it does not freeze well. To save time, you can use jarred roasted red peppers in place of fresh. Herbes de Provence is a dried herb mixture from the Provence region of France available at most grocery stores. Click here for a print copy of this recipe.
6 red bell peppers, or 2 (13 oz.) jars roasted red peppers
½ (2 oz.) stick butter
1 very large carrot, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, washed and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbs. Herbes de Provence
½ tsp. red pepper flake
1 baking potato, peeled and chopped
1 (15 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
6 c. chicken stock, preferably homemade
Heavy cream or crème fraiche, optional
Minced chives, for garnish
Roast peppers. Preheat broiler. Place peppers on a baking sheet. Broil peppers until charred and blackened on all sides, turning occasionally. Move peppers to a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap; rest for 10 minutes. Peel, stem and de-seed peppers. Chop roasted red peppers. Set aside.
Saute the mirepoix. Melt butter in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add carrot, celery, and onion, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until tender, about 7 minutes. Add garlic, herbs de Provence and red pepper flake, sauté 2 minutes more.
Simmer soup. Stir in peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes. Add chicken stock. Bring soup to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the soup from the heat for 5 minutes.
Puree and serve. Puree the soup in batches in the blender, or use an immersion blender. Return the soup to the pot and season to taste with salt and pepper. If you’d like a spicier soup, stir in a dash of cayenne. Add a splash of cream to the soup just before service, if desired. Garnish with minced chives.