The King of Soup made this beauty a few months ago and I can still taste it. Sooooooooo good. This soup comes from our soup bible, 500 Soups by Susannah Blake (page 86). It's hard to describe how truly delicious it is - let me try some adjectives. Creamy, rich, velvety, hearty, you get my drift. Although there are a few steps in the process, I promise you it is worth it. Make sure you double this recipe - you can freeze whatever you don't eat right away.
You might think that soup should be reserved for cold winter months when we need to warm up our insides and hunker down next to the fireplace. I think that you can enjoy hot soup all year round. I am sure you've heard before that the best way to cool down on a hot day is to drink hot liquid - well soup is definitely a hot liquid. (http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/a-hot-drink-on-a-hot-day-can-cool-you-down-1338875/?no-ist)
In fact, why not turn this into a barbequed soup? Try roasting your bell peppers on the BBQ instead of in the oven - thereby keeping your kitchen cool, and being able to advertise this dish as 'BBQ'.
I'd love to hear your comments on this soup! Here's the recipe. There are no adaptations because it's perfect as-is. Thanks Susannah Blake!
6 bell peppers
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
5 cups vegetable stock
6 tbsp mascarpone cheese
handful of fresh basil leaves, plus extra to garnish
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Slice the peppers in half lengthways and place on a cookie sheet.
Bake them for about 30 minutes until they are charred.
Put the peppers into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let them sit for about 15 minutes until they are cool and the skins can be easily removed. You might find it easier to peel the peppers if you keep them whole. It's a personal preference.
Peel the peppers and remove the seeds. Set them aside.
Once your peppers are ready to go, heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion and garlic and cook for about 4 minutes.
Put the flesh of the peppers in a food processor or blender with any juices. This photo is of the flesh on its way to the blender.
Add the mascarpone. Pour this mixture into the soup with the basil and process the whole thing with a hand blender until smooth.
The King likes to strain the soup through a sieve after blending to ensure a velvety texture.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve piping hot with fresh basil leaves for garnish.
There's a reason he's the King.