Earlier this fall, the southern Ontario FAB kitchen hosted an amazing dinner party with a wicked theme: “Inspired by Fire”. One of our contributions to the event was this soup. Not only licked by flames on the barbeque, it also features a fiery kick…!
- 8 red bell peppers
- 45 ml / 3 tbsp grapeseed or canola oil
- 2 yellow onions, finely chopped
- ½ head of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 litre / 4 cups vegetable stock
- 10 ml / 2 tsp spice paste* (store-bought)
- Juice of 2 lemons
- Handful of fresh thyme sprigs, tied with kitchen twine
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste**
Heat the barbeque to high. Char the peppers on all sides (approximately 5 minutes per side). Remove to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, leaving a vent, to cool. Peel and seed the peppers and place in a blender or food processor.
Meanwhile, sweat the onions and garlic over medium heat, until softened but not browned. Add this mixture in with the peppers, along with about 250 ml / 1 cup of stock and puree everything until smooth.
Transfer the puree to a large pot and add the remaining stock, lemon juice, spice paste and salt and pepper. Heat gently to bring to a boil, then simmer for 20-30 minutes to allow the thyme to infuse the soup. Remove the thyme prior to serving. Garnish with a few thyme leaves or a sprinkling of lemon zest.
* We used a spice paste that is readily available at supermarkets in the produce section (requires refrigeration). If you’re not a fan of spice, by all means, leave it out. Alternatively, split a couple of red serranos from stem to tip and simmer in the soup until you reach your desired level of spice.
** Sometimes, people get aggravated by the term, “to taste”. It really does depend on your own palate, but in this case, we used approximately ½ tsp salt and 1tsp freshly ground pepper
Presentation option: at this dinner party, we served the soup as a “shooter”: fill a shot glass to about 1/3 with vodka and top with soup. Overstating the obvious: be careful about the temperature of the soup!
Another option: If you prefer and can find them for a good price, by all means, use yellow or orange peppers, instead!
~ One of Seven