The farm stands right now are filled with bargains. You’ll find sweet red peppers, pricey most of the year, offered by the basketful!
They are so pretty! Beautiful, deep red and delicious in so many dishes. Stuff them, chop them up for the freezer, sauté them with onions and serve atop a bed of rice.
It’s all good, and so good for you as well. Red peppers are one of the best sources of Vitamin C, one cup of this soup is all your day’s C requirements and then some! They are also a great source of Vitamin A, your daily needs easily met here. Additionally, they contain Vitamins K, E, B6, niacin, folate, thiamin, and fiber and protein. We need to eat more peppers!
One dish I love to make when the peppers are in season is my roasted red pepper soup. It’s simple – peppers onions, stock, perhaps a bulb of fennel, all roasted together then pureed with a little stock and seasoning.
A memorable meal
This year, I decided to grill the veggies rather than roast them to add a smokey element to the dish. I think I’ll make it this way always! That extra layer of smoky flavor turns this from every day to memorable.
You can make this with five or six simple ingredients and quick work with the food processor. Or, add a potato for bulk, perhaps something white for a creamy element.
Garnish this soup any way you like from toasted croutons, an herb oil, or a simple sprinkle of fresh parsley or basil. You can serve it hot or cold, too!
Grilled Red Pepper Soup – Three ways!
- 6 sweet red peppers, halved, seeded
- 1 large sweet onion, sliced thick
- 1 head of fennel, cut in half
- 1 tbsp. vegetable or olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 4 to 6 cups homemade or low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 to 1 ½ cups light or full-fat coconut milk or light cream.
- 1 large starchy potato, boiled
Load your charcoal grill and bring the coals to nice and white with glowing insides. Spread in an even layer. Scrape any debris off the grates, and oil.
Brush prepped vegetables with oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place the vegetables on the grill, giving room to turn. Place the peppers skin side down at first.
Cover but keep an eye on them. When the peppers have charred, turn them, and continue grilling until they are soft. Black on the skin side is what you are looking for. The onions and fennel should be soft and lightly charred as well.
Remove the peppers to a bowl and cover so the natural steam that is released will loosen the charred skins. Once cool, the skins will peel right off with a gentle rub. This is a good task for kitchen gloves! You don’t need to get every speck of black off the peppers, but you also don’t want to keep a lot of it or the soup will be bitter.
Place all the grilled veggies and the garlic in a food processor and puree to smooth. Pour into a large bowl and add the stock. How much you’ll need will depend on the size of your vegetables and how thick you want your soup! Season with salt and pepper to taste.
You have (at least) three options from here on.
Stop here and enjoy the soup! This is my favorite way to eat it! Intense pepper flavor, low fat, and low carb.
A Little Body Building:
Add the cooked potato to the grilled veggies in the food processor step. This will add some bulk to the soup, but will not alter the flavor by much.
For a Creamy Version:
Add however much coconut milk or light cream that you desire. This makes a lovely creamy soup; the pepper flavor will be muted slightly.
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