Saturday, December 08, 2007

Red Pepper Soup

3Tbsp olive oil
5 red peppers roasted and peeled
3 onions, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp sweet paprika
1tsp dark muscovado sugar
850ml homemade chicken stock
juice of ½ to 1 lemon – to taste
4tbsp single cream

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the peppers, onions and garlic, and fry gently until the onions become soft and translucent.
Sprinkle with the spices together with the sugar and stir over the heat for 1 min.
Next add the chicken stock, the real thing please, a stock cube will leave the soup tasting thin and salty, and simmer for 10 min.
Transfer the soup to a blender and process until smooth, then strain if you like, and season with salt and lemon juice to taste.
Reheat the soup with the cream just before serving. Take care not to let it boil or your cream will split. If you are a catty cook, and I speak from experience, then perhaps a dollop of double cream is a safer option – you can boil I to death with no ill effect.

I should admit right off the bat that I did not make my own stock. I just didn’t. I made sure to use a really good high quality, low sodium brand though. I know that when stock reduces it can become horribly over salty if you don’t start with a low salt version. I also used the double cream instead of single. Partly it was just because it was the kind of cream I happened to have in the house, but also, I do like that fact that I can boil it and not watch it and not worry about it.

This was another one from The Real Taste of Spain, and it’s another winner. The flavor was lovely, even my son (who is having a bit of a picky phase), said he liked it.

I roasted the peppers using the tip from the same book. Interesting, it didn’t give a temperature or a time, it just said to put the peppers in the oven, and leave them in until the skins go all bubbly. It mentioned that slower cooking will make the flavor better. That actually made it really easy. When they are done, just pop them into a zip lock bag, seal it up and let them cool (you could also use a bowl covered in cling film). The skins slide right off no problem. I found this to be worlds easier them doing it on the open flame of the hob, which is what most of the tips I’ve seen have suggested. This was low pressure, low maintenance. Also it can be done way in advance, then the soup is super fast and super easy to put together.

This is all good stuff, and I am really liking this book.

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