Monday, February 21, 2011

Peter Piper Prepared a Pot of Pepper Porridge - Cream of Bell Pepper Soup

The world is full of cream soup...

Cream of Asparagus, Cream of Mushroom, Cream of Chicken, Cream of Celery, Cream of Broccoli... Heck, even the famed Vichyssoise is a Cream of Potato and Leek.  But I don't think there is a cream soup out there that is quite as delicious and versatile as Cream of Bell Pepper.

To start with, you can use just about any Bell Pepper.  They all taste slightly different, giving you a myriad of flavor possibilities from the exact same recipe.  Red, Orange, Yellow, Purple, White or Green they are ALL delicious.  You can make one batch or divide the recipe into two 1/2 batches with 2 different colors of pepper for a little panache at the table.

In my case, I used Red and Yellow for their complimentary flavor qualities.  The Red pepper has a stronger, more pungent flavor while the Yellow Pepper has a more subtle and creamy flavor.  A perfect balance of deliciousness.

Creamy Bell Pepper Soup

2 TB Olive oil; divided
1 medium White Onion, diced; divided
1 1/2 Red Bell Pepper, seeded and sliced thin
1 1/2 Yellow Bell Pepper, seeded and sliced thin
2 Cloves of Garlic, minced finely; divided
1/2 cup White Wine; divided
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt; divided
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper; divided
4 cups Chicken Stock; divided
1 cup Heavy Cream; divided
4 TB AP Flour; divided

Divide Olive Oil between to medium saucepans and place over medium heat. Once the oil is hot divide the chopped Onion between the two pans and sweat for 5 minutes, until a little soft.

Add the the Yellow Peppers to one pan and the Red Peppers to the other along with a minced clove of garlic to each pan; saute for an additional 5 minutes.

Add the 1/4 cup of White Wine to each pan and let it reduce by half.

Season each pan with 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt and 1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper.

Add 2 cups of Chicken Stock to each pan.

Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 11 minutes, until the peppers are soft.

Strain the Yellow Peppers and return the stock to the sauce pan.

Puree the Peppers in a blender or food processor, until smooth.

Add the puree back to the stock and place over medium heat.

Rinse the blender jar or processor bowl and repeat the above steps with the Red Peppers.

You know, like washing your hair - Lather, Rinse, Repeat.... Or in this case - Puree, Rinse Repeat.

Raise the flame to medium high and mix 1/2 cup of Heavy cream with 2 TB of AP Flour for each sauce pan of soup.

Add the Cream/Flour mixture to the soups.

Grab a whisk, and whisk the soups until they thicken slightly.

Serve in 2 separate small bowls with crusty bread, or serve both soups in a single bowl. (I like the whole Yin Yang presentation).

Ah!  The Zen of soup.



Patti T. said...

What a beautiful bowl of soup!

Ty Hayes said...

Your recipe is as always, spot on, but what I really want to know is how you do that yin yang presentation. It looks fabulous!

Shane T. Wingerd said...

Patti - Thank you. I think I may roast the yellow pepper the next time, just to see how the flavor changes. I have only had roasted RED pepper soup up to this point.

Ty - Thank you very much. The yin yang was a little tricky. I am sure there is an easier way, but I did the same thing I have done to decorate the top of cheesecakes in the past. I used 2 ladles simultaneously I poured "circles" of the soup, then, once the circles were large enough to meet in the middle, I moved the ladles in opposite directions around the side of the bowl to finish off the "tails". There was a little blurring so I used a toothpick to nudge the soup to form a more defined border between the two. Then I used a teaspoon for the "dots". I must admit, I would be hard pressed to serve this soup in that particular presentation for more than 4 people. LOL It took about 45 seconds to 1 minute per bowl to do this.