We scaled back what we planted in our garden this year (no lettuce or beans) and tried to make it a bit easier on ourselves by planting more flowers in lieu of veggies. We also dedicated an entire garden box to just peppers (red bell, green bell, and purple bell, jalapeño, serrano, and habanero); our peppers seem to be quite happy as I can’t remember ever getting so many (especially serrano) peppers off of one pepper plant from our garden before! Luckily, Ryan is pretty good at making salsa – so with our plethora of peppers and a bag full of farmer’s market tomatillos, he whipped up some darn good salsa verde the other night. Honestly, I probably could’ve eaten it with a spoon or just drank it from a cup…that’s how much I like it. Which now brings us to the point where we’re going to have to preserve these peppers in some way (Ryan is generally not a fan of pickled things) or take a crack at actually properly canning prepared food like salsa so that we can enjoy it throughout the year. To be continued…
Too often we make soup where potatoes or tomatoes are the star (main ingredient) of the soup. I am now trying to buck this trend. A couple weeks ago we made a corn chowder where the star of the party was, you guessed it, corn. So today I wanted to make a soup where peppers are the star. We cook with peppers all the fracking time (yes, we’ve been watching Battle Star Galactica lately), but they are supporting cast members. They bring the heat, or a nice sweetness to things, but rarely do they get the spotlight. I will no longer stand for this; so with a medley of roasted peppers and some from a can this soup was born:
- 5 red bell peppers
- 1 poblano
- 1 jalapeño
- 2 tbsp pureed canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 1 fennel root diced
- 1 large purple onion diced
- 6 garlic cloves minced
- olive oil (about a tbsp)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 3 1/2 cups of vegetable stock
- 1 potato peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme
- 2 tbsp fresh basil
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 can of corn, drained
- salt & pepper to your taste
Start by roasting the peppers. Preheat an oven to 425 degrees. Place the peppers on a baking sheet and coat lightly with olive oil or an oil of your choosing. Place the peppers (bell, poblano, and jalapeño) in the oven and cook for about 45 minutes flipping once or twice. When finished, they should have nice brown, burnt looking spots on them and the skin slightly puffed, place them in a paper bag or two or three and let cool and steam for about 15 minutes. Remove from the bag once you can touch them and remove the as much of the skin and seeds from the peppers and chop. Set aside.
Heat a soup pot to medium heat. Melt the butter and add the onions, garlic, and fennel. Cook until onions are translucent and fennel has softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add the veggie stock and potato. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender (a fork should go through them easily). Reduce heat to a low simmer add the peppers and cook for a few more minutes.
Remove the chipotle peppers from the sauce put them in a food processor and puree them. Reduce the heat of the soup to low, add about two slightly heaping tablespoons of the chipotle puree to the pot (or if you are afraid of heat, add just a tablespoon, as our friend’s have mentioned before we cook with a bit of a southwestern palate). With an immersion blender puree the soup to a texture of your liking. Add the thyme, cumin, basil, salt, pepper, and corn to the pot. Let everything cook on low for a little longer (or at least until the corn is cooked through). Once finished, serve a healthy portion in a bowl and chow down.