Friday, 18 February 2011

Roasted Red Pepper and Sweet Potato Soup


Thanks to my lovely ILs taking the kids out this afternoon I found myself with a few hours peace and quiet at home, alone. WOW.

Mooching around for something for lunch I decided I would make my Roasted Red Pepper and Sweet Potato Soup. This started as a bit of a "shove things together and see what you get" moment a while ago when Kendo decided that the cold, dreary day demanded nice soup to eat (for me to make of course, not him! LOL). It turned out completely delicious. I thought as I've made it today I would take a few minutes to share it on here (for lack of another posts of late - may aswell have a recipe sharing moment!).

So, here it is:

Roasted Red Pepper and Sweet Potato Soup


1tsp Garlic infused olive oil
1 Red Bell Pepper
2 Red sweet pointed peppers
1 red chilli
1 medium sweet potato (chopped into ¼ inch cubes)
1 medium carrot (chopped into ¼ inch cubes)
1 medium onion (diced)
400g can chopped tomatoes
1.5 pints Vegetable and/or chicken stock
2 rashers streaked smoky bacon (optional)
Salt and Black pepper
Cayenne pepper (optional)
Smoked paprika (optional)

1. Chargrill the red peppers and chilli.

There are a couple of ways to do this. If you’re safety conscious then cut them in half and pop them under the grill on a baking sheet until the tops are blackened. If you have a gas stove like me and you like to live on the edge a little then light the front burners and pop the little blighters right on there into the flames (NB: MAKE SURE YOU PIERCE THEM WITH A KNIFE OR FORK FIRST OR THEY WILL EXPLODE …. And that’s not fun. Trust me!) Turn them carefully occasionally until the skins are evenly blackened them pop them into a large ziplock freezer bag, shut the top and set aside for now.

2. Add a little garlic infused olive oil to a large soup pan (if you don’t have garlic oil use a little fresh garlic and plain olive oil – I hate chopping garlic so I like to cheat :))

3. Add the bacon, diced onion and chopped carrots and sweet potato to the oil and sauté for a couple of minutes until they soften a little. I don’t always add the bacon (it depends if I have any in and you don’t have to add it if you’re veggie of course. It does add a nice extra flavour though).

4. Add the stock (I usually use cubes…..cheating again… and like to use 1 chicken and 1 vegetable to make up 1.5 pints) and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the root vegetables are soft

5. While the veggies are simmering, take the peppers and chilli out of the bag. The chargrilled skins should slide off pretty easily. Remove the skins and the seeds from the peppers and chop roughly (doesn’t have to be neat… you’re going to blend it shortly anyway).

6. Once the root veggies are cooked through add the peppers and chilli to the pan along with the tin of chopped tomatoes. Stir well.

7. At this point you can add a little cayenne and paprika if you like it a little spicier (as we do).

8. Bring to the boil again, reduce the heat and simmer for another 10 minutes.

9. Blend the soup until smooth (I use a hand blender but you could do it in an upright blender or food processor if need be – just remember to vent it or you’ll be wearing your hot soup (probably to the emergency department!)).

10. Check the soup for seasoning and add salt/black pepper/more cayenne to taste.

11. Serve and enjoy

If I’m being a little naughty I like to serve mine with some cheese sprinkled on top (today’s had a bit of applewood smoked cheddar, but whatever you have/like is fine so long as it’s a melty cheese). I also add a bit of fresh basil or extra yumminess. Serve with nice bread (today’s was sweet barley and rye…delish!) and butter. Nom nom nom.

If you make it let me know if you enjoyed it, won't you.

Right, off to enjoy my last hours of peace!