Today I am sharing the Roasted Red Pepper Soup dish from Food & Drink magazine. Smooth, creamy and full of robust flavour – this soup can be made ahead and reheated for a quick dinner fix; or enjoyed fresh from the pot. I opted not to make the parsnip crisps, but made some crostini to dip into the soup. For an added twist, I threw in some ginger as well. The recipe didn’t call for it, but I had some lying around and thought it would enhance the flavour profile. Patting myself on the back for that one 😉
This dish was a big hit at our dinner table. Give it a try!
ROASTED PEPPER SOUP WITH PESTO CREAM
BY MARILYN BENTZ-CROWLEY
This silken, flavourful soup is thickened only with vegetables. You can use red, orange or yellow sweet peppers. The Parsnip Crisps are easy to make so I suggest making heaps of them, they are delightful both as the soup garnish or as a nibble with drinks.
3 large sweet peppers
1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
¾ cup (175 mL) coarsely diced sweet onion
1 large garlic clove, cut in half lengthwise
1¾ cups (425 mL) chicken broth
¼ to ½ tsp (1 to 2 mL) salt
⅛ tsp (0.5 mL) freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp (30 mL) whipping cream
2 tbsp (30 mL) basil pesto
Handful of Parsnip Crisps (recipe follows)
1. Roast peppers under a preheated broiler for 10 minutes (or over an open gas flame), turning frequently until black spots appear on all sides. Cool, peel and seed; set peppers and any juice aside.
2. Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until bubbly. Add onion and garlic; sauté 5 minutes or until softened. Add roasted peppers, any juice and broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until peppers are very soft.
3. Whirl soup using a blender or food processor until puréed. Add ¼ tsp (1 mL) salt and pepper; whirl again. If soup seems too thick add additional chicken broth or water, 1 tbsp (15 mL) at a time. Taste and add remaining salt, if needed. (Soup can be covered and promptly refrigerated for up to 3 days. Then reheat until hot.)
4. Stir cream with pesto. Reheat soup until hot; serve drizzled with pesto cream and garnished with Parsnip Crisps.
Choose 1 to 2 long fat parsnips (use more if heaps for nibbling are desired); peel. Then, using a vegetable peeler and supporting the parsnip against the counter or cutting board, form very thin, long and wide-as-possible, strips of parsnip.
Arrange on a tea towel in a thin layer. Generously salt using a saltshaker. Roll up towel and let parsnips sit for at least 30 minutes or up to a couple of hours. Heat 2 to 3 inches (5 to 8 cm) of peanut or other oil in a deep cast iron pan or shallow Dutch oven over medium-high to high heat until 350°F (180°C) is reached on a thermometer.
Working in batches, carefully add a handful of parsnip strips into oil; stir with a spider or slotted spoon. Remove parsnips as they become golden brown about edges onto a baking sheet lined with paper towel. Store airtight. If parsnips lose their crispness, refresh by baking in a 200°F (100°C) oven for 15 minutes or until crisp.