We had this soup over the summer during our visit to Poland. In Wroclaw, we stayed at my mother’s friends home, who had strongly recommended a nearby restaurant called the “Pieczona Papryka” which means Roasted Pepper. Their signature meal, which we were told we must try, is Roasted Red Pepper Soup – and boy was it divine. So delicious, so flavourful. They are even kind enough to provide you with a list of ingredients that you need to include – the proportions are left to you. After trial and error, I think I finally came upon something that I like.
This past summer I purchased so many red peppers from the Farmers Market, Giant bags, that closer to November I kept out on the balcony as there was no room in our fridge. The last batch of peppers that I purchased from the Farmers Market I cut up and froze so that I could make the soup from local peppers during the winter. I would have preferred to preserve the roasted peppers in oil, however, that is a skill I have yet to learn and perfect.
This soup does require a bit of work, however, after you have made it twice it becomes super easy. I always have the required ingredients in the fridge so I am happy I can make it anytime.
A lot of Roasted Pepper soups you find out there have more than just peppers in their ingredient list, not to say that they are not delicious but I love that this recipe is so flavorful and made with very few ingredients.
Sweet bells peppers became popular in most countries around the beginning of the 20th century, prior to that the demand was for peppers to bring a spicy flavour, however, with the new century came a new want for a greater variety of vegetables (though they are fruits).
Sweet bell peppers are an amazing source of vitamin C, as well as B6, vitamin A and folate. Their diverse variety of secondary plant compounds, such as flavonoids, carotenoids and Hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives, make bells peppers phenomenal antioxidants. Sweet peppers are 11 on the dirty dozen list, so It is best to buy them organically or from your Farmers Market. I have also begun to include them in my vegetable garden, growing vegetables in your garden is as local as you can get and also a great way to incorporate cheap organic produce into your diet.
ROASTED RED PEPPER SOUP
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
- Begin by washing the peppers. Once washed remove the stems and the seeds from the inside. Cut off the tops and the bottoms should be quartered.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay out the peppers skin side up, after which drizzle olive oil over top.
- Cut off the top of the garlic bulb, so that the flesh of the cloves is exposed. Place on the aluminum foil – using enough to cover the garlic completely and leaving enough room so as to be able to add in the thyme leaves later on. Drizzle Olive oil over top and close up the foil.
- Place the peppers and the garlic into the oven. This should take between 30-40 minutes. You want the pepper skins to be wrinkled and slightly charred. The garlic should be a light golden colour and the cloves should be very soft. At around the 20-minute mark, place a few sprigs of thyme to bake along with the garlic. Keep an eye on your peppers. You don’t want them to burn too much.
- While the peppers and garlic are baking, in a large pot bring the broth to a gentle boil. 5 cups of broth should be enough – if not add extra water afterwards.
- Once the peppers are charred and wrinkled. Place them in a large bowl and cover with foil or cling wrap. The steam from the peppers will keep them cooking and this will also make the skin easier to come off afterwards.
- Peel off the skin, keeping the flesh and squeeze out the garlic cloves from the skins.
- Throw the peppers and the garlic into the pot with the broth, add in the mascarpone if you so wish to. The mascarpone gives it a nice tang. You could try squeezing a little bit of lemon if you’d like to make this vegan or paleo.
- Using a hand blender or a blender puree the soup. Give it a try and add salt and pepper to taste. The consistency should not be thick. It will be light and creamy and very delicious.
- When serving top off with a sprinkle of chopped roasted peanuts or a splash of melted mascarpone. Serving it as it is a great way to start off dinner or enjoy lunch.
Amanda Filipowicz is a certified nutritional practitioner (CNP) with a bachelor in environmental studies (BES) from York University. She also has certification in clinical detoxification, prenatal and postnatal care as well as nutrition for mental health. She has been working as a nutritionist since 2013 and is a lifelong proponent of eating healthy.