Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Recipe: Roasted Red Pepper Soup (Gluten and Dairy Free)

I've noticed that I tend to post a lot of soup recipes.  We eat a ton of soup in our house.  Making soup is usually cheap, simple, and a great way to get rid of leftover ingredients that are taking up room in the fridge but that are still good to eat.  I also like that soup recipes are easy to tweak and change, and that with a little imagination, almost any ingredients can become a tasty meal. 

Lately, I've been trying to cut down my grocery bill since I'm on maternity leave and won't be earning a full salary until I return to work next fall.  Using up pantry and freezer items is one way that I can cut down my bill and still feed my family without feeling as though we're sacrificing.  That's where this recipe was born.  Every year my dad cans roasted red peppers that he chars on the BBQ at the end of summer.  They're great in soups and sauces, work well tossed in salads, add flavour to sandwiches, and are great on their own with a little oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper.  This week I made the peppers the star ingredient in a great pureed soup.  Here's the recipe.



Roasted Red Pepper Soup
Serves 4-6

1 jar (500ml) roasted red peppers, liquid drained & discarded.  If peppers are whole, give them a quick chop
1/2 jar passata, or plain tomato puree (about 500ml)
1 box vegetable broth (900ml)
1/2 chopped white onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
dried basil to taste
salt and pepper
olive oil

Directions

1. In a large soup pot, pour a small amount of olive oil (to lightly coat the bottom).  Add chopped onions, garlic and red peppers and cook over medium heat until onions turn translucent (approx. 5 min.)

2. Pour in tomato puree and vegetable broth and stir. Using an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth. 

3. Turn up heat to high.  When soup comes to a boil, turn down to low.  Add salt, pepper and basil to taste, and let simmer for 15-20 to allow flavours to blend.  Adjust seasonings and serve. 

Optional:  The above recipe is gluten and dairy free, as well as vegetarian.  To add a different flavour, stir in a 1/4 cup of cream before serving for a cream of red pepper soup.  Or, serve soup with gluten free croutons or grated cheese.  I serve mine with a good quality parmesan cheese.

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