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| Roasted Red Pepper Potato Soup
The inspiration for this recipe comes from my mother's friend Claire, who grows beautiful red bell peppers in her garden. She brought over some soup for us to try and a recipe. Over the years we've adjusted the recipe to include more peppers and fewer potatoes, to intensify the roasted red pepper flavor. By the way, this soup is open to flexibility on the ingredients and amounts. Claire originally made her soup with non-fat milk instead of the cream, and it was still wonderful.
Roasted Red Pepper Potato Soup Recipe
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4 large red bell peppers
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
1 large russet potato, peeled and diced (about 1 1/2 cup)
3 cloves garlic
1 quart chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegetarian option)
1/4 cup cream or milk
3 Tbsp butter
Cayenne, salt and pepper to taste
1 Roast the red bell peppers by placing them over or under an open flame until they blacken on all sides. (You can use a grill, cooktop gas burner, or oven broiler.) Place the blackened peppers in a bag, close the bag and let the peppers steam for 10-15 minutes, or until the skins feel like they can easily be slipped off. Remove the peppers from the bag, peel off the blackened skins, remove the seeds. Chop the peppers roughly.
2 Heat the butter in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the potatoes and cook another 1-2 minutes, then add the garlic and roasted peppers. Stir well and cook for 2 minutes.
3 Add the stock, stir well and bring to a simmer. Cook over medium heat until potatoes are soft.
4 Purée the soup in a blender or food processor until very smooth. Fill the blender about halfway with the soup. Start the blender on low and keep your hand on the top, in case the lid wants to pop off from the rising steam. Once everything is well chopped, turn the blender to its highest setting and blend until smooth, about 1 minute. You might need to do this in batches.
5 Return to a clean pot set over low heat. Add the cream, stir well and taste. Add some cayenne, salt and pepper to taste.
Yield: Serves 4-6