Thursday, December 18, 2008

Roasted Red Pepper Bisque

One of my housemates brought home a huge crate of red and yellow bell peppers yesterday afternoon, right as i was getting ready to prepare dinner.  So given the current weather conditions, the first thing that came to my mind was roasted red bell pepper bisque.  This creamy, full-flavored soup was great for a cold winter night, and roasting the peppers gave the whole house a nice sweet pepper smell.  
Here's how it worked, for about 11 servings:

I quartered and removed the stems from 6 med-large red bell peppers, and laid them out (skin side up) on a cookie sheet.  And then placed them in the oven (which I had conveniently already heated to about 450 degrees).

While those were roasting,  I cut up two decent sized yellow onions,  and three med sized carrots, and cooked those in a skillet with some olive oil, until the onions started to caramelize.  

Meanwhile, I took a large pot, and made up about 5 1/2 or 6 cups of veggie broth.  We were out of Better Than Bouillon,  so I just used some powdered vegetable bouillon, and it worked fine.

After the peppers had been roasting for around 30 minutes (i don't really know how long, i just checked on them periodically, I'd guess about 30 minutes), I removed them from the oven.  And when the onions and carrots were done, I added those to the broth (which was already simmering).  I then cut up the peppers into smaller chunks, and put those in the broth, and let it all simmer for another half hour or so while I worked on other things.  

After that had a chance to cook together for a while,  I got out the old blender, and blended it all together till it was nice and smooth.  I've seen several recipes for bisque that want you to then strain the soup so it's completely smooth,  but I like the textures and such, so I did no straining.  

I returned all of that to my pot and left it on low heat,  then, maybe 15 or 20 minutes before dinner time, I added to that the most magical of all ingredients: coconut milk.  I'd like to think that this soup tasted so good because I did such a good job of making it,  but let's be honest here,  anything with enough coconut milk tastes good.  

Instead of coconut milk, if you aren't worried about being vegan friendly, you could use sour cream, heavey cream, Crème fraîche, yogurt, milk, soy milk.  Some of the thinner creamy things you might want to thicken a bit with cornstartch, however.  Coconut millk, in my opinion, will give it the best flavor.  After adding the cream, I added some more seasonings, to taste, and voila.

I served this meal with a romaine lettuce, baby spinach and apple salad, and made french baguettes to go with it all (if you ask me, it's not really soup, unless you have fresh baked bread to go with it).

1 comment:

Chad said...

Just wanted to post a quick comment, because I read all your blog posts in Thunderbird (my feed reader) and don't always think to say anything.

You really have a great thing going with your posts lately. I really love seeing new food ideas. I'm not really a fake meat or tofu fan, but your pictures are really appetizing. And I know how hard food photography is. I have some red bell pepper in the freezer, and I'm hoping to see if I can actually roast them after they've been frozen, so I can try out this great soup idea.

You could just about make a living blogging about food like this.