Rosie’s Recipes: Ringing in the Red Bells of October

By on October 22, 2019

The bell pepper plants (Capsicum annuum) in my garden are now producing the best and sweetest peppers of their growing season – the mature, fully ripened red peppers.  All peppers, whether sweet or hot, start out green, and then they go through the spectrum of colors and flavors, from the grassy and slightly bitter green pepper, to yellow then orange, gradually sweetening, and finally to the nutrient-rich, mellow, and almost fruity, red pepper. 

By staying on the plant longer, the red pepper has had time to develop additional flavor characteristics and nutritional qualities, making it an excellent source of antioxidants, beta carotene, Vitamin C, and fiber.  Longer vine-time, while making the red pepper sweeter than its predecessors, also makes it more expensive, due to the required use of extra resources demanded by the longer harvest.  All this is moot if you’re growing your own, in which case, good things come to those who wait.

I’m taking the fully mature red peppers and charring them over an open flame which concentrates the sugars, making them even sweeter, and then showcasing them in a smoky, velvety, roasted red pepper soup.  It’s perfect for this time of year.

Rosie’s Roasted Red Pepper Soup

  • 6 oz. or so hot Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 TB unsalted butter
  • 2 red peppers, roasted and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 heaping TB flour
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • fresh thyme

Brown sausage and set aside.
To roast peppers, hold over a gas flame or place under a broiler until blackened.  Immerse blackened peppers into ice water bath then rub off blackened skin with fingers.  Remove ribs and seeds.
Heat olive oil and butter over medium heat until butter is foamy.
Add onion and sauté for 2 minutes.
Add chopped, roasted red peppers and garlic and sauté for a minute.
Add in flour and cook for another minute to cook out the raw taste.
Slowly pour in stock, stirring.  Bring to simmer and let thicken a bit.
Immersion blend the mixture.

If you don’t have an immersion blender, pour 1/2 cup at a time into a blender/processor and blend/process away until smooth.  Don’t pour the entire amount in the blender at once, else you’ll have a hot mess.  Literally.
Stir in the cream and heat through.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Ladle into bowls and add crumbled sausage and fresh thyme.

Serve with a nice toasted slice of baguette.

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