This is for Heather.
I was inspired to make something with red peppers after I saw them on sale at the local grocery store. To me, roasting red peppers makes them all that much better. By the end of the shopping trip, I had 10 red peppers waiting for me to make something from them. And because I live on the wet coast, it was a soup kind of day.
So here is my roasted red pepper soup, with bacon of course!
- 3 roasted red peppers, coarsely chopped
- 5 strips of bacon, cooked till crisp and thinly chopped
- 1 small onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 6 fresh roma tomatoes, diced or 1 can/jar diced tomatoes
- fresh basil leaves, torn (or dried basil, about 2 tsp)
- salt and pepper to taste
- dash of smoked paprika (optional)
First things first: roast the peppers under the broiler until blackened on all sides (make sure your oven rack is near the top of the oven or this will take forever). Or roast on your BBQ. Remove blackened peppers from oven/BBQ, cover with a tea towel and let cool. When the peppers are cool, remove the seeds and skin. The skin should come off pretty easily – don’t worry about every little piece. This can be a day ahead.
In a stock pot over medium-high heat, fry bacon until crispy. Remove bacon from pot, leaving bacon fat behind. Reduce heat to medium and add onion and garlic to bacon fat. Fry until onions are translucent and garlic is fragrant. Add tomatoes and peppers and bring to a simmer for 15-20 minutes. If you are using dried basil, add it with the tomatoes and peppers. Taste and add seasoning if desired.
Remove from heat and puree. Or leave it as a chunky soup. Up to you. I pureed mine since I also planned to use it as a meat sauce over spaghetti squash.
Ladle some into a bowl and garnish with bacon bits and torn basil. Enjoy!
Sorry for the lack of pictures of my recipes. I always forget to take a picture before the food has disappeared into hungry bodies.
Note: If your soup seems too thick, you can add some chicken or vegetable stock to get the consistency you desire. If your soup seems too thin, you can add a cooked sweet potato and puree it again.