Saturday, June 23, 2012

Let's Talk Soup

Let’s talk soup!  I know the weather is calling for outdoor barbecues with grilled foods, but I love soup!  I can have soup at any time year-round, and most importantly my 4-year-old loves soup too.  Two of my very favorite soups are Tortilla Soup and Roasted Red Pepper Soup.  Since I’ve made both within the last few weeks, I thought I’d share the recipes. 

Tortilla Soup

2 T canola oil
1 onion, small diced
1 red bell pepper, small diced
1 jalapeno, minced
2 tomatoes, small diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 qt chicken stock
1-2 cups chopped or shredded chicken
1 T chili powder
½ T paprika
½ t cumin
S&P, to taste
Soup Garnishes:  avocado, cheese, Greek yogurt or sour cream, tortilla chips, lime, cilantro

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large pot.  Add onion, bell pepper, & jalapeno and sauté until translucent, about 5-7 minutes.  Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.  Add tomatoes, season with S&P and stir; allow to cook for about 5 minutes.  Add stock (I used turkey stock because that’s what I had in my freezer, and it worked out great!)  and season with chili powder, paprika, cumin, and S&P.  Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and allow to cook for 20 minutes.  Add chicken and cook for another 5 minutes for chicken.  Taste for seasoning and serve with garnishes.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

3 large red bell peppers
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
4 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
3 thyme sprigs
S&P, to taste
8 basil leave, chiffonade
Soup garnishes:  Parmesan cheese & Greek yogurt or sour cream

Drizzle the bell peppers and whole garlic cloves (skin on) with olive oil and place in the broiler set on high for about 3 minutes per side; you want a good char on them.  Place them in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Leave them to the side while you cut your other ingredients.  After at least 10 minutes, start peeling the bell pepper skin.  It should just peel right off.  Cut off the stems, discard the seeds, and chop up the pepper.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large pot and add onion and carrot; cook until translucent, about 5-7 minutes.  Add roasted pepper, squeeze roasted garlic out of skin, and add bay leaf and thyme sprigs and cook another 2 minutes.  Add tomatoes and stock, and bring to a low boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and discard the bay leaf and thyme stems.  Puree the soup with an immersion blender, being very careful not to splash around because the soup is really hot.  (You could puree in a blender or food processor, working in batches, but be sure to allow steam to escape from the top so heat doesn’t build up while pureeing.)  Once pureed, add the basil, taste for seasoning, and serve!   

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