Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Bisque

I started making this soup from a recipe, but in my usual combative way, I didn't agree with anything other than the main ingredient.  I added and subtracted ingredients until I came up with this, which I must say turned out delicious. 

3 roasted red bell peppers, peeled and seeded
1 roasted red onion
1 roasted bulb of garlic
1 roasted tomato
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups Gruyere cheese 
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp smoky paprika
Salt and pepper to taste

Place vegetables on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Broil for about twenty minutes, until soft and slightly charred.  Once the vegetables are done, remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Heat butter over medium high heat.  Add flour all at once, whisking vigorously. When the mixture thins and starts to bubble, reduce heat to low.  Cook for a few minutes, until softened and hot.  Add the chicken stock and mix well to avoid lumps.  Continue to stir until the mixture comes to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
At this point, you can either use a food processor or blender to puree the roasted vegetables, or add them to the pot and use an immersion blender to puree.  Either way, be careful - impatience has caused me a number of burns when it comes to blending hot soup!

After the vegetables have been incorporated into the mixture, add the cream and cheese and again bring to a boil.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.  At this point, the soup should be pretty intensely flavored - sweet, smoky, and creamy.  Sprinkle with additional cheese, if desired, and serve with bread or crostini.  

I happened to be making this soup on a whim, when Kyle brought about a dozen guys home from a film shoot.  You would think that twenty-something guys would run for the door at the words "roasted red pepper soup" but they ended up devouring the entire batch.  So, as it often does, it worked out for the best that I was making a giant pot of soup at midnight.  Enjoy!

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