Many, many apologies for my loooong absence from these pages. Other areas of my life have been crazy busy – NorCAN Conference organizing, North Coast Journal theatre reviewing, my best friend of forty years moving to Eureka to take the helm at the Sequoia Park Zoo Foundation – all of which left me little time for Humboldt Made-ing.
But it is fall, and that means soup season. However, the farmers' market is still overflowing with summer produce, so a couple of weeks ago I did a little experiment, roasting hot peppers instead of the usual bell peppers for soup. I was very happy with the result, so yesterday I cooked up a bigger batch that was equally delicious, and I’m happy to share the recipe with you here.
One word of warning – do not make this soup in an unventilated kitchen. Open a door or window, or at least turn on the extractor fan. Peppers off-gas like crazy and can cause coughing and breathing problems. (But it’s worth it, I promise!).
Roasted Hot Pepper Soup
- 10-12 assorted hot and sweet peppers (mine came from Flying Blue Dog Farm)
- 1 cup diced yellow potatoes
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2T butter
- 2t smoked paprika
- ¼ cup white wine
- 1 cup cream
- 8 cups water
- Salt to taste
Turn on the broiler. While it’s heating up, cut each pepper in half and scrape out and toss the seeds and ribs. Wash your hands thoroughly. When the broiler is good and hot, lay the peppers out on foil on a baking tray and place 4”-6” from the heat. Let cook for 10-15 minutes or until blackened and blistered.
Remove peppers from the heat and use tongs to carefully place them in a brown paper bag. Seal the bag and leave it alone for 20 minutes minimum. The steam inside the bag makes it easier to peel skin off the peppers.
While the peppers are steaming, melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat (I use a Dutch oven). Add the potatoes and onions, sauté until softened
Remove from the heat and set aside while you carefully peel the peppers. They will fall apart, but that’s OK. Chop them into small pieces and wash your hands again.
Place the pot back on the heat. Add the peppers, the smoked paprika, and the wine. Cook off the wine and add the 8 cups of water and salt to taste. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes or so, until everything’s nice and soft.
Turn off the heat and blend the soup with an immersion blender until smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, carefully transfer the hot liquid to a food processor and puree it (you may need to batch-process it, depending on the capacity of your food processor).
Stir in the cream, et voilà - a great soup for a chilly autumn evening!
PS – If the soup is too spicy, adding more cream will tone it down.